Ghostwriters in the Sky – 2

What a great follow up to my previous post – this email just landed in my inbox and it’s got to be shared with you all…

From: Matthew Holford
Subject: Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Date: 1 April 2007 13:22:45 BDT
To: Martin_Keller@Brown.EDU, ryannd@upmc.edu, Simon.M.Bicknell@gsk.com
Cc: BOSWELLT@parliament.uk, GRIEVED@parliament.uk, bobsmith@cix.co.uk, STEENA@parliament.uk, VARAS@parliament.uk

Dear Drs Keller and Ryan,

This is, perhaps, an old chestnut, but a ripe one, for all that, I think. The barest of details are necessary, as we are probably all familiar, by now, with the odd story of Paxil/Seroxat Trials 329 and 377, I imagine.

As such, it is my understanding that Trials 329 and 377 were more or less a failure, as far as GSK was concerned. Indeed, an internal memo, between its employees advises us that its opinion, at least in certain quarters, is to that effect. However, whilst this evidence, together with the cumulative views of certain clinicians and parents, the children of whom have committed suicide whilst on Seroxat, appears to indicate a set of circumstances, upon which one might be able to rely, I note that the two of you, along with Dr Karen Wagner (please forward this ‘mail to her, if you would: I was unable to find her ‘mail address online, at short notice), are of the view that the trials were to some degree successful. At least, while I understand that none of you actually wrote the article in the above-named journal, you must have agreed with the alleged ghostwriter, (whose name, I regret, is not known to me), must you not, because what other motivation would you have for putting your names to it?

My question, then, is a simple one: what is it that leads you to understand that Seroxat/Paxil is a valuable drug? Please indicate what riders, if any, you wish to place on your response? Thus, if you think that the drug is valuable for use with certain syndromes, with certain age groups, etc, and not with others, please be sure to clarify this? If you no longer believe Seroxat/Paxil to have any value whatsoever, to man or beast, kindly clarify that, too?

Best regards

Matthew Holford

PS Mr Simon Bicknell is Company Secretary and head of compliance, at GSK, and as such will have a keen interest in your replies, I imagine. Please be so kind as to copy my MP, Shailesh Vara, and the four GSK shareholders in the House of Commons, on any replies.

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