GSK Lawyers target Seroxat campaigner Bob Fiddaman

I’ve just seen a new post at Seroxat Sufferers

It seems Glaxo are leaning on Bob Fiddaman as a video he posted on YouTube caused Alastair Benbowserious distress by such unwarranted harassment”.

I understand Bob has removed the video – you can read a detailed description below of what it contained… and make your own mind up.

What I want to Know is who is going to speak out for ME against Alastair Benbow? I have watched him on TV and the internet and read his various comments about Seroxat – Benbow causes me serious distress every time he talks about Seroxat. In my opinion (and because of my experience of taking Seroxat and becoming addicted to it) Benbow simply does not know what he is talking about.

Is he lying?

Does he know the truth?

Rather than take damaged patients on in court, GlaxoSmithKline would do better to meet them and begin to try to understand why some people suffered Seroxat addiction and then undertake some meaningful research into the problem: there is something wrong with Seroxat and it causes problems for many patients.

But that’s not the Glaxo way, is it. This puts me in mind of the way Glaxo intimidated Dr John Buse when he spoke out against Avandia.

Here’s the post from Seroxat Sufferers:

The following is a message to my readers and also a statement from me that is, in the main, addressed to GlaxoSmithKline’s Lawyers, Addleshaw & Goddard and Dr Alistair Benbow, Head of European clinical psychiatry at GSK.

I have emailed Addleshaw & Goddard via their website with the following:

With reference to the letter you sent to Hugh James Solicitors regarding the posting and comment of your client GSK.

I have prepared and posted a statement and apology and would be grateful if Addleshaw and Goddard could confirm in writing within 7 days of receipt of yourselves and Dr Benbow reading the statement.

The statement can be read here:

I will understand Dr Benbow’s failure to respond to an apology given in good faith as churlish and provocative, and will prepare myself accordingly.

Yours sincerely
Mr Robert Fiddaman


Well readers, it seems I’ve been singled out for creating a video regarding Seroxat

GlaxoSmithKline’s Lawyers, Addleshaw & Goddard, have wrote to the solicitors handling the Seroxat litigation because their client (GSK) were not happy with the content of a video posted on youtube entitled ‘GSK – Not So Corporate Video’. Their client were also unhappy with a comment left regarding Alistair Benbow.

Quite why they have contacted solicitors handling the UK Seroxat litigation rather than contact me direct is baffling.

The video in question has been removed from youtube, it was a choice I made not because of the content, which in the main, was quotes from Alistair Benbow balanced out with quotes from the media that are easily accessible on the world-wide-web. The decison to remove it was made basically because it seemed I had used their logo and photo without their permission.

According to the letter sent to my solicitors Alistair Benbow is said have been caused ‘serious distress by such unwarranted harassment’.

It is my belief that the video showed two sides to the Seroxat argument, however Addleshaw & Goddard think differently, they believe it was made to appear as if Benbow was lying. Could it not be argued that it was made to show that the media reports were lying? I’m just throwing the debate open here you see.

The video itself started off with the GSK logo then the GSK statement:

“We have a challenging and inspiring mission: to improve the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer”

The next slide in the video read thus:

“GlaxoSmithKline knew even before Seroxat was approved that its drug could induce suicidality, dependency and withdrawal”

I don’t think there is anything defamatory within that statement as the MHRA have just proved that with their findings into their 4 year investigation into GSK haven’t they?

Or am I wrong?

The video continued with photos of Alistair Benbow followed by quotes he has made, the first being this one:

“The side effects (of Seroxat discontinuance) are things like dizziness, nausea, headache…”

This quote was followed by a paragraph taken from The Guardian:

“Britain’s best selling antidepressant, Seroxat, can cause adults as well as children to become suicidal”

The next slide in the video showed a photo of Benbow followed by another of his quotes:

“We take the safety of our medicines extremely seriously”

Once again Alistair Benbow’s quote is balanced out with another segment from The Guardian, this time:

“Glaxo played down Seroxat side effects”

Basically the video was showing the two arguments.

Yet again the Guardian quote is followed by one of Benbow:

“These medicines are not linked with suicide, these medicines are not linked with an increased rate of self harm”

To balance things out the next slide in the video was a segment from the BBC news:

“Drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline knew that the anti-depressant Seroxat could not be proved to work on children in 1998, according to a leaked internal document.”

Once again I chose to counteract this statement with one from Benbow, as was seen in the next slide from the video:

“The information in the patient information leaflet and in the information we supply to doctors, is based on fact”

The following segment of the video was taken from the newspaper, The Argus, it reads:

“Happy pill girl’s suicide tragedy… A brilliant young artist killed herself after taking the controversial anti-depressant Seroxat”

A photo of Sharise Gatchell followed, I’d previously asked the mother of Sharise if I could use the photo.

The video continued with:

“Sharise had hanged herself. A packet of Seroxat, with 30 empty blisters, was lying on her bed”

The video then threw up another Benbow quote (purely as a way of balance)

“I utterly refute any allegations we are sitting on data, that (we) have withheld data or anything like that”

(Has the MHRA investigation just proved that statement to be incorrect?)

Or am I wrong?

The video then went into scroll mode and highlighted Paxil Study 329, more of which can be read here.

Again I allowed for balance by providing in the next segment another Benbow quote:

“I think patients have nothing to fear from taking Seroxat”

To counteract the above statement by Benbow I quoted a segment of a story taken from USA Today. It referred to a federal judge who had ordered GlaxoSmithkline to stop all television commercials nationwide that say the drug is NOT habit forming.

As was the pattern of the video I then opted to add another Benbow statement:

“Anybody who suffers side effects of any sort I feel every sympathy for”

The Daily Mail was my next source to use a quote from:

“Man slashed wrists on Seroxat. A coroner has called for Britain’s biggest selling antidepressant to be withdrawn after a retired headmaster who was prescribed the drug was found dead with slashed wrists”

The video then highlighted the story of 3 year old Manie from the USA, once again I asked permission to use the photos prior to the video being made.

Manie’s story can be read in detail here.

The video ended with the GSK logo.

In hindsight I would not have used the logo and to be fair I think the video was in the main a cross examination of both parties. The sufferers being represented by media reports and GSK being defended by Alistair Benbow.

The comment left on youtube I guess could have been deemed defamatory, it was a personal comment basically labelling Alistair Benbow a liar. For that I apologise, it was however, a personal opinion of which there are literally thousands across the world-wide web regarding Dr Alistair Benbow

Addleshaw & Goddard Solicitors suggest that.. “the natural and ordainary meaning of the video and the posting (comment) is that Dr Benbow has lied,acted hypocritically and/or been guilty of a cover up in making statements about Seroxat which he knew to be untrue”

I utterly refute that allegation and as you can see from this post – the idea was to leave the viewer with the question… Is Dr Benbow a liar or not?

My personal opinion (because we’re still permitted to have opinions, in western “civilized” democracies, even though GSK and its lawyers would appear to prefer that this were not the case), is that Benbow is either lying or is an ignorant person (for not knowing what was being discussed within his own company, on a subject upon which he was supposed to be expert). The latter possibility would be one for his superiors to address, assuming that they deliberately left him in the dark. This is fair comment on a matter of public interest, and I will not be silenced by some lapdog or lickspittle that has forgotten what the Law means.

I am entitled to my fair and balanced opinion on a matter of public interest by dint of the protection of the public interest privilege extended to the general public under the decision in Steel and Morris v UK, in the European Court of Justice. For the avoidance of any and all possible doubt, I reject utterly that my approach is malicious: I have nothing against Dr Benbow, though I find some of his utterances utterly incredible. Equally incredible is that a law originally designed to protect people from stalkers (The Harassment Act 1997) has been co-opted by these ‘professionals’ to protect Benbow from scrutiny.

Scrutiny now equates to harassment – I can’t see that that meets the definition in the Act, in any event. One piddling video ought not to be claimed to amount to harassment, and I can’t see that it does. I regret that he is reported to have claimed to have experienced distress – that was not the intention and I would apologize to Dr Benbow if the claim is true. However, until such time as he feels inclined to clarify whether or not he knew of the October, 1998 memo, I shall continue to speculate on the subject, lickspittles notwithstanding, because I see that question as key.

I suggest that this not-at-all veiled threat of legal action is viewed by myself as an attempt at intimidation on the part of GSK, which has prior form in this area (John Buse, etc). Naturally, I view this as utterly reprehensible if it wasn’t so transparent and unfounded, an abuse of its superior bargaining position, in terms of wealth, and so on.

I have insisted that Addleshaw & Goddard confirm, in writing, within seven days of receipt of this statement and apology to Benbow, that Benbow has accepted same.

I will understand Dr Benbow’s failure to respond to an apology given in good faith as churlish and provocative, and will prepare myself accordingly.

I will leave it up to my readers to decide whether or not they think Alistair Benbow is a liar and maybe revamp the video at a later date by removing the logo of GSK and the photograph of Alistair Benbow which apparently is the ownership of GSK. The rest of the video was basically two arguments.

There have been no physical threats made by me in this particular video and the reason Benbow’s quotes were used in the making of this video is that he has been the spokesperson of GlaxoSmithKline throughout thus making it impossible not to focus the subject matter on him.

I think it fair to say that I am not a great lover of GlaxoSmithKline because the drug they manufacture, Seroxat, has caused not only myself but thousands of others unwanted side effects. Is that statement defamatory? If so, then Addleshaw & Goddard may have their work cut out to prosecute the thousands of people that have signed and commented on petitions, blogs and websites here in the UK.

*On a footnote, this letter has made me feel intimidated and I feel the above statement from me is merely allowing myself freedom of expression and the right of reply.


8 Responses to “GSK Lawyers target Seroxat campaigner Bob Fiddaman”

  1. truthman30 Says:

    It seems Mr Fiddaman is indeed being targeted , although it does seem strange considering there are literally thousands of people who share his anger at GSK over the prescribing of the dangerous and defective Seroxat. It seems to me to be an attempt at intimidation by GSK, which is nothing new, they use scare tactics on everyone who they see as a threat. In my opinion, I think Mr Fiddaman has every right to be angry, it is GSK who should be apologizing , but since when has that been part of their style?

  2. Matthew Holford Says:

    I wonder how much A&G knew? They’re lawyers, not pharma experts, and might not know that much – the Buse thing and the SKB memo might come as a bit of a shock to them. Who knows?

    In any event, threatening legal action in this one-eyed manner (ie, ignoring all the bits that cast Ali B and GSK in a not-so-good light), was probably a mistake, because Mr Fiddaman has found it very easy to rebut, and leave GSK looking like it’s using intimidation, again, even if that wasn’t its intention.

    It’d be interesting to know how A&G feel towards GSK, right now!


  3. Matthew Holford Says:

    One other thought: let’s keep an eye on this, because it would be a major due diligence/compliance flag, if GSK was to change any of its professional service providers (in financial circles, this would include administrator and prime broker, but we’re principally talking about auditors and lawyers, here). My guess is that, whatever the truth of the matter, A&G will continue to be retained by GSK, because both of them will look fucking stupid, if they part company.

  4. buxy2222 Says:

    It seems to me that GSK are singleing out Mr Fiddaman, like said before there are thousands of people angry at being damaged by thier poison, are we supposed to accept and not try to protect and support other victims of thier sadistic drug?, they should be the ones brought to justice here not the innocent victims of thier scheming ways to get us addicted to thier poison for life, are we wrong to expose the truth of what GSK are really about….LIES, CORRUPTION, PURE EVILNESS !!!!.
    It seems to me that they are singleing out Mr Fiddaman, as he is an intelligent guy that is fighting the cause for thousands of people just like they did with Rob Robinson, and if Mr B is stressed by all this then i would recommend Seroxat for that, he is the one adamant it works for so many people and has no serious side effects or withdrawal issues, yup Mr B, take it, you will feel much better……………………not!!!

  5. redhawk 1 Says:

    Seroxat has DESTROYED My life and My future .. period…

    After three and a half years since taking Seroxat.. I have been left with a multitude of sever and debilitating problems, both physical and mental.. Some of which i could never have imagined in my wildest dreams prior to taking this drug..

    Thousands of testaments to the contrary.. and still the authorities and Doctors refuse to accept and or recognize that there are VERY serious problems with this drug.

    We have trusted in the MHRA to ensure we are given safe drugs.. and trusted our Doctors, who are the real consumers.. now we are left to pay the price..
    There is a growing number of people like myself who will never stop trying to bring awareness to the despicable atrocities that are being caused by GSK and Doctors for no other reason than greed.

    So what are the victims like myself supposed to do now.
    There is NO help available.. NO support.. NO validation..
    Its just not good enough..

  6. truthman30 Says:

    The irony is GSK could have easily saved itself a lot of bad publicity had it only apologized or even offered help or support to those who have suffered from Seroxat , but they choose to be arrogant and conceited ..
    And they choose to ignore peoples suffering…
    They also choose to deny the reality..
    And deny responsibility ..
    They take no accountability for their actions, the drugs they make or the damage they cause..
    They intimidate critics and they portray a sinister air of a cold and calculated machine with no regard for patient health ..

    There are literally hundreds of thousands of people in the world who hate them for what they are, what they have done and what they continue to do.. (From Animal rights activists, Aids Campaigners, Charities, patient groups and people damaged by their defective meds)
    They are fast becoming the most hated corporation in the world..
    Is that the reputation they want?..
    One would have to wonder what kind of minds run this company..
    It is truly disturbing ..

  7. Lynn Says:

    Dear GSK folks,
    The best way to deal with your current publicity problems would be to consult cognitive therapists and come clean, period. This is only going to get worse and worse as time goes on. Your company may be ruined if the powers that be do not get a handle on their mistaken ideas about the correct way to deal with things. Trust me, antagonizng your former customers will not look good to potential future ones. You’re looking like the big bad wolf, not a company anyone would want to trust his or her health to.

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