Can you believe they really said this…3

Yet more quotes – and believe me, there’s some choice ones in here…

If ‘discontinuation reactions’ occur in patients stopping [Paxil], the majority will experience symptoms that are mild to moderate in intensity, and are usually limited to two weeks.
Mary Anne Rhyne
GlaxoSmithKline spokesperson
2005

Drugs like Seroxat [Paxil] have been around for almost a decade and help millions of people fight depression. There’s no reliable scientific evidence to show they cause withdrawal symptoms or dependency.
Alan Chandler
GlaxoSmithKline spokesperson

These problems [‘discontinuation reactions’] are just the body’s adjustment when you stop taking medicines. It takes more than that to be addictive.
Mary Anne Rhyne
GlaxoSmithKline spokesperson
8/21/2002

The side effects [of Paxil “discontinuance”] are things like dizziness, nausea, headache, um, and are clearly labeled in the information made available to doctors and patients.
Dr. Alastair Benbow
GlaxoSmithKline’s European Medical Director
Source: GSK’s web site 2004

I think patients have nothing to fear from taking Seroxat.
Dr. Alastair Benbow
GlaxoSmithKline’s European Medical Director
6/13/2002

Experts including the FDA and leading physician and mental health organizations agree that antidepressant medications like Paxil are non-habit-forming.
David Stout President
US Pharmaceuticals
GlaxoSmithKline
10/10/2002

It was quite clear from talking to patients and as a doctor that’s very, very important to me, it’s quite clear that the phrase “Seroxat is not addictive” was poorly understood by them.
Dr. Alastair Benbow
Head of European Psychiatry for GlaxoSmithKline
5/11/03

It’s becoming too easy for many people to attack the pharma industry and hold the pharma industry to standards that are higher than anywhere else. I don’t have a problem with the standards….
Jean-Pierre Garnier
Chief Executive Officer
GlaxoSmithKline
6/6/2004

Of course we didn’t follow this advice. Of course we didn’t selectively publicize the data. This is not a smoking gun. It’s a stupid memo and there are lots of stupid memos in every company’s file and it is really unfair to look at the company’s action through the small hole of one memo written among thousands and thousands in 1998. I do regret that those memos exist but I’m not going to lose sleep over the fact.
Jean-Pierre Garnier
Chief Executive Officer
GlaxoSmithKline
6/6/2004

I utterly refute any allegations we are sitting on data, that [we] have withheld data or anything like that. We have provided all the data both relating to safety and efficacy in the pediatric population to the regulatory authorities around the world and have hidden nothing.
Dr. Alastair Benbow
Head of European Psychiatry for GlaxoSmithKline
6/15/2003

10 Responses to “Can you believe they really said this…3”

  1. Matthew Holford Says:

    “Of course we didn’t follow this advice. Of course we didn’t selectively publicize the data. This is not a smoking gun. It’s a stupid memo and there are lots of stupid memos in every company’s file and it is really unfair to look at the company’s action through the small hole of one memo written among thousands and thousands in 1998. I do regret that those memos exist but I’m not going to lose sleep over the fact.
    Jean-Pierre Garnier
    Chief Executive Officer
    GlaxoSmithKline
    6/6/2004”

    I’d like to see the question, which preceded this comment. I wonder if it included the phrase “smoking gun”. In any case, M. Garnier, whoever wrote that meant it. So there’s at least one person in your Marketing Department, who thinks that that approach is OK.

    I may be wrong, but I’d be surprised if a person would write such a thing, unless they imagined that it would be well-received. Clearly M. Garnier is a man of integrity, and will be auditing his company’s marketing procedures closely, as a consequence of this.

    None of which alters the fact that that memo, from 1998, demonstrates precisely what GSK thinks of its drug, if only in the treatment of minors: it’s a pile of kak.

    Matt

  2. Matthew Holford Says:

    “Drugs like Seroxat [Paxil] have been around for almost a decade and help millions of people fight depression. There’s no reliable scientific evidence to show they cause withdrawal symptoms or dependency.
    Alan Chandler
    GlaxoSmithKline spokesperson”

    And there’s no reliable evidence, which demonstrates that the drug has helped anybody, either. Not that I’d want to labour that point, seeing as it’s regarded as a minor detail, 15-odd years after licensing.

    I should stop reading these: it’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

    Matt

  3. admin Says:

    There’s more… there’s lots more to come!

    Stop reading and go to bed…

    Cheers, Matt

  4. Matthew Holford Says:

    Oh, all right, one more:

    “These problems [’discontinuation reactions’] are just the body’s adjustment when you stop taking medicines. It takes more than that to be addictive.
    Mary Anne Rhyne
    GlaxoSmithKline spokesperson
    8/21/2002”

    More than what, to be addictive? And how would you know, Ms Rhyne? And, unless you’ve personal experience, I would avoid using the word “just”, too.

    And let’s not get into a game of semantics over when withdrawal becomes the body’s adjustment, and vice versa, because that’s a game you’ll lose, trust me. Much less should we start talking about which form of dependency it is that is being discussed, and how patients are misunderstanding what they’re being told, because the flipside of that is that GSK has been deficient in the advice it’s given.

    Matt

  5. truthman30 Says:

    It was quite clear from talking to patients and as a doctor that’s very, very important to me, it’s quite clear that the phrase “Seroxat is not addictive” was poorly understood by them.
    Dr. Alastair Benbow
    Head of European Psychiatry for GlaxoSmithKline
    5/11/03

    To imply that the phrase “seroxat is not addictive” was “poorly understood” places blame on the patient and could almost be read as condecending in tone and also as an insult…
    Clearly, as we all know now, this was not a case of patients misunderstanding the definitions of “addiction” , but rather a cleverly worded distraction from the “withdrawal issue”… And purely a marketing ploy…

    Just like their Infamous phrase “discontinuation” syndrome…
    If Goebbels were alive , he would be proud…

    • pokie Says:

      DR. Benbow,
      Are you and all you fellow employee’s willing to take this drug ? Go ahead and let us watch what happens to all of you.

  6. truthman30 Says:

    I think patients have nothing to fear from taking Seroxat.
    Dr. Alastair Benbow
    GlaxoSmithKline’s European Medical Director
    6/13/2002

    I wonder how many pregnant women currently taking Seroxat would be comforted by those words, considering the links to Seroxat and birth defects in newborns…

  7. truthman30 Says:

    If ‘discontinuation reactions’ occur in patients stopping [Paxil], the majority will experience symptoms that are mild to moderate in intensity, and are usually limited to two weeks.
    Mary Anne Rhyne
    GlaxoSmithKline spokesperson
    2005

    Yeah , just like they said with thalidomide…
    Deformities of the mind and brain are just harder to see, that’s the only difference…

  8. Lynn Says:

    Have you seen this site? http://www.psychtruth.org/radio.htm Dr. Glenmullen talks about addiction about ten minutes into his “interview”, ‘The negative and positive effects of anti-depressants”.

  9. Matthew Holford Says:

    Hey,

    I was reminded of this piece, when I was writing to the DoH, yesterday:

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1580438,00.html

    Fascinating stuff: nothing’s forever, least of all our state of mind, apparently.

    Matt


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