What makes Prof David Baldwin such a bad doctor?

So David Baldwin still insists that the vast majority of patients can stop Seroxat in a couple of weeks and they won’t experience anything more than unpleasant symptoms…

However, the All Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence review suggests half of patients have withdrawal symptoms and for half of these the symptoms will be severe.

Patients should be properly warned, it says. Official guidance says symptoms are usually mild and clear up in a week. But the reality is it’s not uncommon for side-effects to last for weeks, months or years in some cases.

The review authors, Dr James Davies, from the University of Roehampton, and Prof John Read, from the University of East London, say about four million people in England may experience symptoms when withdrawing from antidepressants, and about 1.8 million may experience these as severe.

Dr Davies said: “This new review of the research reveals what many patients have known for years – that withdrawal from antidepressants often causes severe, debilitating symptoms which can last for weeks, months or longer.”

“Existing NICE [National Institute for Clinical Excellence] guidelines fail to acknowledge how common withdrawal is and wrongly suggest that it usually resolves within one week. This leads many doctors to misdiagnose withdrawal symptoms, often as relapse, resulting in much unnecessary and harmful long-term prescribing.”

Surely by 2018 we have got to the point where doctors such as Baldwin can no longer ignore the fact that these drugs do a lot of damage to a lot of people. 

1.8 million people.

Everything in the garden isn’t rosy – but Baldwin thinks it is. 

He allows no room for discussion – what happened to me and so many others during withdrawal from anti depressants has no place in Baldwin’s world and that is what makes him such a bad doctor. 

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Prof David Baldwin, Prof Wendy Burn & the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

So, I came on this via twitter. It features Prof David Baldwin, Prof Wendy Burn and the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

I think it’s time to get my soapbox out again… 

I take issue with quite a few things in this story, the most outrageous claim being the assertion made by Baldwin & Burn that “… In the vast majority of patients, any unpleasant symptoms experienced on discontinuing anti-depressants have resolved within two weeks of stopping treatment…”

It is very worrying that in 2018 two very high profile mental health professionals can make a statement that is quite so wrong – and dangerous. I really did think we had got beyond this kind of muddle-headed stupidity. And as for Baldwin representing the Royal College of Psychiatrists on an Public Health England expert panel reviewing prescription drug addiction – well, words fail me on that one.

Why would they say something like this? Do they have an agenda? Are there any conflicts of interest that could possibly be in play? 

Or are are they just plain stupid? I have to ask this, as I’m the expert – at least I presume I am – as I guess that Baldwin and Burn have never taken Seroxat and then had to suffer the hell of withdrawal as they tried to stop taking it. I’m not talking about a few “unpleasant symptoms” that “resolved in two weeks” but rather almost two years of absolute horror – physical and emotional – as I slowly reduced the amount of Seroxat I took. 

And I’m not the only one. I suggest that Baldwin and Burn read some of the comments on this blog or take a look at the Facebook group ‘Paroxetine Paxil Seroxat SSRI Withdrawal’ – or maybe just open their eyes and do some research of their own. Maybe even design some proper research. I would think that with Prof Baldwin’s contacts with drug companies perhaps he could get them to pay for the study… or maybe not in this case!

And if we are going to talk about “the vast majority of patients” then it should be in the context that the vast majority of patients do, in fact, often have terrible problems trying to come off Seroxat and other anti-depressants. 

I would ask Baldwin (and Burn) to understand and admit that SSRI withdrawal is a very real problem for many millions of people around the world. Listen to your own colleagues such as Prof Healy or Prof Read – because I know you still don’t really like it when patients talk back at you and have the temerity to question your ‘knowledge’. 

Yes, I am still angry after all these years and no I don’t think I am fully recovered even today, so please forgive me if you see this as just more “vile taunts” or yet another part of “a sustained campaign of abuse”. But I would suggest that the first step for doctors like Baldwin and Burn (and many in the Royal College of Psychiatrists) is to acknowledge the anger of patients who have been so badly let down by the medical establishment and the drug manufacturers, often working in tandem in pursuit of profit – both corporate and personal. 

Then listen to us. 

On a personal level, I think it’s a good thing that Baldwin has resigned from the PHE review panel. His opinions are clearly suspect and his knowledge lacking – and there are further question marks over his close financial ties to drug manufacturers. 

The Daily Mail summed it up like this “A government drugs adviser has been forced out of his position after a sustained campaign of abuse saw him branded ‘worse than Hitler’ and a ‘pharma-whore’, it emerged last night. Professor David Baldwin was subjected to the vile taunts after he wrote an open letter to a newspaper playing down the side-effects of coming off anti-depressants”.

A more measured piece was this from The Times

Me – I think the man’s a fool and wonder what his real motive was for resigning. 

Absolutely nothing to do with ties to drug companies I should hope.

Yes, I know it has been a while…

I’m just in the process of looking back at my time on Seroxat and my withdrawal from it. I can’t say what for at the moment, but watch this space….

Looking back at my blog I can remember how important it seemed at the time to use the internet to get the message out there that there were problems with Seroxat. Of course, over the past 11 years we have come to understand that there are problems with many SSRIs and other drugs. There are also problems with the way big Pharma goes about its business – from rigging drug trials to marketing unsafe drugs to the public.

I’m lucky, I have been able to move on in my life and I leave this blog on the internet to help anyone who is suffering the same way I did in the hope it may be able to help in some small way.

Back in 2005/2006 there was a only handful of us who were using the internet to warn of the problem of Seroxat. Happily now there are far more people and organisations that write about this subject and I hope it’s more widely known by the general pubic and medical professionals alike.

If you haven’t visited these sites, you should:

Leonie Fennell

Dr David Healy

AntiDepAware

GSK: Licence to (K)ill

The Pill that Steals

There’s a trial going on the US at the moment – the crux of the matter in Dolin Vs GSK is whether or not Paxil (Seroxat) caused Stewart Dolin to kill himself whilst under Paxil’s influence – and just what GSK did to hide the truth about the dangers of their drug.

The trial is being covered the mainstream media and by Bob Fiddaman on his blog, and below here are some links to the story so far.

Dolin v GSK – Opening Arguments

Dolin Vs GSK – Day Two – “Jack-In-The-Box”

Dolin vs GSK – Healy ‘Rocks Da House’

Dolin Vs GSK – JP Garnier Video Deposition

Dolin Vs GSK – The Dunbar Tape

Dolin Vs GSK – Day 4 – Slam Dunk

Dolin Vs GSK – 8.9 Suicide Increase For Adult Paxil Users

Dolin Vs GSK – Day 6 – Ass Kicking Semantics

I think that both Bob and I enjoy watching GSK squirm, but what’s important from a wider perspective is the way that a trial brings previously secret information into the public domain. Each trial that takes place opens the curtains a little wider.

I hope that the trial will bring closure for Stewart Dolin’s widow, Wendy. What GSK and their lawyers always forgets is that are real people and real tragedies at the sharp end of the unsafe drugs they choose to bring to market and make huge profits from.

There’s also an action nearing trial in the UK at the moment, and as I wrote previously: The publicity of a High Court hearing will mean the mainstream press  will be free to report on ALL the evidence presented. Now… I’m thinking that this will mean a lot of GSK documents that have until now remained secret will become very public knowledge. You see a case like this, while common in the USA, is unheard of in the UK and the publicity it will generate will be huge. And all those once-secret documents and the information they hold will be available the world over for future claimants to use. I think a whole new raft of claims will be kick-started in the USA alone. I wonder what GSK’s share price will look like after all this? And how institutional investors will view a company that breaks the law and lies & cheats its way to profit?

In the 21st century, ethos & culture – the way a company actually operates and conducts its business – are as important to a PLC as having a blockbuster product to sell. Ethos & culture are intrinsic parts of a modern corporate brand, going way beyond the generic, meaningless mission statement that we see from GSK “…to help people do more, feel better, live longer”.

I’d like to finish on a personal note. Perhaps, after all these years, I’m getting nearer to closure. For me, that simply means people will believe what happened to me was real.

More importantly, I hope that Doctors will understand what happened to me was real – and perhaps then we can start to help others who are going through the horrors of withdrawing from Seroxat/Paxil today.

Seroxat Group action – latest news

Great news about the Seroxat Withdrawal Group Litigation in England… we are on our way to trial! AT LAST!!

I’m sure if you read Bob Fiddaman’s blog you know already – see here – but I thought I’d wait until we had passed the time limit for GSK to appeal Mr Justice Foskett’s judgement to proceed with the Seroxat Withdrawal Group Litigation. That time has passed and there was no appeal… we are on our way to trial! AT LAST!!


If you happen to be one of the group claimants and you HAVE NOT received forms from Fortitude Law in the past 2 weeks, then you should contact Fortitude Law via email at lcorr@fortitudelaw.uk or telephone on 0203 667 3775 without delay.


I think I’ll say it again, just because I can … ‘Judgment has been received from the Honourable Mr. Justice Foskett to proceed with the Seroxat Withdrawal Group Litigation’. 

I think there must be quite a few people on the other side who really thought this had gone away, but I can tell them now to look out – it hasn’t gone away and it’s all too real. I’ve said before that, for me, a trial is the only to resolve this issue

The publicity of a High Court hearing will mean the mainstream press  will be free to report on ALL the evidence presented. Now… I’m thinking that this will mean a lot of GSK documents that have until now remained secret will become very public knowledge. You see a case like this, while common in the USA, is unheard of in the UK and the publicity it will generate will be huge. And all those once-secret documents and the information they hold will be available the world over for future claimants to use. I think a whole new raft of claims will be kick-started in the USA alone. I wonder what GSK’s share price will look like after all this? And how institutional investors will view a company that breaks the law and lies & cheats its way to profit?

In the 21st century, ethos & culture – the way a company actually conducts its business – are as important to a PLC as having a blockbuster product to sell. Ethos & culture are intrinsic parts of a modern corporate brand, going way beyond the generic, meaningless mission statement that we see from GSK.

I’d like to finish on a personal note. Perhaps, after all these years, I’m getting nearer to closure. For me, that simply means people will believe what happened to me was real.

More importantly, I hope that Doctors will understand what happened to me was real – and perhaps then we can start to help others who are going through the horrors of withdrawing from Seroxat/Paxil today.

 

 

A history of SSRIs

This is a re-post from something I wrote in March 2007 – on reflection, perhaps it should be more accurately entitled A History of SSRIs and the Damage they do to Patients.

I think there may well be a lot of discussion in the coming months about Seroxat dependency and the terrible withdrawal symptoms that many people have to endure as they try to stop taking Seroxat and so I think that the download – A History of SSRIs  is more relevant today than ever.

Looking at my original post, I was remiss as I didn’t credit the author of the download – so belated apologies to Prof David Healy (I think it’s his piece).

Now read on:

Over the years I have collected a few interesting documents and I think it’s just plain selfish to keep them to myself so I’m starting to share them with you.

The one for download here – A History of SSRIs is exactly what it says it is… a history of SSRIs.

You can read about the first SSRI – Zelmid – which was patented in 1972 and made it to market in 1982 before any of the others. I suppose not many of you remember Zelmid though as it was discovered in rare cases to cause a serious neurological disorder called Guillain-Barré Syndrome. This potentially fatal disorder led to the immediate removal of the drug from the market.

But Astra had already begun the development of a derivative of Zelmid, called alaproclate, when Zelmid ran into trouble. Alaproclate was being investigated for both depression and Alzheimer’s disease. But it caused liver problems in one strain of laboratory mice and this was enough to lead Astra to drop it. Shortly after this, Astra introduced an innovative antipsychotic, remoxipride, which looked like it would have significantly fewer side effects than older agents. Several months after its launch, however, remoxipride was reported to cause aplastic anemia in a small number of people and it too was withdrawn.

Notice a pattern here?

And did you know this about Prozac? As Eli Lilly were trying to launch Prozac in Germany they came up against a slight problem with the view of the German regulators on fluoxetine (Prozac) as of May 1984: “Considering the benefit and the risk, we think this preparation totally unsuitable for the treatment of depression”.

A History of SSRIs is an enlightening document – with a large section on Seroxat…

 

 

Seroxat/Paxil Study 329 – the truth at last.

I’m feeling re-energised today for a number of reasons, one of them being the fact that I’ve discovered the final chapter in the story of Study 329 has arrived.

I suggest you visit Restoring Study 329 for the latest news.

Also have a look here at Bob Fiddaman’s excellent take on today’s news.

If you don’t already know, Study 329 is arguably the most controversial drug study ever, published in July 2001.

In a nutshell Study 329:

– concluded that Seroxat was a safe and effective medication for treating major depression in adolescents;
– is still widely cited in the medical literature, providing physicians with assurance about the usefulness of paroxetine;
– was criticised by a few alert and concerned journalists, academics and bloggers. (However, their voices were buried by a tsunami of positive marketing and promotion by vested interests);
– resulted in a successful New York state fraud lawsuit against GSK;
– resulted in 2012 in the biggest fine in corporate history – $3 Billion,
and
– remains unretracted.

I have written about the scandal of Study 329 for many years and this link collects my posts about the Study 329.

From one blunt Yorkshireman to another – I hope you’re paying attention Andrew Witty, this hasn’t gone away… oh, and I don’t just mean Study 329.

What I believe

I believe Seroxat is defective and dangerous.

I believe that Glaxo has hidden clinical trial data that shows exactly how dangerous a drug it is.

I believe that Seroxat is addictive.

I believe that Seroxat can cause anger, aggression and violence.

I believe that something must be done to help people who suffer terrible problems with withdrawal, as they desperately try to stop taking Seroxat.

I believe that doctors have taken large sums of money from Glaxo to lie about the efficacy and safety of the drug.

I believe that GlaxoSmithKline puts profits before patients – their wealth before our health.

I took Seroxat for 9 years and it took me 22 months to withdraw from the drug little by little.

Believe me – I know what I’m talking about.

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