Wednesday, 30 April 2014

'Psychiatric drugs are doing us more harm than good' Peter Gøtzsche, Guardian, 30 April 2014

Peter Gøtzsche
Peter Gøtzsche article in the Guardian: 'Psychiatric drugs are doing us more harm than good' on 30 April 2014.

"We appear to be in the midst of a psychiatric drug epidemic, just as we were when benzodiazepines (tranquilisers) were at their height in the late 1980s. The decline in their use after warnings about addiction led to a big increase in the use of the newer antidepressants, the SSRIs (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors).

Figures released by the Council for Evidence-based Psychiatry, which was set up to challenge many of the assumptions commonly made about modern psychiatry, show that more than 53m prescriptions for antidepressants were issued in 2013 in England alone. This is almost the equivalent of one for every man, woman and child and constitutes a 92% increase since 2003.

Sales of antidepressants have skyrocketed everywhere and are now so high in my own country, Denmark, that – if the prescriptions were equally distributed – every citizen could be in treatment for six years of their life. The situation is even worse in the US, where direct advertising of prescription drugs to the public is permitted and where more psychiatrists were "educated" with industry hospitality than any other medical discipline."

[Peter C. Gøtzsche is director of the Nordic Cochrane Centre and member of the Council for Evidence-based Psychiatry (]

Read complete article

Friday, 25 April 2014

'Viewpoint: The ‘medicalisation of human distress' - John Read, University of Liverpool, 25 April 2014

Prof Read (university photo)
Professor John Read, Clinical Psychologist in the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Psychology, Health and Society Viewpoint: The 'medicalisation of human distress', 25 April 2014.

“This bizarre level of the medicalization of human distress could be considered a national scandal.

“If there really has been that kind of increase in the number of people needing treatment for depression then we should surely be trying to address the causes of that – starting with poverty, in a country with one of the highest levels of inequality in the world.

Fuelled by drug companies

“I suspect, however, that the increases are largely fuelled by drug companies and psychiatrists with a rather simplistic, biological view of mental health problems, who try to persuade the public that sadness and grief are signs of an ‘illness’ called ‘depression’ which somehow causes our sadness and grief.

“Drug company advertising is particularly targeted at women, who are twice as likely to be prescribed antidepressants as men.

“Our 2009 survey of depression websites found that the 42% that are drug company funded promulgated  an illness model of depression .."

Read complete article

[Link to another Professor John Read article 'Psychological side-effects of anti-depressants worse than thought']

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

'The Manufacture and ‘Maintenance’ of Oppression: A Very Profitable Business' by Richard Lewis on MIA

Richard Lewis blog post on Mad in America - 'The Manufacture and ‘Maintenance’ of Oppression: A Very Profitable Business'.

"Opiate addiction is neither a disease nor a permanent condition. Methadone and suboxone maintenance programs are beneficial and highly profitable to a small minority of people; to those being “maintained” it becomes nothing more than a modern version of chemical slavery.

Some statistics to keep in mind while reading this blog: Someone dies every 15 minutes in the U.S. from a prescription drug overdose in all categories of drugs; 36% of those deaths involve some form of prescription opiate drug; although methadone accounts for less than 5% of opiate prescriptions it is implicated in one third of the opiate related deaths; and in over 30% of all opiate drug overdose deaths the victim has benzodiazepines in their system.

There is a disturbing theme and common thread interwoven within the fabric of several recent news stories on opiate addiction. These stories should be of particular interest to all those people learning about and fighting various forms of psychiatric oppression. They reaffirm my strong belief that a profit-based system stands as an historical impediment to the advance of science, medicine, and the care of those people experiencing extreme forms of psychological distress."

Read complete blog post 
Richard and I at Redhall Walled Garden, Edinburgh, September 2013

Saturday, 19 April 2014

'21 Dead in Japan From New Johnson & Johnson Antipsychotic (Xeplion)' article on MIA

Mad in America article, 18 April 2014, '21 Dead in Japan From New Johnson & Johnson Antipsychotic (Xeplion)':

"The death toll among Japanese citizens who have taken Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary Janssen’s schizophrenia drug Xeplion has climbed to 21, from 17 on April 10, prompting the Japanese health ministry to order the manufacturer to warn patients about its risks. Although a causal link between Xeplion and the deaths has not been established, the health ministry ordered Janssen to revise its package insert, considering the unusually high number of deaths since the drug’s recent release.

21 Users of Schizophrenia Drug Dead (Japan Times)"

"Among its (Xeplion) most frequently reported side effects are insomnia, headaches, respiratory tract infection, parkinsonism, increased weight, nausea, muscle and bone pain, tachycardia, tremors, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea."

Friday, 18 April 2014 video: 'Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?

' Joanna Moncrieff

On the Council for Evidence Based Psychiatry website, Dr. Joanna Moncrieff, psychiatrist & senior lecturer, University College London, on 'Why do psychiatric drugs have withdrawal syndromes?


Thursday, 17 April 2014

Public Petition PE01493: A Sunshine Act for Scotland - date cancelled, to be rescheduled

The Public Petition PE01493: A Sunshine Act for Scotland by Peter John Gordon has been cancelled and will not now be considered on Tuesday 22 April 2014.  The date is to be rescheduled. 

I believe that the reasons for this are to do with delayed responses to the petition from certain parties of interest.

"Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to introduce a Sunshine Act for Scotland, creating a searchable record of all payments (including payments in kind) to NHS Scotland healthcare workers from Industry and Commerce":

Sunday, 13 April 2014

'Revealed: how Big Pharma funds trials for the drugs you are prescribed' Herald Scotland, 13 April 2014

News article 'Revealed: how Big Pharma funds trials for the drugs you are prescribed' by Paul Hutcheon, Herald Scotland, 13 April 2014:

Herald photo
"THE Scottish NHS body that approves new drugs is under pressure after it emerged it gave a green light to a new pill for heavy drinkers on the basis of clinical trials funded by the drug's own manufacturer.

The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) approved Nalmefene, licensed by Lundbeck, after assessing the studies and a positive submission by a charity also funded by the pharmaceutical company.

The revelations have raised questions about whether the health body is scrutinising conflicts of interest.

The SMC has the responsibility of considering whether new medicines should be recommended for use in the health service .... The Sunday Herald recently revealed how dozens of doctors who either sit on the SMC or advise the body have financial links to health firms."

[another quote:]
"David Miller, professor of sociology at Bath University and a campaigner for lobbying transparency, said: 

"The revelation that patient groups funded by pharma companies are not excluded from the new drugs process only reinforces the need for much greater transparency from the SMC. Declarations of interest must be public, not heard in secret by decision-makers.

"Scottish citizens also deserve much greater transparency from scientists and doctors who are paid advisers to 'Big Pharma'."

Read complete article

Saturday, 12 April 2014

RxISK Guide to Stopping Antidepressants

Guide to Stopping Antidepressants (Symptoms on Stopping Antidepressants) from the medical team.  Prepared by: RxISK eCLINIC Medical Team

"Stopping antidepressants

Dependence on and withdrawal from imipramine, the first tricyclic antidepressant was reported in 1959. It had only been introduced in 1958. It now seems highly likely that the effects on stopping imipramine stemmed from its serotonin reuptake inhibiting ability.

As of 2014, close to 10% of the population of most Western countries are on antidepressants more than 50% of whom are likely to be hooked on them.

This guide focuses on SRIs. SRI stands for serotonin reuptake inhibitor. SSRIs are selective SRIs but selective does not mean these drugs are pharmacologically “clean”. It means that they have no effects on the norepinephrine /noradrenaline system ..."

The RxISK Medical team has posted a “final” copy of the RxISK Guide to Stopping Antidepressants. - See more at:
The RxISK Medical team has posted a “final” copy of the RxISK Guide to Stopping Antidepressants - See more at:
The RxISK Medical team has posted a “final” copy of the RxISK Guide to Stopping Antidepressants - See more at:

Dr Martin Brunet blog post 'Anything to Declare?' on Pulse

The UK Health Committee have a report out on the recent accountability hearing with the GMC and have stated "The Committee believes that there is a compelling case for the GMC to hold a public register of doctors' interests".  See link to Dr Martin Brunet blog post 'Anything to Declare?' on Pulse:

"What is more, the list needs to be bold enough to break one of our nation’s taboos – talking about our income. There is a world of difference between receiving a few hundred pounds of expenses from industry linked to a research project, and the regular receipt of large fees for speaking purposes; only if we know the actual figures can we make an informed judgment.

While the GMC considers setting up an official register of interests, a website has been set up where doctors already have the opportunity to make a public declaration, entitled "

'Who's Paying Your Doctor?' Panorama, Monday 14 April 2014, 8.30pm

Panorama this Monday 14 April 2014 at 8.30pm asks the questions 'Who's Paying Your Doctor?':

"With the NHS drug bill topping £10 billion in 2013, this investigation examines the tactics employed by drug companies to tap into that lucrative market and influence which medicines your doctor prescribes.
Strict rules govern drug company spending in the UK, but still they pay out millions to doctors to attend and speak at conferences. Panorama goes undercover to see this subtle persuasion at work and asks whether you should have the right to know who is paying your doctor. 

And as Britain's most profitable drug company, GlaxoSmithKline, waits to hear whether it will face criminal charges following allegations of bribery in China, the programme reveals new evidence that GSK was recently paying doctors to boost prescriptions much closer to home, in Europe."

'Regulatory Capture' blog post by Maria Bradshaw on Mad in America

Maria Bradshaw on Mad in America: 'Regulatory Capture'

"Around the world, drug regulatory agencies spend billions of dollars engaged in activities which purport to ensure the safety, efficacy and quality of legal drugs. If the goal of regulation is to protect public health and safety, there can be no argument that it has failed. Safe drugs are not associated with annual rises in mortality and morbidity, effective drugs are not associated with increased prevalence of the conditions they are designed to treat and with greater chronicity of those conditions, quality drugs are not discovered to be contaminated with solvents months after their manufacture and release to the market. Effective regulation does not see companies repeatedly breaching standards and shrugging off sanctions.

According to the World Health Organisation, “In drug regulation, the government acts as the guardian of the public by controlling private powers for public purposes.”

Yep, they sure do act that way, but that’s exactly what it is – an act. Behind the failure of drug regulation is the fact that it is conducted by governments whose fortunes are entwined with those of the pharmaceutical industry. International drug regulators are one of the best examples, along with the regulators of the finance industry, of regulatory capture – the co-option of regulatory agencies by the organisations they regulate. Regulatory capture involves industry convincing regulators that their interests are convergent and manipulating regulatory processes for their own ends ..."

Read complete blog post

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

'Dr Bourne’s identity - credit where credit’s due' - blowing the whistle on insulin coma therapy by Jonathan Pimm

Article 'Dr Bourne’s identity - credit where credit’s due' by Jonathan Pimm, 9 April, 2014, Editor of the Psychiatric Bulletin, a consultant psychiatrist at East London NHS Foundation Trust, and an honorary senior clinical lecturer at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, UK, email:

Dr Harold Bourne taking supper in Rome

"To be responsible for saving hundreds if not thousands of lives is no mean feat. It ought to bring appreciation and recognition. However, for Dr Harold Bourne, a man whose actions prevented innumerable deaths and misery, this was not the case.

The reasons why such a state of affairs came to pass are tied up in the story of an individual’s fight for justice with no fear of the consequences: one man taking on the mainstream medical profession in order to stop use of a treatment that had been harming and killing people across the world for more than a quarter of a century. This classic David and Goliath battle began 60 years ago, when Bourne decided to blow the whistle on a well-established treatment for schizophrenia, insulin coma therapy. 

Unfortunately for Bourne, one of the major protagonists of the treatment was Dr William Sargant, an extremely powerful and highly regarded director of a leading psychiatric unit at a London medical school. Sargant and a Dr Eliot Slater -another big gun in the specialty at the time-were authors of a major textbook advocating the use of physical treatments for mental disorders, including insulin coma therapy, psychosurgery and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) ..."

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

new bulletin first edition out today

The Pharma Chronicles, 1 April 2014, is the first edition in a collection of writings, articles, blog posts, video links and other information about pharmaceutical topics in mental health from the critical perspective.

Because I am a psychiatric survivor and unpaid carer of many family members, now and in the past, who have been given mental disorder labels/diagnoses because of experiencing altered mind states/psychoses.

Resulting in coercive psychiatric drug treatment if non-compliant/unwilling and prognoses of severe and enduring mental illness which required inner strength and resistance to recover from.