Well, then… isn’t the internet a wonderful thing.
The video that Glaxo thought they’d had taken down can still be seen thanks to the magic of the internet!
You can read a full description of the contents of the video here…
… but perhaps you just want to go and watch it at Furious Seasons: Glaxo Goes After British Blogger’s Video.
Or maybe you prefer to watch it on YouTube…
Here’s what Phil Dawdy at Furious Seasons has to say on the matter:
I learned yesterday that attorneys representing GlaxoSmithKline in the UK had sent a letter to Bob Fiddaman, who writes the Seroxat Sufferers blog. Seroxat is Paxil’s brand name in the UK. As a result of the letter, Fiddy felt compelled to remove a video he created and posted to his website in February. It’s not clear to me what specific legal action the lawyers threatened.
I linked to the video when it was originally posted in February since I felt it got at some of the issues that had just been aired in the British and American press concerning accusations that GSK had hidden suicidality data connected with the use of Paxil. The person making that accusation was none other than Harvard clinical psychiatry professor Joseph Glenmullen who had reviewed clinical trials data in connection with a California lawsuit. Fiddy’s video presented statements made by Alistair Benbow, a GSK UK official and medical doctor, concerning the drug’s suicidality profile and contrasted them with statements in the British press about Seroxat’s suicidality profile as well as interspersing all of that with information about select patients who had experienced some of the drug’s rotten side effects. There was even background music.
Fiddy, in essence, posed the question of whether Benbow was a liar.
The whole thing seemed innocent enough since Fiddy was working with known facts and seemed to be presenting them in a reasonable fashion. But GSK’s attorneys, apparently writing to Fiddy on behalf of Benbow, objected to the fact that Fiddy had employed GSK’s logo in his video. What’s more, the video was posted to YouTube and in the comments section someone asked Fiddy a question and Fiddy compared Benbow with Hitler, as I understand it. The attorneys apparently complained to Fiddy that Benbow was feeling harassed as a result of the video. And they also took umbrage that Fiddy has implied that Benbow was a liar.
Fiddy explains his view of the situation here. He took the video off of YouTube recently and issued an apology to Benbow. Fiddy, most of you know, had some rotten experiences on Seroxat (Paxil).
Going after Fiddy for comparing Benbow to Hitler shows an incredibly thin skin on Benbow’s behalf and how silly British press laws are (the subject for another day perhaps). It’s also a move that Fiddy should regard as a backhanded compliment and a badge of honor. He’s being targeted because he is one of the loudest voices on the Internet denouncing GSK and how it’s handled Paxil/Seroxat and he’s clearly gotten under Benbow’s skin. Basically, GSK used lawyers to intimidate an activist into shutting up, especially in light of the fact that there are many, many others on the Internet who have talked serious trash about Benbow. Unless GSK plans to go after everyone who’s said anything sharp about Benbow, then they have singled out Fiddy.
Beyond that, this kind of behavior on GSK’s part chaps my hide, as the saying goes, because GSK has had run ins with academics before and attempted to stifle their views. I simply won’t tolerate this sort of nonsense and since I have obtained a copy of the video thanks to the magic of the Internet, I am posting it here, unedited.
The video is also on YouTube here. You can comment on it here or on YouTube. I know that Paxil/Seroxat stirs passions like few other psych meds, so I’d simply ask that people who feel compelled to comment on this matter in any fashion keep their rhetoric reasonably decent.
Learn more about Benbow here: