Monsanto Roundup Lawsuit

Citizens Commission on Human Rights Award Recipient (Twice)
Humanist, humorist

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Donald Trump - The Role of Psychiatry

I'm not into politics, particularly American politics. I've often laughed at the whole election process over there. Obscene amounts of money thrown at huge campaigns, even rock stars get in on the act in efforts to persuade their fans who to vote for. Here in the UK it's very low key. On the odd occasion, we may see a minor scuffle outside a polling station on a damp and dreary Thursday ~ It's nothing compared to the firework displays and live bands performing for our American counterparts.

So, if I'm not into politics why am I using my free time on a Sunday to write a blog about Donald Trump?

Well, I'm finding him very interesting. I can't weigh him up though. I know he has a disdain for journalists and I know he tweets a lot. His tweets are causing concern for many as are his speeches, so much so that a number of mental health professionals are claiming that Trump’s speeches and actions make him incapable of serving safely as president. They claim that Trump is showing 'grave emotional instability.'

In a letter to the New York Times, no less than 35 health care professionals, led by Lance Dodes, M.D., claim that:
(Donald Trump's) actions demonstrate an inability to tolerate views different from his own, leading to rage reactions. His words and behavior suggest a profound inability to empathize. Individuals with these traits distort reality to suit their psychological state.
Let's take a look at this closer by using the Merck Manual of personality disorders.

According to the 35 health care professionals, Trump is showing:

- grave emotional instability - Another term for this, I guess, could be 'emotionally detached.'
- profound inability to empathize -

Schizotypal personality disorder
People with schizotypal personality disorder are emotionally detached. In addition, they have odd ways of thinking, perceiving, and communicating similar to those of people with schizophrenia. Odd ways of thinking may include magical thinking and paranoid ideas. In magical thinking, people believe that their thoughts or actions can control something or someone. For example, people may believe that they can harm others by thinking angry thoughts. People with paranoid ideas tend to be suspicious and mistrustful and wrongfully think other people have hostile motives or intend to harm them. Schizotypal personality disorder may be treated with antipsychotic drugs.

Fair to say that Trump, if the 35 professionals assessment of him is correct, would meet the criteria for someone having Schizotypal personality disorder.

But wait, there's more from the Merck Manual:

Antisocial personality disorder
Many people with antisocial personality disorder become frustrated easily and tolerate frustration poorly. As a result, they act impulsively and irresponsibly, sometimes committing criminal acts. In these cases, they act without considering the negative consequences of their behavior and the problems or harm they cause others. There are no medications specifically approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat antisocial personality disorder. Doctors may prescribe medications for conditions sometimes associated with antisocial personality disorder, such as anxiety or depression, or for symptoms of aggression


Narcissistic personality disorder
This type is characterized by an inflated view of self-worth (called grandiosity). People with this disorder expect to be treated with deference and may exploit others because they think their superiority justifies it. Their relationships are characterized by a need for admiration, and they often think that others are jealous of or envy them. These people are sensitive to the reactions of others but only as far as the reactions relate to themselves. They are extremely sensitive to failure, defeat, and negative reactions from others, including criticism. Such reactions from others can trigger sudden rages or depression (including suicidal thoughts or actions). There are no medications specifically used to treat narcissistic personality disorder. However, if you have symptoms of depression, anxiety or other conditions, medications such as antidepressants or anti-anxiety drugs may be helpful.

Moving across to the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, we see Trump also meets the criteria (If the 35 health care professionals are to be believed) for:

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder
Empathy: Difficulty understanding and appreciating the ideas, feelings, or behaviors of others. In most cases, medication for this disorder is not indicated unless the individuals is also suffering from another psychiatric disorder. However, newer medications such as Prozac, an SSRI, have been approved for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder and may provide some relief to individuals with the related personality disorder.

In fact, according to the 35 health care professionals, Trump also meets the criteria for Avoidant Personality Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder, both can be treated with psychiatric medications.

So, my question to these 35 health care professionals is simple, however, I don't expect an answer.

If Trump was your patient would you prescribe him any of the medications listed above and let him continue in office?

I highly suspect the answer would be a defiant 'No' - not because they don't want him to continue in office, not because they believe that Trump is beyond repair either. Neither of these health care professionals would prescribe any psychiatric drug to Trump because of this one Tweet:

Why would any psychiatrist or doctor prescribe an antipsychotic or SSRI to someone who throws out a gauntlet like this?

Which brings me nicely to the recent Panorama programme, 'A Prescription For Murder.'

James Holmes, despite telling his psychiatrist he had murderous thoughts, was prescribed the SSRI sertraline, known better by its brand name of Zoloft in the US and Lustral in the UK. Holmes, after taking sertraline for 6 weeks carried out those murderous thoughts regardless. Much was said in the defence of SSRIs prior to and after the airing of the Panorama programme. Those same critics who chastised Panorama are now in a wonderful position. Why not let them decide if a psychiatric drug, which they believe does not induce murderous thoughts, should be administered to President Donald J. Trump?

If they are so cocksure that the benefits of these types of medications outweigh the serious risks they can pose then I'm sure they will pull out their prescription pads and write him a prescription for some medication.

Given what we know about these meds, and what we have been saying for many years about these meds, this is one occasion where psychiatry can prove us all wrong.

I double-dare you all.

Bob Fiddaman

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Making Sense About Science Media Centres

I'm worried.

I feel kind of deflated.

I've been blogging for over 11 years and met with many people, most of whom have lost loved ones to antidepressant-induced deaths. I've watched blogs come and go, campaigners who had a fire in their bellies slowly fade away because sometimes it all can get to be too much.

Earlier this week I was alerted to a post on David Healy's popular blog regarding the Science Media Centre. (SMC) I'd never heard of them before so read Healy's 'Honey I Shrunk the Shrinks' with great interest.

As a writer and researcher, I rarely take one post at face value. I always research the subject in question. During my research of the SMC, I became increasingly concerned that this is something we should all be looking into. To say it's alarming is an understatement.

The SMC is like something you would read in a Dan Brown novel. It's the type of organisation that one sees pop up on their daily news feeds on Facebook, usually accompanied by a link that directs you to websites that claim the earth is flat or man has never walked on the moon, you know the type.

What's different about the SMC, however, is they don't hide what they do, nor do they hide who funds them.  Maybe this is a purposeful act, one that shows the minorities that SMC has muscle?

Without naming all their financial backers (there's too many, past and present) I've picked out some of those that cause me great concern.

Present funders include:

Royal Pharmaceutical Society
Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN)
Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)
Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) Limited
Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI)
British Pharmacological Society
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)
Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP)
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)

Previous funders include:

Daily Express
Eli Lilly & Company
Institute of Mental Health
Mental Health Foundation
Mental Health Research Network
Mental Health Research Network Cymru
News International Ltd
Pfizer Limited
Scottish Mental Health Research Network
World Health Organisation (WHO)

There are many more pharmaceutical companies that are or have funded the SMC. I've just focused on those that market and manufacture antidepressants.

So, who exactly are the SMC?

They were formed in 2000 after the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology's third report on "Science and Society." This report claimed there was a better need for more experts in the field of science to offer expert information in the media.

So, why should we be worried?

Well, one doesn't have to go too far back to see an example of the SMC in action, in fact, we only have to go back a couple of weeks to July 26, 2017, just one day before Panorama's 'A Prescription For Murder' was shown on British TV screens. The eagerly awaited programme was dismissed as 'scaremongering' and 'stigmatizing' 24 hours before it aired. The MHRA and the RCP (highlighted above) took to Twitter on the morning of the 26th.

RCP tweets included:
#BBCPanorama claims irresponsible and unfounded. Scaremongering title alone shows real stigma people taking #antidepressants face.
More #antidepressant prescriptions=more people getting help. Not more potential murderers. Don't stigmatize people needing help #BBCPanorama 

Whereas the MHRA tweeted:
SSRIs have been used to effectively treat millions of people worldwide & like all medicines, the safety is continually monitored.

More on the MHRA later.

All above board and predictable, one would think, until you dig deep into the SMC and what it is they actually do. It all becomes clear when you read their blurb:
The Science Media Centre’s ultimate goal is to facilitate more scientists to engage with the media. We provide support for scientists to engage with the media when their area hits the headlines, offering expertise of a team with over 10 years’ experience in science media relations. We have an ever expanding database of experts and have strong connections with UK universities, industry, learned societies and scientific institutions.
The SMC also runs off-the-record brainstorms to discuss how the scientific community can effectively coordinate its media relations on controversial issues within science. Occasionally the SMC will run subject-focused advisory sessions in anticipation of big controversial stories.
No surprise then that stories appeared in the British media before and after the airing of Panorama. Most, if not all, the articles featured an "expert" who claimed Panorama was stigmatizing and scaremongering. They were also stating that drugs, such as sertraline, which was heavily featured in the programme, do not cause people to go out and commit murder.

In defence of all these claims I, along with Kristina Gehrki, wrote a blog post entitled 'Panorama: Prescription For Stigma?' It proved to be popular and was shared many times on social media, particularly in the first 24 hours.

Around 8 hours after I went live with my co-written piece, MQ, a mental health website, ran with an eerily similar headline, 'A Prescription For Stigma: Why Evidence Matters.' The article was written by Ed Sykes who, coincidently, is Head of Mental Health and Neuroscience at the Science Media Centre.

In not supporting Panorama's efforts to increase awareness, Sykes wrote something quite striking:
The main evidence the programme seemed to be giving us, alongside the case studies, was the result of a Freedom of Information request to the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA). The MHRA is responsible for many aspects of healthcare, including a Yellow Card system that records all the bad side-effects linked to any drugs. The Panorama team informed us that their investigation had unearthed 28 cases linking antidepressants to murder and 32 to murderous thoughts. The show did point out that these were just reports, not conclusions that the drugs had caused murder. But what they failed to mention was that these reports to the MHRA can be made by anyone. You or I could go on their website right now and make a report, it doesn’t necessarily mean it was a medical professional who reported it or that the report was supported by strong evidence. 
What Sykes, in his efforts to play down the 28 cases linking antidepressants to murder, failed to mention is the follow-up that the MHRA do when they receive a Yellow Card report. It was a question I put to them back in 2015. Their reply was the bog-standard game of semantics they have played with me for the past 11 years or so, further, they asked for payment to release the information. You can see the correspondence here and here.

Ed Sykes really should have done his homework before throwing out the 'correlation does not equal causation' line.

Before finishing my introduction to the SMC, I'd like to congratulate Prof. Sir Mike Rawlins, former Chairman of NICE (highlighted above) who, a month ago, was honoured by the Queen for his services to the safety of medicines, healthcare and innovation.

Oh, something else: Prof. Sir Mike Rawlins is the current Chairman for the MHRA. Prof. Sir Mike Rawlins also sits on the Board of Trustees at, you've guessed it, the Science Media Centre.

Now, who was it that coined the term 'revolving door'?

Bob Fiddaman

Thursday, August 03, 2017

GSK Blame Stewart Dolin in Move for New Trial

One would have thought the case filed against GSK by Wendy Dolin was done and dusted. However, GSK has been adamant that the verdict handed down by the jury in Chicago last April is wrong. (Boo hoo)

Cry Me A River

GSK continues to cry its river of DeNile after being found responsible for Stewart Dolin's Paxil-induced death. Together with its King & Spalding lawyers, GSK now claims:

1)  U.S. District Judge William T. Hart did not properly instruct the jury

2) Dolin's doctor did not properly warn his patient that GSK's product increases suicidality and suicide

3) Ergo, when Dolin started suffering from Paxil-induced akathisia and psychosis, he should have noticed these adverse drug reactions (ADRs) before dying.

To most people, GSKs claims are ridiculous. But for GSK and other pharmaceutical companies, such outlandish claims are just business as usual.

GSK is essentially saying, "Yes, our drug and any generic version of it, has a propensity to cause someone to kill themselves. But we refute any responsibility because, together with the FDA, we wrote a vague warning about these risks. Further, doctors who prescribe our drug should communicate these risks to patients. Then, it is up to Paxil consumers to "choose" whether or not they want to kill themselves when suffering from Paxil-induced akathisia."

GSKs' claims are similar to ones they repeated for six-weeks during the Dolin vs. GSK trial. GSK blamed Stewart Dolin's death on his supposed "illness." GSK blamed Dolin's death on the doctor who prescribed their product. GSK blamed Dolin's death on the FDA. Now, GSK is blaming the judge for the jury's guilty verdict against GSK.

Don't Ya Just Love 'Em?

The jury ruled against GSK because the lackluster King & Spalding legal team couldn't defend the indefensible. Mounds of evidence piled up exposing GSKs greed and guilt. (The jury was likely also shocked to hear about the pile of bodies GSK tried to conceal--those innocent volunteers who died during Paxil's clinical trials.)

Not only did the jury find GSK responsible for Dolin's death; they also found GSK responsible for Dolin's pain and suffering. Therefore, they made two separate monetary awards.

GSK doesn't want to pay nor admit guilt. They are calling for a new trial and repeating their tactic of blaming everyone else for the ADRs their product causes. GSK states:

-  Its hands were tied because supposedly drug regulators would not allow GSK to use the specific warning language it wanted

- The jury instructions didn't entirely separate/7' different elements necessary for liability

- The doctor's testimony shows he was aware of the risk when prescribing paroxetine.

GSK's lackluster defense saw the jury rule in favor of Wendy Dolin and award her $2 million for wrongful death and $1 million for pain and suffering in the days before he took his life. She has yet to see a dime of that award because GSK are crying this river of denial. (De Nile)

Wendy Dolin, via her legal team, Baum Hedlund and Rapoport Law Offices PC, said Stewart's doctor testified that when he decided to prescribe the drug, he relied on the 2010 Paxil label. This Paxil label didn’t warn that Paxil could lead to suicidality in adults over age 24.  Furthermore, GSK failed to alert drug regulators that research showed an increased suicide risk among adults who take Paxil.

In 2007, GSK was invited by the FDA to discuss the inclusion of label language specific to adult suicidality. GSK then failed to meet with the FDA about this labeling issue. GSK did, however, have a duty to warn consumers even if the FDA decided not to. A 2006 video deposition played at trial shows GSK's former head, JP Garnier.

"You can change your label without even getting approval from the FDA, there's a law that allows you to do that, correct?"

Garnier answered, "Yes, but in practice, you don't want to do that."

He was then pressed, "Okay. But you can do it if you want, the law allows that to occur?"

Garnier replied, "Yes, but you do want the FDA to agree with the changes you are going to propose because they have the power to correct what you just said the day before. You know, let's say we decide to inform physicians of some new event affecting our drug, well, the next day the FDA might come back and say, well, we didn't like the way you did this, you have to redo it. So it's considerably disrupting, that's why most companies go through the FDA first, in practice, but you are right, there is a legal right for us to go directly to the public."

So, even Glaxo's own head was agreeing that GSK could have by-passed the FDA if it wanted to. The key phrase here is from Garnier's own mouth, "...there is a legal right for us to go directly to the public."

During the trial, it was revealed that there were 20 adult suicides in paroxetine clinical trials. Supposedly, there were no completed suicides in the paroxetine pediatric trials. (I say "supposedly" because one can never be certain if drug companies and regulators are telling the whole truth.) The clinical trial deaths beg the question: Why would GSK go to great lengths to confuse prescribing doctors with the warning about suicidality for patients under the age of 24?

GSK: A Forked-Tongue Monster 

Seeing GSK in court conjured up images of a forked-tongue monster speaking from both sides of its mouth. On opening day of the Dolin vs GSK trial, GSK's attorneys told jurors Paxil does not cause suicide.

Later, GSK lawyers claimed the company did everything in its power to show Stewart's doctor that Paxil increases the risk of suicidal thoughts and suicidal action among anyone who consumes it.

I'm reminded of a scene from the brilliant Fawlty Towers. Basil (John Cleese) returns to his hotel to discover that the building renovations haven't quite gone according to plan. We see "fault" here being passed around from pillar to post. Basil's reaction is priceless.

I suspect if Stewart Dolin was alive today, this would be his response.

Law 360 write about GSK's latest shenanigans here.

Bob Fiddaman

How the trial unfolded - a day-by-day account

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

Dolin Vs GSK - Day 7 - Abraham Lincoln

Dolin Vs GSK - Day 8 - Get to the Point, Todd!

Dolin Vs GSK - Glenmullen Nails It!

Dolin Vs GSK - "Babes"

Dolin Vs GSK - Wendy's Cross and GSK's Petition

Dolin Vs GSK - Robert "Bling Bling" Gibbons

Dolin Vs GSK: Suicide Prevention Warning "Futile", Claims GSK Exec

Dolin Vs GSK: Jury shown List of the Dead in Paxil Clinical Trials

Dolin Vs GSK: Last Man Standing & The Return of Dr. Healy

Dolin Vs GSK: Closing Arguments

Dolin Vs GSK - The Verdict

Friday, July 28, 2017

Panorama: Prescription For Stigma?

By Bob Fiddaman & Kristina Gehrki

This week I watched BBC's eagerly anticipated Panorama documentary, "A Prescription For Murder?" I say 'eagerly anticipated' because on the day it was scheduled to air, organizations that routinely run from public dialogue were tweeting away in the wee morning hours. This includes the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) and the Medicines Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). They took to Twitter long before viewers had an opportunity to view and judge Panorama's programme on its own merits.

MHRA, RCP and other so-called "mental health" organizations, claim the show stigmatized those who use antidepressants. RCP tweets included:
#BBCPanorama claims irresponsible and unfounded. Scaremongering title alone shows real stigma people taking #antidepressants face.
More #antidepressant prescriptions=more people getting help. Not more potential murderers. Don't stigmatize people needing help #BBCPanorama 
Professor Louis Appleby later chirped:
A media throwback: sensationalist, exploitative, not even new, with stigma & risk to patients collateral damage. …
The MHRA's limp-wristed, London-based suits tweeted:
SSRIs have been used to effectively treat millions of people worldwide & like all medicines, the safety is continually monitored. (Notice that MHRA did not state "SSRI drugs do not cause an increase in suicide or homicide.")
I immediately tweeted back:
You forgot to add that your CEO is the former World Safety Officer for @GSK
Many other mental health charities and patients tweeted their disapproval. A majority of complainers seemed annoyed by the documentary's title. I pointed out the title had a question mark after it, ergo it was posing a question, not making a statement. But this obvious fact seemed to be lost on those who bombarded Panorama's Twitter page.

Out With the Old, In With the New

For decades, Big Pharma has made wildly inaccurate claims about everything from the chemical imbalance theory to the legitimacy of their own "science." Today the old chemical imbalance campaign seems to be replaced by the new stigma campaign. It is an emotional appeal to try and convince the public that people who speak on behalf of drug safety are shaming those who consume prescription drugs. The reality is that drug safety advocates only want consumers to know the real risks so they can make an informed personal choice.

Drug companies, regulators and "mental health" organizations aggressively brand drug safety advocates as "stigmatizers." They want the word "stigma" to carry similar emotionally-charged perceptions as the word "racism." This diversion is sickly twisted, but a clever communications tactic nonetheless.

The problem is stigma isn't relevant to drug safety discussions. As Thomas Insel, former director of the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH), discusses in the documentary "Letters from GenerationRX," stigma isn't even much of an issue in seeking mental health "treatment." Insel states "The fact is that actually more people are getting more treatment than ever before" and yet the suicide rate "has not come down." The reason, surmises Insel, is "We (the mental health profession) don't know enough."

To see Insel's interview and the tragic SSRI experiences of many families, "Letters from GenerationRX" is available here.

The stigma campaign is designed to create a false public rift to hinder open dialogue about medical freedom of choice and drug safety. Drug companies don't want people to recognize it is a fundamental human right to know the real risks vs. benefits of their product before consumption. Few consumers would consciously choose to forego this right and Pharma, the MHRA, and RCP know it.

Their propaganda is a recipe for disaster. To ignore serious side effects causes thousands of deaths. These organizations create an imaginary enemy and imaginary "war" of sorts. Pit two sides against each other and stir the pot. They then sit back, enjoy the heated conflict, and stealthily pad their pockets.

Brief Summary of "A Prescription For Murder?"

Panorama's hour-long documentary mainly focused on mass murderer James Holmes. It posed the question of whether the SSRI Holmes was prescribed before the Colorado shootings played a role in his actions. The drug Holmes was prescribed in increasing doses is called sertraline, better known by its brand names of Lustral and Zoloft. It is made and marketed by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals. As Pfizer's own scientist, Dr. Roger Lane, has confirmed, Zoloft and other SSRIs can cause akathisia. Lane describes akathisia as "subjective distress" and "unbearable discomfort." He states akathisia sufferers "can feel death is a welcome result" to end their symptoms. (Source) - The source is hosted on Woody Matters, a website created by the wife of Woody Witczak, Kim. Woody died a violent death after taking sertraline for a total of 5 weeks with the dosage being doubled shortly before his death.

Panorama's investigative reporter, Shelley Jofre, interviewed many sources to include Holmes' parents, the prosecuting attorney, and several healthcare professionals. The show also briefly featured two other tragedies, that of Shane Clancy, who experienced adverse drug reactions (ADRs) from citalopram (1) and David Carmichael who experienced ADRs from paroxetine.(2)  The programme's aim, as I see it, was to explore whether the connection between SSRIs and violence is legitimate.

The documentary, which hasn't yet aired outside the UK, was a year in the making and appeared well-researched. I won't give away too much program info because many people outside the UK haven't yet seen it. Suffice it to say; it was riveting.

(Note: In 2002 Jofre aired "The Secrets of Seroxat." It focused mainly on SSRI withdrawal problems but also shared the tragedy of 60-year-old Don Schell. After taking just two Seroxat tablets he killed his wife, daughter, and infant granddaughter before killing himself. ) Jurors ruled in favor of the man’s relatives and also ruled that taking Seroxat was the proximate cause of all these deaths.

Real Data Linking SSRIs to Violence

The MHRA is, according to the programme, aware of at least 28 homicides associated with SSRIs. Further, 32 additional reports have been sent to them showing an association between homicidal thinking and the use of SSRIs (Fig 1).

Fig 1

Predictably, the MHRA has never followed up these reports as it is not in their financial interests to do so. Therefore, they can then continue to claim that, "although these drugs have been associated with homicide and homicidal acts, it doesn't mean that the drugs caused the acts." It's akin to an airline ignoring reports of loose rivets and refusing to conduct any investigations in response to the reports received. After the plane crashes and innocent people die, the airline officially declares "We can't be certain loose rivets caused the crash."

This week's Panorama documentary further confirmed for me that those who cavalierly promote and push these drugs at alarming rates, while loudly crying "stigma," are actually trying to stigmatize those who have been harmed by the real effects of these drugs. Further, they don't value all human lives equally: those who suffer fatal side effects seem inconsequential.

A publicly-funded PR campaign doesn't exist for those who have suffered and/or died from these drugs. We don't have well-oiled PR machines to spin false data nor journalists ready to write misleading stories in the mainstream press. We don't take drug money in exchange for dishonest research. When we speak truth to medical power, it is we who are negatively labeled by an uncaring profession and corrupt regulators who have personally profited from drug industry ties.

But there is one thing we do have--something priceless that no marketing budget can buy: our honest and real lived experiences. If you're still uncertain about the adverse drug reactions Zoloft and other SSRIs cause, read the diary entries of a barely nineteen-year old girl who unwittingly documented her adverse drug reactions and psychiatric abuse. Natalie Gehrki, barely 5 feet tall and 110 pounds, was prescribed Zoloft in increasing doses. Her final dose was prescribed over the phone without ever being seen by her doctor. The doctor did not inform Natalie's mom that an increase had been directed and since Natalie already had the Zoloft prescription in hand, she simply took the maximum dose as her trusted doctor instructed.

Like Holmes' doctor, Natalie's doctor failed to recognize signs of SSRI-induced akathisia, and she increased the offending drug (Zoloft). Holmes was prescribed 150 milligrams of Zoloft at the time of his psychotic murders spree; Natalie was prescribed 200 milligrams and violence ensued a few days after consumption. Blood tests later showed Natalie was not an efficient metabolizer of SSRI drugs. Oh, well; perhaps the FDA might look into metabolization issues one day so other children might live?

"Netherworld," Natalie's story produced by Miller, is available for free here.

Further SSRI/Homicide related cases

Investigative reporter, Andrew Thibault, has uncovered much more through a series of Freedom of Information requests from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Many of the documents were heavily redacted, but all have one thing in common: All patients carried out an act of homicide whilst under the influence of a SSRI. The documents have been made public, and I wrote a series of blog posts about this back in 2016.

Seroxat/Paxil (paroxetine) - GlaxoSmithKline
Cipramil/Celexa (citalopram) &  Lexapro/Cipralex (escitalopram) - Lundbeck/Forest
Prozac (fluoxetine) - Lilly
Lustral/Zoloft (sertraline) - Pfizer

To view A Prescription For Murder, go to the BBC IPlayer here. (UK ONLY)

Shout out to Katinka Blackford Newman, author of The Pill That Steals Lives, who was the development researcher for this programme.

Bob Fiddaman & Kristina Gehrki

1. When Leonie and Tony Met Lundbeck (citalopram manufacturers)
2. Letters From a Generation RX (Featuring David Carmichael)

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

EXCLUSIVE: MHRA Asked Sky News to Remove Antidepressant Reference

The controversy and confusion created last week by MHRA and their Sky News article continues. In the interview, MHRA enforcement officer, Danny Lee-Frost, stated, “...sleeping pills and antidepressants are a lot more dangerous. People have committed suicide as the ultimate resort to try to get off them. They are fiercely addictive.”

The original article aired on the Sky News website at 10:14 am on Thursday, July 20.

I wrote to Lee-Frost approximately an hour later asking:
Is it now the position of the MHRA that antidepressants are addictive and that "people have committed suicide as the ultimate resort to try and get off them?"
Can you clarify that this is a personal belief or one of the MHRA?
Lee-Frost promptly responded:
Dear Mr Fiddaman
Thank you for your enquiry regarding the article commissioned by Sky News on the dangers of buying medicines online.
I work in the Enforcement group and my role is concerned with investigating illegal activity involving medicines. I am not medically qualified and therefore matters of clinical diagnosis are not in my area of expertise.
The focus of this piece was the online sale and supply of medicines and the increased use of Facebook as a medium of sale.
Part of the interview concerned sleeping tablets and I referred to Zopiclone and Diazepam specifically.
We have seen an increase in the number of websites offering both of these medicines for sale. Sky presented evidence that both were available on Facebook and I asked for details of the sites they had found in order to make further enquiries.
We also discussed the dangers of purchasing large quantities of these medicines from websites without medical supervision and the increasing amounts that we are seizing as part of our enforcement activities.
My reference to suicides was in relation to a case that the MHRA is aware of involving addiction to Zopliclone.
Sky did not include the interview in its entirety in their piece.
Danny Lee-Frost MSc
Head of Operations
Enforcement Group 
What's striking here is the timeline of events.

At 3.15 pm Sky News edited its original version and omitted part of Lee-Frost's original statement. The statement had been changed to, "The sleeping pills and antidepressants are a lot more dangerous. Sleeping pills particularly, they can be addictive. People have committed suicide as the ultimate resort to try and get off them. These are fiercely addictive."

However, the video of Lee-Frost's original statement remained on the Sky News website.
Screenshots, with Sky News provided subtitles, are found below:

The original video can be viewed here, with Lee-Frost's 18-second segment here.

Puzzled as to why Sky News would change Lee-Frost's direct quotes and make edits after publication, I inquired:

Stephanie Jones, Sky News PR Manager, states:
"The changes were made after MHRA got in touch to clarify Frost's comments. They made the point that antidepressants shouldn't be included with sleeping pills."
Hmm...MHRA and Lee-Frost's original statements couldn't possibly be referring to ads such as this, now could they?

All ads still remain on Facebook today.

Lee-Frost's Email Response

Let's look at the email Lee-Frost sent me, in particular, his statement:

"My reference to suicides was in relation to a case that the MHRA is aware of involving addiction to Zopiclone."

This new info is troubling as nowhere on the product labeling does it suggest Zopiclone can be addictive. Moreover, the SPC label does not mention suicide being a result of withdrawing from Zopiclone.

The  SPC-DOC_PL 41684-0003.PDF is hosted on the MHRA website and was last updated on 02/06/2017

If Zopiclone is or can be addictive as soon as you start taking it, as Lee-Frost suggests (see video) then why does MHRA omit this info on its website? Moreover, if Zopiclone is a drug where "people have committed suicide as the ultimate resort to try to get off them," why is this relevant information not included by MHRA in the SPC?

The SPC for the other drug mentioned  in Lee-Frost's  reply, Diazepam, does not support Lee-Frost's two claims that:

1) withdrawal can lead to suicide and
2) is "fiercely addictive once you start taking them"

On the subject of dependency (addiction), the Patient Information Leaflet for Diazepam states:
Dependence: When taking this medicine there is a risk of dependence (a need to keep taking the medicine). The risk increases with the dose and length of treatment period.

As you see, the Patient Information Leaflet clearly states the risk of addiction increases with the length of the treatment period. It does not state it "can be addictive as soon as you start taking it." Therefore, it's safe to assume MHRA believes neither Zopiclone or Diazepam can cause addiction as soon one starts taking them, nor can they cause people to carry out "suicide as the ultimate resort to try to get off them" as Lee-Frost claimed.

According to MHRA's public documents, Lee-Frost's claims are false. So why would Lee-Frost believe differently than his employer, the MHRA? (Remember, Lee-Frost is the head Enforcement Officer of the MHRA!)

Why would he make repeated statements that antidepressants can be addictive and cause suicide upon withdrawal if he did not know this to be true?

Why would he later claim he was speaking about Zopiclone and Diazepam instead of antidepressants as he said in his original article?

Why would MHRA contact Sky News and direct them to change their Enforcement Officer's own statement?

I think I know why and my readers likely know why, too. I believe in his Sky News interview, Lee-Frost was speaking about antidepressants as a whole. He subconsciously told the truth, something MHRA didn't appreciate. I believe MHRA knows that drugs labeled "antidepressants" are addicting. It appears MHRA also knows "antidepressant" withdrawal is such torture that some people would rather die than suffer these drug side effects. Hence, sufferers end their lives. I don't prefer to call these drug-induced deaths "suicides" as they are iatrogenic.

Stay tuned: Next week the saga continues with the MHRA and Lee-Frost responses.

Lee-Frost now claims the suicide related to Zopiclone withdrawal he referred to in his first email to me, was simply "anecdotal."


(of an account) not necessarily true or reliable, because based on personal accounts rather than facts or research

Bob Fiddaman

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Danny Lee-Frost of the MHRA


A u-turn, a misquote, a mistake?

Call it what you will but the MHRA's head of enforcement, Danny Lee-Frost, pictured above, has been quoted by Sky News today in an article about prescription drugs being sold illegally on Facebook.

Frost said,  "The sleeping pills and antidepressants are a lot more dangerous. People have committed suicide as the ultimate resort to try and get off them. These are fiercely addictive." He added, "...we are now seeing a lot more sleeping tablets, seeing a lot more anti-anxieties, diazepam and benzo-diazepam, those types of products, being available. The sleeping pills and antidepressants are a lot more dangerous, they're a lot more addictive."

Is this finally an admittance from the MHRA that antidepressants are addictive?

I wrote the following to Frost and various departments within the MHRA. I will let you know should I get a reply.

Dear Mr. Frost,

Is it now the position of the MHRA that antidepressants are addictive and that people have committed suicide as the ultimate resort to try and get off them?

I ask, because you have been quoted on Sky News today in the article here. (See update below)

Can you clarify that this is a personal belief or one of the MHRA.

Many thanks.

Bob Fiddaman

The original article was posted on Sky News at 10.14am

I contact the MHRA aand Danny Lee-Frost at 11.38am

Sky News change their page with edits at 3.15pm

OLD PAGE - posted on Sky News at 10.14am
Click to enlarge.
Video evidence after the pictures.

And here's a video of Mr. Lee-Frost confirming that "sleeping pills and antidepressants are a lot more dangerous. People have committed suicide as the ultimate resort to try and get off them."


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Barends Psychology Practice: The Chemical Imbalance Debate

Located in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Barends Psychology Practice brings together an international team of licensed psychologists offering a range of treatments both face-to-face and online. Our peaceful, friendly practice is an ideal setting where you’ll feel safe and confident to explore your mental health and emotional issues.

Face to face therapy: 

First session is free of charge.

Individual session of 45 – 60 mins.: € 45

Couples session of 45 – 60 mins.: € 45

Online therapy fees:

First session is free of charge.

Individual session of 45 – 60 mins.: € 45

Couples session of 45 – 60 mins.: € 45

Here's what they say about depression and the chemical imbalance.

"...depression and depression symptoms can be caused and triggered by a chemical imbalance in the brains." (Source)

So, I asked for proof of this dangerous claim.

In essence, Niels Barends, who is the owner of Barends Psychology Practice, wants proof that the chemical imbalance theory (he claimed) can be disproven. Isn't this like saying, I saw a tooth fairy last night and it's up to you to prove that I didn't?

Furthermore, Barends is claiming that he is not  a "big fan of medication" yet by touting the chemical imbalance nonsense he is showing his patients that they have something wrong in their brains. Remember, a chemical imbalance is, apparently, something that can be corrected by medication. Just pick up any patient information leaflet for any antidepressant if you don't believe me.

Barends Psychology Practice may or may not recommend antidepressant therapy. If they don't then how do they plan to change the apparent chemcal imbalance inside someone's brain?

This is basically like talking to a spirit level (pictured above) and telling it that you want the surface to be flat and not uneven.

A counsellor applying no logic is, in my opinion, a dangerous one.

Here's some constructive advice for all those who ply their trade at Barends Psychology Practice. It's an article from, an informational tool for students who may want to enroll in a program to obtain a master’s degree in counseling. The article, entitled, "Why Counselors Must Think Critically", highlights how there is a difference between personal opinion and reasoned thought, or critical thinking. Something, it appears, that Niels Barends is lacking in.

The aticle clearly states, "Critical thinking skills require not only a knowledge of logic, including how to avoid logical fallacies that lead to unsupported conclusions."

Enjoy sir.

Bob Fiddaman

Experts who Debunk the Chemical Imbalance Theory

 “Chemical imbalance? Well, it’s a shorthand term really, it’s probably drug-industry derived, I suppose. But it’s the idea that there are really abnormalities in the neurotransmitters … in our brains. And we don’t have the test, because to do it you’d probably have to take a chunk of brain out of someone, not a good idea. We have some blood tests that help a few things, such as lithium levels and other things we use for therapeutic drugs. But I agree, there aren’t any blood tests.” ~ Marc Graff, Psychiatrist and spokesman for the American Psychiatric Association


 “To date, studies have failed to demonstrate that people with the commonest psychiatric diagnoses have a brain-biochemical imbalance. The studies on all the main diagnostic categories of psychiatry are plagued by a significant problem: the people being tested have almost always already received psychotropic medication, so if there is a blood, brain or liver disorder, this may have been caused by the treatment. Physical tests on people diagnosed, but not yet treated, in the psychiatric system, would be the only way to find out if there were a difference between these people and the general public. This never happens, as most people first encounter a GP who, instead of asking for blood and other tests to demonstrate a psychiatric condition, simply prescribes a psychotropic drug or refers on to a psychiatrist.” ~ Craig Newnes, Clinical Psychologist


“Psychiatrists have no way of telling that someone has a chemical imbalance. The idea that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance is simply a hypothesis. There is no consistent evidence that there is any biochemical abnormality in people diagnosed as depressed. The idea has been promoted by drug companies and professional organisations, but the evidence base for it is almost non existent.”  Prof. Joanna Moncrieff


“There is no test for depression.  Our understanding of the brain is simply not sophisticated enough.”  ~ Dr Jim Bolton, Lecturer in Psychiatry, St. George’s Hospital, London


“There’s no biological imbalance. When people come to me and they say, ‘I have a biological imbalance,’ I say, ‘Show me your lab tests.’ There are no lab tests. So what’s the biochemical imbalance?” Dr. Ron Leifer, New York psychiatrist


“If a psychiatrist says you have a shortage of a chemical, ask for a blood test and watch the psychiatrist’s reaction. The number of people who believe that scientists have proven that depressed people have low serotonin is a glorious testament to the power of marketing.” ~ Jonathan Leo, associate professor of anatomy at Western University of Health Sciences


“Despite the billions of pharmaceutical company funding in support of the chemical imbalance theory, this psychiatric “disease” model is thoroughly debunked. Diabetes is a biochemical imbalance. However, “the definitive test and biochemical imbalance is a high blood sugar balance level. Treatment in severe cases is insulin injections, which restore sugar balance. The symptoms clear and retest shows the blood sugar is normal,” Nothing like a sodium imbalance or blood sugar imbalance exists for depression or any other psychiatric syndrome.” ~ Joseph Glenmullen of Harvard Medical School


“First, no biological etiology [cause] has been proven for any psychiatric disorder…in spite of decades of research.…So don’t accept the myth that we can make an ‘accurate diagnosis’.…Neither should you believe that your problems are due solely to a chemical imbalance.” ~ Edward Drummond, M.D., Associate Medical Director at Seacoast Mental Health Center in Portsmouth, New Hampshire


 “Remember that no biochemical, neurological, or genetic markers have been found for attention deficit disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, compulsive alcohol and drug abuse, overeating, gambling, or any other so‐called mental illness, disease, or disorder.” ~ Psychologist Bruce Levine, Ph.D


“People are convinced that the origins of mental illnesses are to be found in biology, when, despite more than three decades of research, there still is no proof…The absences of any well‐defined physical causation is reflected in the absence of any laboratory tests for psychiatric diagnoses—much in contrast to diabetes and many other physical disorders.” ~ Charles E. Dean, M.D


“There are no tests available for assessing the chemical status of a living person’s brain.” ~ Elliot Valenstein, Ph.D.


“Patients have been diagnosed with ‘chemical imbalances’ despite the fact that no test exists to support such a claim, and...there is no real conception of what a correct chemical balance would look like.” ~ Psychiatrist David Kaiser


“Biopsychiatrists have created the myth that psychiatric ‘wonder’ drugs correct chemical imbalances. Yet there is no basis for this model because no chemical imbalance has ever been proven to be the basis of a mental illness,” ~ Ty C. Colbert, a clinical psychologist.


“The whole theory was invented to push drugs. “The way to sell drugs is to sell psychiatric illness.” Carl Elliot, a bioethicist, University of Minnesota.


“For the past twenty-five years, the psychiatric establishment has told us a false story. It told us that schizophrenia, depression, and bipolar illness are known to be brain diseases, even though—as the MindFreedom hunger strike revealed—it can’t direct us to any scientific studies that document this claim. It told us that psychiatric medications fix chemical imbalances in the brain, even though decades of research failed to find this to be so. It told us that Prozac and the other second-generation psychotropics were much better and safer than the first-generation drugs, even though the clinical studies had shown no such thing. Most important of all, the psychiatric establishment failed to tell us that the drugs worsen long-term outcomes.”  ~  Robert Whitaker, Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America


“The idea that depression is caused by low levels of serotonin and that certain antidepressants raise the levels of this neurotransmitter, is a myth.”  ~  Professor David Healy, professor of psychiatry and author


“The only biochemical imbalances in the brains of those who see a psychiatrist … are those that are put in there by a psychiatrist.”  ~  Peter R. Breggin, Psychiatrist & MD


“The world is engulfed in a mass delusion regarding depression.  The widespread belief that brain chemical imbalances are present in depression has no scientific basis.  In fact, this is a fixed belief that meets all the criteria of a mass delusion.  If you are one of the millions of people who believe that biochemical brain imbalances are known to occur in depression, then you too have become seriously misinformed.” ~ Dr. Terry Lynch - DEPRESSION DELUSION, Volume One: The Myth of the Brain Chemical Imbalance


“The one thing we do know is that the chemical imbalance theory - the theory that people get depressed when they don't have enough serotonin in their brain - we know that that's wrong.  ~ Irving Kirsch, Associate Director of the Program in Placebo Studies and a lecturer in medicine at the Harvard Medical School


“Both depression and anxiety disorders, for example, are repeatedly described in the media as 'chemical imbalances in the brain,' as if spontaneous neural events with no relation to anything outside a person's brain cause depression and anxiety.”  ~ Siri Hustvedt, American novelist and essayist

Monday, July 17, 2017

Paxil/Zoloft Homicide - "Unlabelled Potential Side Effects"

Last year I wrote about Andrew Thibault who, just like me, has been at loggerheads with the those who oversee the safety and efficacy of drugs on the market. Thibault has successfully obtained many documents off the FDA, which he has made public at

Earlier today a series of tweets peaked my interest. Pharmabuse is a Twitter account that has the tagline, 'Parents Against Pharmaceutical Abuse (PAPA)', and their website, is a minefield of information.

Rather brilliantly, Thibault has filed a lawsuit against the FDA because, well, because they don't seem to be playing ball with requests he made to them under the Freedom of Information Act. (Sound familiar?)

Thibault's series of FOIA's involved questions relating to documents that the FDA had in their possession regarding psychiatric medication and homicide, moreover whether or not there was a link to the two.

A 25 page document highlights the FDA's obvious stonewalling of Thibault, a game that drug regulators like to play with anyone who asks for records that may show them in a bad light. The document is a fascinating read and I urge you all to read and share it, if only to see the outcome :-)

So, what has the title of my blog post got to do with the MHRA?

Well, earlier today Thibault made another document publicly available, a document which he obtained under the FOIA from the FDA. It involves two antidepressants, namely setraline (Zoloft) and paroxetine (Paxil/Seroxat). The document is AERS Case Number 6330848 and is just 4 pages in length. It's an adverse event report from an unknown person (it's been redacted) who experienced the following side effects whilst taking both paroxetine and sertraline...

Suicidal ideation
Suicide attempt

As you will note, there is one adverse event in the list that sticks out like a sore thumb: Homicide.

The causality assessment regarding homicide reads "possible."

When carrying out an assessment of the adverse reaction report the MHRA , according to the tweet I recieved earlier, had this to say about both drugs. Pay particular attention to the last paragraph.


I'm not quite sure what "unlabelled potential side effects" means? According to Pfizer  an unlabelled side effect is an unexpected adverse event. Begs the question, how many more have they had?

It's interesting, to me at least, that the MHRA have thrown in the word 'potential' which, in essence, means possible, likely, or probable.

It's quite bizarre that, in its assessment, the MHRA can state quite clearly that agitation
depression, restlessness, suicidal ideation and a suicide attempt were assessed and rated as possibly related to paroxetine use yet, despite this, they claim there is insufficient evidence to assess the causality regarding the homicide, opting instead to label it as an "unlabelled potential side effect." They do pretty much the same in their assessment of sertraline.

When you read this four page adverse event in conjunction with the 25-page court document filed by Thibault all, it seems, becomes crystal clear. In filing his lawsuit Thibault claims that the FDA told him in a telephone conversation the subject matter he had requested "did not make for fun reading", adding that he (Thibault) "should take into account "psychiatric diagnoses of the patients."

It's almost as if they have resigned themselves to the fact that the information is explosive yet, on the same hand, they are guiding Thibault away from the medication causing the adverse events and leading him toward their blame the patient mantra which they have spewed for many years.

Both the FDA and the MHRA maintain that SSRIs do not cause a person to carry out a homicidal act. This despite a large number of high profile cases that implicate many SSRIs. I covered many of Thibault's FOIA documents last year that, to me at least, show a very worrying link. Back stories at the foot of this post.

For years they have covered up the withdrawal problems patients face when taking these drugs, they have covered up the suicide links regarding these drugs. Safe to assume then they are sitting on more information regarding the homicide link with these drugs. But hey ho, I'm just a smeary conspiracy theorist.

The full 4-page document is now available here.

Thibault's lawsuit against the FDA can be accessed here.

Well done Mr. Thibault. I salute you, sir.

On Wednesday July 26, 2017 Panorama will air in the UK in an hour long special and will reveal the devastating side effects that can lead to psychosis, violence, possibly even murder.

The BBC website reads...

With exclusive access to psychiatric reports, court footage and drug company data, reporter Shelley Jofre investigates the mass killings at the 2012 midnight premiere of a Batman movie in Aurora, Colorado. 24-year-old PhD student James Holmes, who had no record of violence or gun ownership, murdered 12 and injured 70. Did the SSRI anti-depressant he had been prescribed play a part in the killings?
Panorama has uncovered other cases of murder and extreme violence which could be linked to psychosis developed after the taking of SSRIs- including a father who strangled his 11-year-old son.
Panorama asks if enough is known about this rare side effect, and if doctors are unwittingly prescribing what could be a prescription for murder.

I, for one, will be watching it.

Bob Fiddaman

Previously in the Homicide Files series.

Please contact me if you would like a guest post considered for publication on my blog.