Friday, 19 August 2016

'No “breakthrough” in Alzheimer’s disease' Aug16 #BMJ #LMTX #TauRx

'No “breakthrough” in Alzheimer’s disease' BMJ Feature
"The trial results were disappointing so why did some of the media call the drug LMTX revolutionary?"
Jacqui Wise journalist, London, UK
BMJ 2016;354:i4474 (Published 16 August 2016)




Thursday, 12 May 2016

Making the Case Against Antidepressants @UKParliament Robert Whitaker 11May16

Making the Case Against Antidepressants in Parliament: Robert Whitaker, Mad in America, 10 May 2016

"On Wednesday, May 11, there will be an inquiry by a work group in the U.K.’s Parliament into whether increases in the prescribing of antidepressants are fueling a marked increase in disability due to anxiety and depression in the U.K.  I wrote about a similar rise in disability in the United States in Anatomy of an Epidemic, and the All Party Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence, which is the Parliamentary group that organized the debate, asked me to present the case against antidepressants.

I don’t now where this will lead, but it is encouraging to see this debate rising to the level of a work group in Parliament.

The effort to organize this session was led by Luke Montagu, whose father is a member of the House of Lords. He has publicly told of his having been incapacitated by psychiatric drugs and their withdrawal effects, with his entry into the world of psychiatry coming when he was prescribed Prozac after having a bad reaction to a sinus operation. Together with James Davies, a psychotherapist and medical anthropologist who authored Cracked (a really good “critical psychiatry” book), he created the Council for Evidence Based Psychiatry in the United Kingdom. As the name suggests, they believe that a close examination of the scientific literature reveals that psychiatric drugs, on the whole, do more harm than good, and that the use of these drugs needs to be rethought.

For me, the invitation to present to the work group provided a nice opportunity to update the case against antidepressants that I made in Anatomy of an Epidemic. The slides that I will present on Wednesday are attached here. ..."





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Friday, 1 April 2016

The Scottish public want sunshine: Dr Peter Gordon #HoleOusia

The Scottish public want sunshine: Dr Peter Gordon on Hole Ousia:

"Over two years ago I raised a petition with the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to introduce a Sunshine Act for Scotland.

Peter-Sunshine,-Jan-2015

A Sunshine Act would make it mandatory for healthcare workers (and hopefully academics and all allied health professionals) to declare fully any payments including payments in kind. The argument I presented was that a single, searchable, independent register underpinned by statute would ensure transparency, promote scientific integrity, reduce the potential for harm and save money.

Current Guidance in Scotland (HDL62 issued by the Scottish Government) has failed for more than 13 years. Other governance bodies, such as the Royal Colleges, have separate systems which also appear to have failed to ensure transparency of financial payments. These overlapping, but ineffective, systems of governance duplicate costs and bureaucracy to nobody’s gain.

My petition was closed earlier this month by the Scottish Parliament as the Scottish Government had committed to “update guidance”.

One of the actions of the Government in response to my petition was to commission a public consultation:

Gathering public views on Sunshine Act

Last week the public voice of Scotland was revealed:

The Scottish public want sunshine.

The majority of participants felt that the publication of financial payments to healthcare professionals should be made mandatory.

Majority said mandatory register of financial interests is required

This is a landmark decision in the United Kingdom. By the voices of Scotland.

Of course there is much more to be done which requires energy and light.

However I have faith that the Scottish Government can provide this:

Shona-Robison---22-March-2016--mandatory-payments

I want to thank a number of people:
  • the participants in the Public Consultation
  • Eleanor Bradford Health Correspondent for the BBC who first suggested that  I submit a petition to the Scottish Parliament
  • the Petitions Committee and its hard-working and dedicated clerks
  • John Pentland, MSP, former Convener, for being the first in Parliament to agree that statutory measures were required
  • Chrys Muirhead, friend and fellow activist
  • The President and Vice President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (the College I am member of) for doing their very best to improve transparency within the limitations of current guidance."