Teenage killer Tim Kretschmer had stopped treatment for depression

So news is slowly dripping out about the German school shooting… this from the Times:

“A teenager who murdered 15 people , including nine pupils at his former school in southern Germany, shot one of his victims at a psychiatric clinic where he had been treated for depression, it emerged yesterday.

Tim Kretschmer was supposed to attend appointments at the clinic in Winnenden but broke off the treatment. On Wednesday he killed a man, thought to be a gardener, outside the clinic minutes after he used his father’s Beretta pistol to murder nine students, eight of them girls, and three teachers.

Investigators were still struggling yesterday to understand the motives of a teenager whose obsession with fictional violence might have contributed to the all too real blood-bath that has shattered the normally quiet town in which he grew up.”

We need to know about the details of his ‘treatment’ – what antidepressants or antipsychotics had been prescribed (if any)?

Had he stopped taking his medication or changed the dose recently?

Will there be a toxicology report done on the body of the killer?

The mainstream media just have to ask the right questions – but why they never do is a mystery to me.

Read more:

A brief history of school shootings

The Finland Massacre

SSRI stories

Antidepressants and violence

Nebraska shooting – antidepressant connection yet again?

German school shooting – antidepressant link?

Germany is in shock after a heavily armed 17-year-old opened fire on pupils and teachers at his former school in a killing spree in which 15 people died.

The youth fled the school in Winnenden, south-west Germany, but shot himself dead after being cornered by police.

I wonder how long it will be before people start to ask the right questions… I wonder if there is an antidepressant connection in this latest school shooting?

Why is it no one thinks to look beyond gun laws? What makes some people flip like this?

Let’s wait and see shall we…

Read more:

A brief history of school shootings

The Finland Massacre

SSRI stories

Antidepressants and violence

Nebraska shooting – antidepressant connection yet again?

Let down by the MHRA… again

This from Paul Flynn MP:

We have not been properly protected against bad medicines. The regulator the MHRA failed to do their job.

An article in the BMJ today concludes that ” The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s announcement, in March 2008, that GlaxoSmithKline would not face prosecution for deliberately withholding trial data, which revealed not only that Seroxat was ineffective at treating childhood depression but also that it increased the risk of suicidal behaviour in this patient group. The decision not to prosecute followed a four and a half year investigation and was taken on the grounds that the law at the relevant time was insufficiently clear.”

The article referred to is entitled Seroxat and the suppression of clinical trial data:regulatory failure and the uses of legal ambiguity.

The abstract reads:
“This article critically evaluates the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s announcement, in March 2008, that GlaxoSmithKline would not face prosecution for deliberately withholding trial data, which revealed not only that Seroxat was ineffective at treating childhood depression but also that it increased the risk of suicidal behaviour in this patient group. The decision not to prosecute followed a four and a half year investigation and was taken on the grounds that the law at the relevant time was insufficiently clear. This article assesses the existence of significant gaps in the duty of candour which had been assumed to exist between drugs companies and the regulator, and reflects upon what this episode tells us about the robustness, or otherwise, of the UK’s regulation of medicines.”

The article continues:
“It seems unarguable, then, that for five years, GSK deliberately failed to disclose clinical trial data which provided evidence that Seroxat should not be prescribed to under-18s. Given that, in 1999 alone, 32 000 prescriptions for Seroxat had been issued to children in the UK, it is clear that in the time-lag between the completion of the relevant clinical trials (1998) and the CSM’s warning notices (2003), tens of thousands of under- 18s were prescribed a drug that was unlikely to work, and which carried an unacceptable risk of a serious, indeed fatal, adverse reaction. We do not know how many, if any, under-18s actually committed suicide between 1998 and 2003 as a result of taking Seroxat, but given the large number of children involved, it is certainly possible that deaths occurred which could have been avoided by prompt disclosure of this information.”

You can download a PDF of the entire article here.

The conclusion reads:
The MHRA CEO, Kent Woods wrote “… to the CEO of GSK, Jean Pierre Garnier, informing him of the decision not to proceed to prosecution, suggests that a strengthening of the law ‘‘should be unnecessary in an industry which relies so heavily on public trust and aspires to high ethical standards’’.28 The ‘‘moral responsibility’’ to provide data, Woods goes on to say, ‘‘now needs to be insisted upon by the unambiguous force of law’’ (emphasis added).

Deftly, therefore, Woods criticises GSK for failing to meet their moral responsibilities, and the law for being too ambiguous. GSK has avoided prosecution, and the MHRA has avoided the intense negative scrutiny which would have been the inevitable consequence of a criminal prosecution.

For both, then, could this almost be a win-win situation, four and half years in the making?

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