Monsanto Roundup Lawsuit

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Guest Post: Let's Bring Akathisia Out of the Darkness







Sometimes a person comes into your life for all the wrong reasons - I've had it happen to me on numerous occasions - Neil and Rhonda Carlin (Parents Sara), Leonie Fennell and Tony Donnelly (Parents of Shane) - Stephany Gatchell (Mother of Sharise), Stephanie McGill Lynch and her husband John (Parents of Jake) - there have been many more.

No surprise, given the line of work that I do, that another parent who has suffered the heartache of losing her child to antidepressant induced suicide (prescripticide) and I should cross paths.

Kristina Kaiser Gehrki is a mother on a mission. Her story (below) is not uncommon. Pharmaceutical companies, medicine regulators, the majority of psychiatrists and even family doctors will have you believe that these are isolated incidents, yet, more and more people that I meet tell me similar stories ~ be they of losing children, siblings, parents, partners or friends to induced antidepressant suicide.

Suicide Organisations have a huge duty to protect the vulnerable (not just those who are depressed and who feel suicidal) ~ they need to put something in place that prevents the alarming number of people who die each year by suicide - they include the most vulnerable (those who find themselves caught in the system of ignorance and ill-informed professionals)

Kristina is a terrific writer, please make sure you read about her daughter, Natalie (Link to Natalie's story embedded in text below) - Yes, it's heart wrenching but it's something we cannot, nor indeed, should not, ignore.

As with all of the names above, I wish Kristina and I had never met, the only reason we have is because of another needless death ~ having said that, I truly value our friendship, as I do with those above. Not only do they share the inapt link of having lost loved ones to antidepressant induced suicide, they also share an amazing gift, an overwhelming love and compassion to make sure this doesn't happen to other loved ones - it's an act of unselfishness and we should all recognise and acknowledge that when reading and sharing their stories.

I hope one day to meet Kristina, I feel as though I already have.

Kristina, I salute you.

Bob Fiddaman.


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Let's Bring Akathisia Out of the Darkness

By Kristina Kaiser Gehrki


    On February 6, 2013, my nineteen-year-old daughter died from akathisia-induced “suicide” two days after taking 200 mg. of Zoloft, the maximum legal dose allowed. Natalie's doctor increased the drug over the phone, without ever seeing Natalie. Natalie was tortured for years by doctors who prescribed drugs she didn't need. You can read her story here.

At the time of her death, Natalie was suffering from SSRI-induced akathisia. I later spoke with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's (AFSP) chief medical officer to discuss how AFSP might increase akathisia awareness. Their response prompted my open letter.

September 27, 2016

An Open Letter to Christine Moutier, Chief Medical Officer of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)

Dear Dr. Moutier,

Remember me? I'm the Virginia mom who arrived home after a typical day of teaching high school to find my teenage daughter dead from violent, self-sustained injury. When I called you, and we spoke about Natalie's death, you requested her photo. Here it is. She was a beautiful person.



Sorry for the delay in providing Natalie's photo. Given that you're a trained psychiatrist, you likely understand navigating such profound grief takes time and energy. There is no “real recovery” from burying a child who died an avoidable death. But that's not what delayed sharing Natalie's picture. Let me explain.

As I shared on the phone, Natalie's death wasn't a typical suicide. At the time of her death, she was suffering from serotonin toxicity and akathisia, two life-threatening side effects of SSRI drugs. She was also a writer, who even up to the end, tried to make sense of what was happening to her. Here's a note left on her nightstand.





I now know upper GI bleeding is one of many listed adverse side effects of SSRI drugs. Other side effects Natalie suffered include a change of gait, memory loss, insomnia, crawling skin, violent nightmares, extreme agitation and anxiety, swollen throat, uncontrollable shaking, sensitivity to light, diarrhea and headache. She thought she had the flu, which is what Natalie texted to friends.


Walgreen's Walks for Natalie

At the time of her death, Natalie worked in the Walgreen's beauty department while attending college. (Although she worked steps away from the product that would lead to her death, Natalie's Zoloft prescription was filled at another pharmacy because of our insurance provider.)

When Walgreen's coworkers asked to organize an AFSP  “Out of the Darkness” walk for Natalie, I was initially reluctant because I knew her death was precipitated by akathisia. By this time, an international medical expert had been consulted and determined Natalie's demise and death were caused by the two Zoloft increases and the doctor's care. Nevertheless, we held the AFSP walk for Natalie since there was no walk for "Akathisia Awareness," or "Adverse Drug Reactions."

People who die from self-sustained injury while suffering from SSRI-induced akathisia don't end their lives because they are depressed. Rather, patients who end their lives while experiencing the acutely discomforting symptoms of akathisia likely feel that “death is a welcome alternative.” (Source)

Here's a photo from 2013.




Back to Our Phone Conversation

Given that prescribers repeatedly failed to share akathisia information and the FDA Black Box warnings, I had never heard of akathisia before Natalie died. But you had. Akathisia is not as rare as the public is led to believe.

When I asked about akathisia, you confirmed your knowledge. After I shared akathisia precipitated Natalie's death, you quickly inquired about Natalie's “illness.” I explained that despite years of medical “care,” Natalie's doctors never provided a specific diagnosis. I stated Natalie's symptoms included an increased focus on dieting and exercise. You replied that people with “eating disorders” often have a higher rate of suicide. That might be true, Dr. Moutier, but Natalie did not have an eating disorder: She had akathisia. 

I informed you that—over the phone, without seeing her patient—Natalie's doctor increased Zoloft to 200 mg., the maximum dose legally allowed. I shared that her doctor stated Natalie “was not depressed” and told Natalie to take more Zoloft due to “OCD-like symptoms.” Many doctors misdiagnose the symptoms of akathisia and instead blame this SSRI side effect as a sign of some worsening illness. They then wrongly increase the dosage of the offending drug, causing their patient's further demise. 

I asked if AFSP supports prescribing Black Box drugs over the phone. You replied that people who live in rural areas might not otherwise have access to see a doctor for prescriptions. While not relevant to my family as we live in a metropolitan area, it begs the question: Does AFSP support the FDA prescribing guidelines for SSRIs? These guidelines clearly state patients should be closely monitored, and caregivers informed to watch for and report any unusual changes in behavior whenever SSRIs are started, stopped or a dosage changed. As a former military wife, I am concerned about the high suicide rate among our troops, many of whom are prescribed SSRI Black Box drugs with no close monitoring. 


Your Call to Remove Black Box Warnings

After our phone conversation, I wondered why a suicide prevention organization dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide, seems to deny that akathisia causes suicidal thoughts, suicidal actions and suicide itself. (Akathisia can also cause violent harm to others.) My shock increased in June 2014, when you publicly called for an end to the SSRI Black Box warnings. (Source)

Other medical research seems to escape AFSP advocacy. In June 2016, it was reported most antidepressant drugs don't work for kids. It received national coverage, but I did not see AFSP publicizing these findings. (Most Antidepressants Don't Work for Kids, Study Finds ~ NBC News)


My Call for Akathisia Awareness & Action

It's too late for me to save my daughter. It's too late for anyone to save my daughter. But it is never too late to save others by bringing akathisia out of the darkness. Therefore, we made new signs for our AFSP walk earlier this week. I also share Natalie's akathisia-induced death on my AFSP story page.

Here are photos from 2016





Many other families who've lost loved ones to akathisia also advocate for education and awareness. They include victims of all ages. (see missd.co) We can't raise the kind of money AFSP takes from pharmaceutical companies. But together we can raise akathisia awareness so that healthcare consumers and practitioners can avoid such tragedy.

I ask people to help AFSP bring akathisia “out of the darkness” simply by:


Dr. Moutier, thank you for taking my previous phone call. I've learned a lot since Natalie's passing. Above all is that a mother's love doesn't die with her child, it is simply refocused.

Sincerely, 

Kristina Kaiser Gehrki

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Ex L’Oréal Marketeer To Take Over From Witty










Emma Walmsley, 47, is to take over the reigns from GSK's Andrew Witty on April 1, 2017 - Yup, April the first folks.

Who was it that said, "This shit just writes itself?"

Walmsley, according to the Guardian, is a married mother of four and was born in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.

I don't want to dwell on this - I just hope she can show more compassion then her predecessors.


Bob Fiddaman

Guardian - Emma Walmsley profile: from marketing at L'Oréal to GSK chief

















Monday, September 19, 2016

Advocates Against Prescribed Akathisia









Akathisia - now there's a word.

It's a word that should be spread far and wide, a word that should be...but sadly isn't.

The pharmaceutical industry and, indeed, global medicine regulators and, to an extent, the field of psychiatry, play it down. Your average Dr probably doesn't even know what it is, even if he/she has heard the term before they probably don't know exactly what it means, more importantly, how dangerous induced akathisia can be. If the symptoms of akathisia occur on one SSRI many doctors just assume the patient can't tolerate that particular SSRI and end up giving them another brand - It's ignorant and unprofessional, more importantly, deathly!

So, what is it and why is important that the definition of akathisia be spread far and wide?

As always, it's best to leave it to the experts on matters like these. Not psychiatrists, not pharmacologists who work for the pharma funded regulators, but survivors of those who have witnessed akathisia first hand.

One such person is Wendy Dolin (pictured) whose husband, Stewart, experienced akathisia shortly before ending his life. The akathisia, according to a lawsuit, was induced by Paxil, the antidepressant that Stewart was taking shortly before killing himself.

Wendy is the founder of Medication-Induced Suicide Prevention and Education Foundation in Memory of Stewart Dolin (MISSD). Part of that education is to teach about akathisia.

The 'What is akathisia?' page on MISSD cuts straight to the chase...

"Akathisia is a disorder, induced by SSRI medications, which can cause a person to experience such intense inner restlessness that the sufferer is driven to violence and/or suicide."

It's really that simple - no messages of "Well, it's difficult to explain and unknown if it's caused by SSRi's" - the kind of nonsense one would get back from Dr's, regulators and pharmaceutical helplines.

Akathisia is dangerous and can ultimately lead to acts of violence, including homicide, and/or completion of suicide. It's ironic that the very same pill prescribed to prevent thoughts of suicide actually induces thoughts of akathisia, which is a pre-cursor to suicide. The one small grain of hope one can take from this is that it's evident. So, a loved one of yours starts or misses a dose of any SSRI and starts to feel an inner restlessness is a sure sign that he/she is in turmoil, such a turmoil that they may drive themselves to carry out an act of violence (sometimes homicide) and/or kill themselves.

Wendy, whose story I've covered countless times on this blog, is a network member of  USA Safe Patient Network, a group of ordinary people who focus on the safety and efficacy of medical treatments. In the next few days the USA Safe Patient Network will release their monthly newsletter in which the spotlight is thrown on her advocacy work with regard to getting the message out about akathisia.

Wendy talks openly about why she became an advocate and even offers advice to those just starting out on their journey regarding raising awareness about non efficacious and unsafe prescription drugs.

CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE


It's all about preventing the unimaginable folks and Wendy does so with a void left in her life. Her husband did not have to die - he did not intentionally jump in front of a train - he was pushed by the hands of a drug company who were well aware of the akathisia link many years ago but decided to underplay the risk and keep it in-house.

USA Safe Patient Network looks like a fairly decent place to join and discuss patient safety. Kim Witczak, who lost her husband, Woody, to Zoloft induced suicide, is also a member. More about Kim in a future post. This remarkable woman goes head to head with medicine regulators out in the states and is recently back from Washington after meeting with FDA officials regarding the anti-smoking cessation drug, Chantix, also known as Champix ~ known amongst a lot of truth tellers as 'yet another suicide pill'. Anyway, more on Kim's advocacy work at a later date.

In the meantime, if you are sharing this post, be it on Facebook or Twitter, be sure to use the hashtag #Akathisia.

Bob Fiddaman.




Saturday, September 17, 2016

Lariam Pulled From Sale in Ireland





RTE News are reporting today that the anti-malarial drug, Lariam (Mefloquine), has been withdrawn from sale in Ireland.

Side effects reported with Lariam include, but are not limited to, aggression, paranoia, suicidal thinking, completed suicide.

Lariam is no stranger to controversy and a number of pending legal actions in Ireland is, according to manufacturer Roche, not the reason why it has been withdrawn.

According to Roche, "Lariam was taken off sale following "a portfolio reassessment" by the company."

They add that "it remains available in 16 European countries."

Slightly worrying.

Back in August 2015 I wrote to the British drug regulator, the MHRA, regarding the number of associated completed suicides on Lariam, a figure I pulled from the MHRA database.

They told me...

"Of the nine UK spontaneous suspected ADR reports of suicide associated with mefloquine, I can confirm that three of the cases were followed up by the MHRA with either the reporting doctor or family member. Two cases were reported to us by pharmaceutical companies and so follow-up was conducted by the Marketing Authorisation Holder.
"The remaining four cases were received between 1998 and 2002 and as such were previously stored in our legacy ADR database. We do not hold records of follow up letters to cases from our legacy database and can confirm that we have no record of any further communications regarding these cases."

Remarkably, the MHRA continue to give the antidepressant, Seroxat, a clean bill of health despite it being reported that there have been  65 reports of completed suicide via the MHRA database. Lariam, to date, has 12 reports of completed suicide associated with its use.

Lariam (Mefloquine) Roche
12 reports of completed suicides (MHRA)

Seroxat (Paroxetine) GlaxoSmithKline
65 reports of completed suicide (MHRA)

Lariam removed from sale in Ireland.

Seroxat still prescribed in Ireland.

The current CEO of the MHRA is Dr Ian Hudson.

Before joining the MHRA Dr Hudson was the Head of World Safety at GlaxoSmithKline.

Do the maths!

--

Just sayin'

Bob Fiddaman.





Thursday, September 15, 2016

“Honestly, I don’t regret a single decision,” says Witty








'How GlaxoSmithKline Took Its Medicine' by Forbes journo Matthew Herper is an interesting read. It's fairly balanced and, for once, we see a journalist not blowing smoke up the ass of GlaxoSmithKline's Chief Executive, Andrew Witty.

'How GlaxoSmithKline Took Its Medicine' sees Herper delve into Witty's time in charge of the British pharmaceutical giant, much of which has been tainted by the stench left for Witty by his predecessor, JP Garnier. Heper's peice even features some selected quotes from Witty, many of which kind of stick in my teeth, given that so many people have been harmed by his company's medicines.

Herper's post tries to show how Witty, unlike his predecessor, JP Garnier, has strived to make things better at GlaxoSmithKline since he took the hot seat off the Frenchman 8 years ago. In doing so, Herper has missed a couple of key factors that have arisen during Witty's control of GSK.

Witty seems to paint the picture that he is whiter than white with his carefully chosen quotes, one such is his apparent apology following the $3 billion fine handed down to his company when they plead guilty to a host of violations, including fraud and bribery.

Herper notes that at the time of the guilty plea Witty offered the following apology in a prepared statement. “On behalf of GSK, I want to express our regret and reiterate that we have learnt from the mistakes that were made.” 

No mention of the patients harmed and killed by the drugs in question. No mention, apart from a line or so, of the sickening way in which Glaxo's reps targeted Dr's to prescribe Paxil (a drug known to induce suicidal thoughts and completion in this population) - okay, it happened on Garnier's watch but are we expected to believe that Witty knew nothing about the way in which Garnier set his stall?

No mention, either, of when Witty used to work under Garnier .

Witty's Wellbutrin Years

Between the years of 1997 and 1998 Witty was head of the Glaxo Wellcome marketing team. (1)

1997/98 is a period of time where Witty was heavily involved in marketing although there are very few articles left on the internet that show this.

Glaxo Wellcome's VP-General Manager of Marketing Andrew Witty, as he was known between 1997/98, worked very closely with prescription drug ads on TV. This is known as DTC or Direct to Consumer advertising.

In August 1997 the US Food and Drug Administration [FDA] relaxed its rules on DTC, it basically meant that the FDA were giving carte blanche to the pharmaceutical industry whereby they could promote their products in TV ads without giving detailed medical information on the indications, potential side effects, or proper use.

Witty was quick to pounce. Why wouldn't he? DTC is lucrative for the pharmaceutical industry, well, it is in America and New Zealand as these are the only two countries that allow TV ads for prescription medication.

Witty added more products in 1997 with Glaxo's new anti-smoking pill Zyban, [buproprion] which got an estimated $55 million in support (the brand even got TV teaser ads prior to its launch)

For those who don't know, Zyban is also in fact Wellbutrin which is an antidepressant that Glaxo marketed off-label for a whole host of reasons that it was never indicated for.  They subsequently pleaded guilty and this plea was part of the reason why a $3 billion fine was handed down to them.

So, if Witty was Vice President of marketing for Glaxo in 1997 he, surely, would have known the ins-and outs, or Garnier's policy, on illegal marketing, right?

It emerged through the DOJ suit that Glaxo hired celebrities to promote Wellbutrin via radio shows, something Herper picks up on in his article...

"Glaxo paid Drew Pinsky, who parlayed a radio show giving teenagers sex advice into the celebrity persona of “Dr. Drew,” $275,000 for two months to talk about antidepressants and sex. Dr. Drew gave an interview where he segued from talking about a woman who said she had 60 orgasms in a row to saying how Glaxo’s Wellbutrin was better for the libido than other antidepressants. Pinsky didn’t disclose at the time that Glaxo was paying him; no charges were brought against Pinsky."


Question is, did Witty, as VP of marketing, have anything to do with payments made to Pinsky? Someone made the decision, someone signed off and agreed.


Transparency for Victims of Glaxo Products

Nothing has been mentioned about Witty's role of VP of marketing. Instead we see deflection and Witty cover himself in garlands by making claims that Glaxo have opened its doors to published and unpublished clinical trial results - good ones and bad ones. Witty fails to mention that his company were forced to do so as part of a settlement agreement. It's akin to someone on parole helping pensioners around their homes - they, the parolees, have to do it - just as Witty had to open the door of transparency into GlaxoSmithKline, even though it's only slightly open - to open it fully takes a lot of hoop jumping as the authors of the RIAT study found out when requesting information on the Paxil trial results in children and adolescents.

Witty has also been approached regarding the current UK Seroxat (Paxil) litigation where over 100 people have claimed that GSK's drug caused them severe withdrawal problems.

Back in 2011, Janice Simmons, who operates the Seroxat User Group, wrote to GSK to request a meeting with GlaxoSmithKline's CEO, Andrew Witty. To her surprise, GSK’s UK medical director Dr Pim Kon wrote back asking what she wished to discuss...adding that they cannot give advice to patients, they need to seek that from their healthcare professionals.

Janice informed Dr Kon that she wished to discuss the issue of Seroxat withdrawal. Kon wrote back telling Janice that they was not allowed to discuss personal matters with patients and that they should 'talk to their doctor'.(2)

Witty had a golden opportunity here to show his caring side, sadly, he chose not to, leaving the 100 or so in limbo, many of whom were still trying to taper off Seroxat.

Furthermore, when it was brought to Witty's attention that corruption was rife in its China operations, what did he do? Did he inform the authorities immediately or did he follow up the allegations? Well, neither, opting instead to hire a private detective (Peter Humphries) to try and find out who was making the allegations - it was only through the investigation that Witty and co, on the advice of Humphries, were told that there was a bigger problem than the anonymous whistleblower, the corruption was widespread. Only then did Witty and co come clean.

In Herper's piece Witty claims that at the time of the Chinese investigation into his company's bribery (funneled illegal payments to doctors and government officials in order to boost sales) he found it “Distressing”, adding that, “It was so counter to everything we were trying to do.”

Glaxo were subsequently fined almost $500 million after the investigation by Chinese authorities were complete. No prison sentences, apart from suspended sentences, were handed down to either Witty or the then Head of Chinese operations, Mark Reilly.

And what of the litigation brought against his company during his spell there? Okay, the litigation is a result of Glaxo's actions before Witty became Chief, but an apology would have been nice to the 800 or so women who either gave birth or aborted infants with birth defects caused by Paxil (Approx 800 cases have been settled out of court in the USA)

Witty, and GSK, are quick enough to sell their wares through Direct to Consumer ads but both are silent when it comes to making an apology to those very same consumers.

During Witty's reign its also come to light that his company played around with clinical trial results with Paxil, in as much that they hired a ghostwriter to say that the drug was safe in kids, when in actual fact it wasn't. The ghostwritten article still remains today and calls for its retraction have fallen on deaf ears. Again, Witty had a golden opportunity to show, at the very least, empathy but, for reasons unknown, he chose not to make any effort to retract the fraudulent article from the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Herper's article also sees Witty claim, “Honestly, I don’t regret a single decision.” Maybe not but it's the decisions that Witty never made that may just cause him a conscience in his later years as he nears a natural death from old age. After all, isn't it when we are on our death beds that we tend to repent or ask for forgiveness for the things we did, or didn't do?

Witty is set to leave GSK sometime next year. I'll leave the final words to him...

“Is everything right?” he asks. “No. Did we make mistakes? Yes. Did things go wrong? Yes. But it hasn’t put us off trying to improve. And I hope whoever takes over will continue trying to improve. Because there’s still plenty of things to keep improving.”


'How GlaxoSmithKline Took Its Medicine' can be read, in full, here.



Bob Fiddaman.

On-going GSK v Consumer litigation regarding Paxil.

UK Seroxat Litigation (Severe Withdrawal Problems)
US Paxil Suicide Litigation
US Paxil Birth Defect Litigation


(1) GlaxoSmithKline: The Andrew Witty "Era"
(2) GSK's Andrew Witty in Patient Aftercare Snub








Monday, September 12, 2016

EXCLUSIVE: Dr Ian Hudson: In Defence of the Suicide Pill






A chance meeting, a discussion, a common interest.

That's all it needs at times to stumble upon something you've been seeking for close to 10 years.

Video depositions have always fascinated me, they are better than the written depositions that we see within court documents. Most notably they show the subject answering questions, they show the subject in a much different light, they show the subject being evasive and choosing not to answer questions that may jeopardise the party he is appearing for. Moreover, they can be seen at later dates, when the subject has moved on to a different company or, in this instance, to head of the British drug regulator, the MHRA.

Ian Hudson is the former World Safety Officer for SmithKline Beecham, today they are more commonly known as GlaxoSmithKline or GSK.

On Friday, December 15, 2000, Ian Hudson, who at the time was still employed by GSK, gave a deposition in relation to a case that was to be tried in Wyoming a year or so after this deposition was taken, the result of which found that Paxil was, in fact, a proximate cause of the deaths in this case.

The case in question was brought against GSK by the relatives of a man, Donald Schell, who killed himself and three others after taking the drug Paxil,

Here is Ian Hudson's video testimony. It's a bit scratchy in places and the audio drops but it is the first time this has been seen in public.
.
Ian Hudson is the current Chief Executive of the MHRA, the British drug regulator who regulate the drugs you and I take.

You can draw your own conclusions as to whether or not you think Ian Hudson is forthright with his answers in this deposition.

A transcript of the video deposition can be found here.

Ian Hudson was being asked questions by US attorney, Andy Vickery.

(GSK are currently defending another Paxil related suicide in the US - The Stewart Dolin files can be seen here)





Bob Fiddaman.






Thursday, September 08, 2016

Paxil Suicide Trial Set For Change of Judge






The seemingly never ending saga of the Stewart Dolin Paxil suicide trial (Dolin v. SmithKline Beecham Corp. et al., case number 1:12-cv-06403) has taken another twist this week with news that the original presiding Judge, James B. Zagel, has been replaced by Judge William T. Hart. It's not known, at this point, why Zagel has taken a back seat. Best not to speculate, I guess.

It also appears that GSK's attorneys have now brought on board Chilton Davis Varner (pictured above) who, by all accounts, is a big gun at King & Spalding. Varner has 30 years of courtroom experience as a trial lawyer defending the likes of GSK in litigation.

Varner has, in the past, been highlighted in the hugely popular attorney targeted online publication, Law360. They write that she is described by collegues as a"velvet hammer." Adding that...

In the courtroom, Varner isn't like a television lawyer. She doesn't angrily confront witnesses on cross-examination or shout, "Objection!" Rather, she focuses on delivering information succinctly to juries in a calm voice, never losing her cool or using emotional displays to get a rise out of jurors. 
It's a distinct style that's earned several victories for client Merck in litigation over its Fosamax osteoporosis drug's risk of femur fractures for some users, including the dismissal of more than 600 plaintiffs, and landed her a place among Law360's Trial Aces. 
"She's a legend in this space," Andy Bayman, head of King & Spalding's life sciences and health care practice, told Law360. "It gives you just a great sense of confidence and comfort knowing that she's trying the case with you. She anticipates what's coming."
Bayman has worked with Varner for 26 years and said one of her gifts is bringing people in a jury who might be more sympathetic to an ordinary plaintiff who's been hurt or sick around to siding with a major corporation. 
"We come in a lot of times with the deck stacked against us. She does a really good job of humanizing our clients," he said. 
And she doesn't get visibly aggressive in the courtroom, instead calmly presenting her case using simple graphics and a library of facts she's prepared in anticipation of what might happen in trial that day, according to Bayman. 
"Her style is to kill them with kindness," he said. "She couldn't ... be effective if she tried to take on some kind of bulldog persona. She's like a velvet hammer."

We can draw our own conclusions as to why King & Spalding have brought her on board. Personally, I believe GSK have saw a gap with Zagel removing himself as Judge, a gap that will, no doubt, further delay the process for Stewart Dolin's widow, Wendy, who is suing GSK for failing to warn her husband that Paxil could induce suicide. Thus far King & Spalding has shown their teeth to Stewart Dolin's widow, Wendy, in as much that they have subpoenaed her cellphone and text message records, her home phone and her late husband's company phone records. Furthermore, Wendy has claimed in her motion that King & Spalding has, so far, sent more than 30 subpoenas and over 70 records requests, and shown the Dolin children Stewart Dolin's confidential therapy notes despite Wendy Dolin's objections. King & Spalding has also taken hours of deposition testimony from her and grilled her about her personal medical information and her romantic life since her husband's death, according to her motion.

Maybe hiring Varner will see a more softly-softly approach by the King & Spalding law team? I wouldn't hold your breath though folks. It's my assumption that Varner has been brought in to persuade the new judge to reconsider judgements already laid down by his predecessor, Judge Zagel. New judge, new approach by the defence - kinda makes sense, even if it does induce vomit.

To date, GSK via King & Spalding have had motion after motion denied by former judge (Zagel) - this gap in the window will be a chance for Varner to flex her muscles (or maybe pout her lips and speak softly)

Meantime, Dolin's attorneys, Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, have prepared for trial and intend to show, amongst other things, the following...


  • GSK became aware of the Paxil suicide risk in 1989 but concealed and manipulated the risk. This despite the studies showing an eight-times greater likelihood that a patient on Paxil versus placebo would attempt suicide.
  • That GSK published a medical journal article based on the manipulated data and told its sales-force to disseminate the article amongst healthcare professionals who had concerns regarding the Paxil/suicide link.
  • In August 2007, despite clinical trial data that showed the opposite, GSK issued a label for Paxil that stated "Short-term studies did not show an increase in the risk of suicidality with antidepressants compared to placebo in adults beyond age 24."


Stewart Dolin died by suicide by jumping in front of a CTA train at a Blue Line station in the Loop on Thursday, July 15, 2010.

Back stories to this case are below.

Bob Fiddaman.


Back stories.

DOLIN V GSK (Fiddaman Articles)


COMING SOON
(Click on image)


























Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Suicide Prevention UK







A government Health Committee are launching an enquiry into suicide prevention in the UK and are looking for submissions from the general public.

This is where you get your chance to show the government where they might be failing regarding the increasing number of suicides in the UK - Any coincidence that antidepressant prescriptions rise as do suicides? And there's me thinking that antidepressants were supposed to prevent suicides - It doesn't seem to ring true, does it?

Anyway, this is just a quick post as I have other pressing matters at the moment.

Click the link and you will find details of how to send in your submission.


Bob Fiddaman

SUBMISSION DETAILS HERE














Thursday, September 01, 2016

Prescripticide in Ireland?







I heard a fascinating couple of interviews yesterday on RedFM, a radio station out of Cork in Ireland.

For ease I have edited the complete show, which, in the main wasn't about homicide in Ireland, a subject that has recently reared it's head with the slaying of the Hawe family from County Cavan.

Alan Hawe is alleged to have killed his wife and children and then himself and many people are asking what would have prompted such an act.

RedFM's talkshow host, Neil Prendville talked to two women about it yesterday, both have experienced family members carrying out homicide and then killing themselves.

The first, Una Butler from the Cork village of Ballycotton, spoke openly about her husband, John Butler, and the homicide and suicide carried out by him.

John Butler killed his two daughters, Zoe (7) and Ella (2), and then himself in 2010 and Una has since been researching homicide/suicide related deaths in Ireland. She told Pendville that she had found that there has been 27 homicide/suicide related deaths in Ireland and was calling for more research into this. Una also mentioned that her husband was receiving treatment for his depression at the time of the incident.

Next up was Leonie Fennell, a friend of mine since we met a few years ago. Leonie too is from Ireland and has experienced homicide and suicide. Her son, Shane, was just 22 when he killed a young man and then himself in 2009. Leonie, just like Una, has been researching homicide/suicide related deaths. Shane had been taking and withdrawing from citalopram (Celexa) at the time of the incident.

Listening to the two stories it appears that Una has done some remarkable research but has not yet made the connection that Leonie has. I do hope, at some point, Una and Leonie can meet and share their research.

Listen to both women by clicking the play button below.

(If the player does not work then you can listen to the recording here)





Contrast the two stories above with those of Kim Crespi and David Carmichael and you will see that this is not a coincidence - something needs to be done about it but we cannot go down the road of the medicine regulatory authorities anymore - they are about as useful as a chocolate teapot and their conflict of interests with pharmaceutical companies borders on the incestuous!





Bob Fiddaman







Wednesday, August 31, 2016

8 Paxil Kids "Suffered Catastrophic Birth Defects"





One news item that appears to have been overlooked by the mainstream media is news coming out of the state of Illinois where a three-justice panel of the Illinois First District Appellate Court denied an appeal from Paxil (Seroxat) manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline to bring litigation against them to a halt.

Glaxo, without defending that Paxil caused birth defects in these children, had argued that the plaintiffs who lived outside of Illinois should not be able to bring a case against them. (6 of the 8 live outside of Illinois)

Plaintiffs argued that during the illegal promotion of Paxil (ie; GSK reps telling doctors that Paxil was safe in pregnancy) over 17 Paxil-related clinical trials were carried out in Illinois.

Judge Axelrood ruled in plaintiffs favour - Glaxo appealed and that appeal has been turned down by the three-justice panel.

The panel said...

“Defendant GSK conducted a part of its general business in Illinois, and plaintiffs’ claims arose out of the very trials conducted, in part, in Illinois,” the justices wrote. “The fact that the contested plaintiffs are not Illinois residents does not destroy the jurisdiction established on the basis of defendant GSK’s activities here.”

Interestingly, the panel also found that GSK’s sustained business presence in Illinois, including 217 employees who lived in Illinois, including 79-121 employees may have been tasked specifically with marketing Paxil in Illinois.

This, it appears, has become standard fare for GlaxoSmithKline. They no longer deny that Paxil can cause birth defects, they just try to get cases tossed using state laws, when they are denied this they then claim that although Paxil can cause birth defects, any plaintiff who alleges this is either wrong or something else caused the birth defect. They will also, more than likely, delve deep into the mothers history to see if they drank or smoked during their pregnancy. They may also try and damage the reputations of the mothers by trying to find out if they were involved in extra marital affairs during their pregnancies - all this, in efforts not to pay compensation - it's the act of a vulture picking on a dead carcass ~ although, to be honest, I'd rather spend time in a room with a vulture than one of GSK's hired suits.

This from the Cook County Record...


In 2014, eight mothers filed suit against GSK in Cook County Circuit Court, alleging their children “suffered catastrophic birth defects” 
The plaintiffs alleged GSK should have known of the dangers of the drug from its clinical test results, and should have warned doctors and expectant mothers of its allegedly “significantly increased risk of congenital defects in babies whose mothers ingested” Paxil.
Instead, plaintiffs asserted GSK promoted Paxil as “being safe for pregnant women.”

GlaxoSmithKline's company motto, that they still use today, is...

We are dedicated to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better, live longer.

It's a mantra that, I believe, goads victims of GSK.

As a father, myself, I am outraged. If I were a mother I'd be homicidal.

Plaintiffs are represented in the above case by attorneys with the firm of Tor Hoerman Law LLC, of Chicago.

GlaxoSmithKline was defended by the firms of Dentons US LLP and Cozen O’Connor, each of Chicago.


Bob Fiddaman


Related

Ryan, Glaxo's Non-Viable Fetus - Part I

Ryan, Glaxo's Non-Viable Fetus - Part II - The Twists

JANE NIEMAN VIDEO TESTIMONY GSK V KILKER (Paxil Birth Defects)















Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Good Dog Shrink






Anytime someone offers an alternative to psychiatric medication always leaves me wondering if the product being offered is more about someone's concerns about making a fast buck opposed to really wanting to help patients suffering with depression ~ That was a big sentence without any comma's - hopefully you've now caught your breath - something that I did after reading a fascinating article in Psychology Today, an online publication for professionals and members of the public.

The article in question comes from David Sack M.D. who is board certified in psychiatry, addiction psychiatry and addiction medicine.

The usual range of emotions were felt when learning that the article was penned by someone in the field of psychiatry, let's face it, that particular field is based around guess work and, at times, utter lunacy.

This was refreshing and, at the same time, thought provoking. In fact I'm glad it was authored by a member of the psychiatric field because it shows that they are not all egotistical pill-pushing psychopaths.

Sack's article, Nature’s Antidepressant: The Dog, is probably the best piece of commentary I've read this year. It's not overly long, easily understandable and, more importantly, something that has been staring the psychiatric community in the face for years - something that they have missed or, as I suspect, totally ignored.

The question Sack throws out is whether or not dogs can lower or change people's moods and he cites a study from 1996 (A long-term study of elderly people in nursing homes with visiting and resident dogs)

Of course, Sack, like any other psychiatrist, would never suggest that using dog therapy was much better than using drug therapy - I don't think anyone in the medical profession would suggest that but, there are many who have suffered the side effects of medication that would.

Sack breaks the study down - It was, he writes, "an analysis of close to 70 animal studies" that found...


  • In nursing homes with a live-in or visiting dog, depression decreased significantly among the elderly residents.
  • Even after just one therapy session with a dog, children with psychiatric disorders showed better mood balance.
  • Long-term care patients allowed to interact with dogs reported less loneliness. And the more one-on-one time the person had with the animal, the greater the effect.
  • Dogs act as “social catalysts.” Their presence in a group was found to increase smiles, conversation and spirit-lifting interactions.

Contrast the above with images you may have seen of elderly residents slumped in chairs and dribbling at the mouth because they have been stuffed full of mind altering drugs - Interestingly the pooled studies also show that dog therapy can help children after just one session - sounds better than the risks associated with antidepressants that are used on a daily basis on children, huh?

Sack goes deeper into the study and tells us it works because of something called oxytocin, don't worry it's not a pharmaceutical drug.

Oxytocin is a chemical also known as the 'love hormone'.

Sack writes...
It’s most commonly associated with childbirth and breastfeeding, and its release is believed to play a crucial role in facilitating the formation of emotional bonds. Turns out it’s also released when dogs and people interact. A recent study found that when dogs and human gaze into each other’s eyes, oxytocin levels rise in both.

Anyone who has ever owned a dog will know just how they can lift our spirits. We have taken it for granted that they are our very own antidepressant. My own experience of my own dog and looking after others is that they are, and have been, much better company than some humans I know. I mean, walking with a dog or walking with a pharmaceutical rep? It's a no-brainer, right? Allowing a dog on your lap or allowing a pharmaceutical CEO on your lap. Now I think about it some dogs have been better kissers than many of my ex girlfriends!

So, here's an idea.

Next time your child is offered a course of mind altering drugs that will strip away his or her empathy then consider a visit to a dog's home - watch your child change in an instant as pups and adult dogs respond.

Children do not need masses of drugs, they need masses of love and a dog will provide that love. A dog's love for it's owner and members of the family is unconditional. You will never find any love that comes anywhere near as close to that shown by a dog.

If visiting a dog's home persuades you to buy a dog then do so. You may just be saving two lives - that of your child (minus psychiatric medication) and that of the dog who, at the end of the day, just wants a family to love.

Introduce a dog to a child and watch that child's eyes sparkle with excitement. Introduce that same child to a powerful antidepressant and watch that sparkle disappear.

I have added this article of Sack's to my favourite list - it really is a simple yet brilliant overlooked idea.

For this, I salute a psychiatrist... and no, I haven't been sniffing bleach!


Bob Fiddaman


**Photo - Benn - My cross Boxer/Ridgeback. Sadly, no longer with us.



Wednesday, August 24, 2016

MDMA (Ecstasy) Vs Antidepressants






A recent article regarding MDMA (Ecstasy) from the BBC Newsbeat team had me drawing comparisons with antidepressants (SSRIs).

According to  researcher,  Professor Philip Murphy, "ecstasy is causing more mental issues." Adding that he "is worried that increasingly strong ecstasy will harm users ability to remember things efficiently."

Murphy goes on to say that ...

"The danger is much greater now than it was in the late 1990's The risk now of young people using stronger ecstasy is higher in terms of being able to regulate emotion and your ability to think clearly."

For a nanosecond I thought Murphy was talking about antidepressant use.

Let's just take a look at his findings and compare them with findings to popular antidepressants that, remember, have been granted a licence for use.

Ecstasy health risks
It can make you anxious, frightened and paranoid
It tightens your jaw muscles and can make you gurn
It raises your heart rate
Long-term use can cause depression, heart disease and liver and kidney damage.

Now, lets look at the risks associated with antidepressants.

SSRI health risks
Moodiness, anxiety, crying, nervousness, restlessness.
Grinding your teeth, especially at night.
Rapid heart rate.
Long term use may cause Depersonalization, liver damage. Antidepressant use has also been linked to thicker arteries, which could contribute to the risk of heart disease and stroke.

These are just a handful of risk with SSRI's - Compare the two lists and ask yourself why one drug is legal and the other isn't.

Ironically, MDMA was first synthesized by Merck Pharmaceuticals in Germany in 1912.

Let's go back to the researcher, Professor Philip Murphy.

Professor Philip Murphy has been researching the drug for nearly 20 years and says he's worried about the supply currently on the market.

"The danger is much greater now than it was in the late 1990s," he says.

Again, one can associate this statement with antidepressants given that sales since the 1990's have shot through the roof as Dr's prescribe them for everyday problems ranging from marital issues to grieving the death of a cat.

Parents will obviously be concerned at the growing use of ecstasy in the UK. Those same parents should also heed the dangerous side effects of antidepressants, a list of which is considerably bigger than ecstasy.

It's also rather bizarre that coroners will thoroughly investigate claims that ecstasy can induce suicide yet rarely do when carrying out inquests on people who have killed themselves whilst on an antidepressant. One such inquest was that of  Ben Stollery who, at the age of 18, took ecstasy. He was found hanged by a river bank near a canoe club. A toxicologist who found traces of MDMA in the teenager's blood, saying the teen may have suffering the effects of "Suicide Tuesday", a term used for people who use recreational drugs on a Saturday then kill themselves when they fully come down from the high the following Tuesday.

The toxicologist, after a verdict of suicide was returned, said,  "On the balance of probabilities, I do believe his state of mind was influenced by MDMA and the comedown part of this drug."

For a concise list of coroner inquests where antidepressant use has been mentioned but not investigated by the coroner go to antidepaware website here.

The benefits of using ecstasy has been described by some users as giving them a high and making them feel overwhelming empathy.

I recently wrote to both the British and European drug regulators (MHRA and EMA) and asked them to list the benefits of taking an SSRI. Once I get a response I will post on here.

In the meantime, I'll leave you with this - many a true word spoken in jest.

Contains profanity.






Bob Fiddaman.