They sold us ‘happy pills’ – but all we got was suicide and misery

Slowly the mainstream media is catching up with the Seroxat scandal – but Peter Hitchins of the Daily Mail has been writing about Seroxat for a while now.

I’d guess that either he, or someone he’s close to, has been through the Seroxat experience

This is his latest commentary on GSK’s record $3 billion fine for mis-selling, bribery and hiding negative drug trial data.

I’d like to suggest that his paper starts a camapign for a judge-led investigation into GSK and the Seroxat scandal – what do you think Peter?

Here’s the article:

A scandal can exist for ages before anyone notices. Here is one such. Ten years from now we will look back in shame and regret at the  way the drug companies bamboozled us into swallowing  dangerous, useless ‘antidepressant’ pills.

You’d be far better off taking a brisk walk. The moment of truth must come soon, though most of Britain’s complacent, sheep-like media will be among the last to spot it.

I would have thought it was blaring, front-page, top-of- the-bulletin news that GlaxoSmithKline, one of our biggest companies, has just been fined £2 billion (yes, you heard that right, £2 billion) in the US for – among other things – bribing doctors, and encouraging the prescription of unsuitable drugs to children.

Its drug Paxil, sold here as Seroxat, was promoted as suitable for teenagers and children, even though trials had shown it was not.

Doctors were sent on free trips where they were treated to snorkelling, sailing, deep-sea fishing, balloon rides and spa treatments (and cash payments), to persuade them to prescribe these drugs, or to reward them for doing so.

A medically-qualified radio host was allegedly paid more than £150,000 to plug one GSK antidepressant for unapproved uses. GSK paid for articles approving its drugs to appear in reputable medical journals.

It is well known now among doctors that other drug companies have suppressed unwelcome test results on modern antidepressants. These results show they are largely useless for their stated purpose. In many cases they were not significantly more effective than dummy tablets in lifting the moods of patients. Thanks to Freedom of Information investigations, the truth is now out.

Even worse than this is the growing suggestion that, far from making their users happy, these pills can increase suicidal thoughts in their minds, perhaps with tragic results.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency undertook trials which showed that teenagers and children who took Seroxat were significantly more likely to experience such thoughts.

Sara Carlin, an 18-year-old Canadian student with everything to live for, hanged herself in 2007 despite official warnings (and warnings from her mother) that the drug could lead to self-harm.

Quite why it should magically be safe for adults, I am not sure. Nor was the coroner in the 2003 inquest on Colin Whitfield, a retired headmaster, aged 56, who slit his wrists in his garden shed two weeks after starting to take Seroxat. The coroner recorded an open verdict and said the drug should be withdrawn until detailed national studies were made.

Mr Whitfield’s widow Kathryn said: ‘We have no doubt that it was the drug that caused him to do it.’

I would also remind readers of the recent statement by Dr Declan Gilsenan, Ireland’s former Assistant State Pathologist, who says he has seen ‘too many suicides’ after people had started taking antidepressants and is sure the evidence is ‘more than anecdotal’.

The defenders of this nasty, profiteering enterprise – including doctors who ought to know better – will come up with the usual bleat of ‘correlation is not causation’.

Just remember that this was the same sly song that Big Tobacco sang, when it first became obvious that cigarettes caused cancer. It is time for a proper investigation, with evidence on oath and the power of subpoena.


4 Responses to “They sold us ‘happy pills’ – but all we got was suicide and misery”

  1. Brian Says:

    I’m sure Paul Flynn, MP, would welcome an investigation. However, he remains pessimistic. Here is a selection of his tweets:
    “GSK hide negative trial results and killed Seroxat(Paxil) users. Any plans to be become an ethical company?”
    “All GSK crimes were committed in UK too. No prosecution here. Our drugs regulatory body is paid for and run by Big Pharma.”
    “MHRA delayed and obstructed the probe into Seroxat that I pursued with the help of Panorama. They were, and still are, Big Pharma influenced.”
    “Brilliant exposure of Big Pharma’s sins was Health Committee’s report of 2005 by David Hinchcliffe Sadly smothered to death by Pharma lobby.”

  2. Lynn Says:

    Maybe we’re getting there.
    For people who still don’t believe-
    ………………………………. -supposedly a breakdown product of Effexor(wikipedia)
    “Concomitant use of CYP3A4 inhibitors[Look up “liver” or “cytochrome”] (e.g., atazanavir, clarithromycin, indinavir, itraconazole, voriconazole, posaconazole, ketoconazole, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, telithromycin) and venlafaxine may increase levels of venlafaxine and O-desmethylvenlafaxine. Therefore, caution is advised if a patient’s therapy includes a CYP3A4 inhibitor and venlafaxine concomitantly.”
    and the a.d. a psychiatrist terrorized me into taking when I was fifteen (1986) by saying, “If you don’t take this antidepressant, I’m going to institutionalize you.”- trazodone, which was part of an unbelievable reaction with Celexa when I took it again in 2001(I didn’t know it was the same drug). I did things I had never done before, never.

    “What side effects can this medication cause?
    Trazodone may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
    • headache or heaviness in head
    • nausea
    • vomiting
    • bad taste in mouth
    • stomach pain
    • diarrhea
    • constipation
    • changes in appetite or weight
    • weakness or tiredness
    • nervousness
    • decreased ability to concentrate or remember things
    • confusion
    • nightmares
    • muscle pain
    • dry mouth
    • sweating
    • blurred vision
    • tired, red, or itchy eyes
    • ringing in ears
    Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms or those listed in the IMPORTANT WARNING section, call your doctor immediately:
    • chest pain
    • fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat
    • shortness of breath
    • fever, sore throat, chills, or other signs of infection
    • hives
    • skin rash
    • itching
    • difficulty breathing or swallowing
    • swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
    • hoarseness
    • decreased coordination
    • uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
    • numbness, burning, or tingling in the arms, legs, hands, or feet
    • dizziness or lightheadedness
    • fainting”
    and a bad side effect for men
    Doctors who still don’t believe, please find the time to look this stuff up. My brain feels like it is dissolving. I can hardly concentrate. Often I can’t say the right word, or I say mangled things. I forget things I was going to do. A little while ago, I forgot that I had already gotten the preserves out of the refrigerator and went to get them, just a minute later. I completely forgot what I had done one minute earlier. Please don’t discount the possibility of antidepressants causing long-term brain deterioration. If Mary Kennedy’s doctor had done this research, that mother of four might not be dead.

  3. annie Says:

    Substitute Andrew Witty for Bob Diamond, Barclays chief, who is blaming his subordinates for a Catastrophic Worldwide Scandal, and there should be a litigious public hanging for the same reasons.
    It is the same scenario, one played out publicly and shamefully, the other persistently hidden under the gooseberry bush.

  4. Suicidal seroxat | Pixsimple Says:

    […] They sold us ‘happy pills’ – but all we got was suicide and misery …Jul 7, 2012 … Slowly the mainstream media is catching up with the Seroxat scandal – but Peter Hitchins of the Daily Mail has been writing about Seroxat for a … […]

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