CELEXA: Murder-Suicide: Two Doctors Say Celexa Caused Tragedy: Ireland

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy (www.drugawareness.org):
Always keep in mind that 7% – 10% of the population lack the liver enzyme system necessary to metabolize the SSRI & SNRI antidepressants. Because of this 7% – 10% of the population will reach toxic levels quickly due to this inability to break the medications down. Although there is a simple test that would reveal who those 7% – 10% are BEFORE they are prescribed one of these drugs it is never given to patients. Anyway in 20 years of working with thousands, I have yet to find one who reports ever having one of these P450 2D6 liver enzyme tests run before a prescription is written for an antidepressant.
___________________________________
Paragraphs four through seven read:  “The jury refused to bring in a verdict of suicide on account of the evidence given both by Professor of Psychiatry David Healy of the University of Cardiff and assistant state pathologist Dr Declan Gilsenan, who underlined the dangers of suicidal and homicidal acts arising from the use of SSRIs.”

“Professor Healy stated clearly that in a small but significant minority of patients using SSRIs can give rise to violent behavior including self-harm, suicide and violence to others, even up to killing them. He said that this was independent of any condition the patient might have, as the same symptomatology had been observed in healthy volunteers.”

“Dr Healy criticized the existing warnings for patients, as they give the impression that such feelings and behaviours are part of the patient’s complaint, and because they are not strong enough. ”The risk arises entirely from the treatment,” he said.

“The jury was obviously strongly influenced by his evidence and that of Dr Gilsenan, who testified to “toxic” levels of citalopram [Celexa] in Clancy’s blood, the active ingredient in the antidepressant Cipramil [Celexa] which he had been taking in the period leading up to the night of horrific violence in Bray in which he and Seb Creane died and Seb Creane’s brother, Dylan, and the latter’s girlfriend were lucky to escape with their lives.

http://psychiatricnews.wordpress.com/2010/04/16/irish-jury-implicates-ssri-antidepressants-in-deaths/

The Wellbeing Foundation

NEWSLETTER­ 15 April 2010

Foundation demands action from Minister after verdict of ‘not suicide’ by jury in Shane Clancy inquest

THE WELLBEING FOUNDATION has demanded that Mental Health Minister John Moloney act immediately to put in place proper protections for patients, their families, relatives and friends following the ‘not suicide’ verdict in the Shane Clancy SSRI-inspired double death case. The Irish Medicines Board is still funded by the drug companies, still remains one body despite the recommendations of an Oireachtas committee, and still issues weak and ineffective patient information leaflets with inadequate warnings of the dangers of the SSRI antidepressants which drove Shane Clancy to kill a college friend and then stab himself to death.

Please help our campaign to get effective protection for patients: write or email Mr Moloney supporting the three demands we set out in the press release.

Mr John Moloney, TD | Minister of State  Department of Health and Children, Hawkins House, Dublin 2 email

minister_moloney@health.gov.ie

**************************

Verdict in Shane Clancy inquest is a call to action by Minister John Moloney

THE OPEN VERDICT returned by the jury at the inquest into the death of Shane Clancy is| a call to action on the part of Government, and particularly the Minister for Mental Health, John Moloney, to strengthen both the patient and doctor warnings relating to SSRI anti-depressants.

The jury refused to bring in a verdict of suicide on account of the evidence given both by Professor of Psychiatry David Healy of the University of Cardiff and assistant state pathologist Dr Declan Gilsenan, who underlined the dangers of suicidal and homicidal acts arising from the use of SSRIs.

Professor Healy stated clearly that in a small but significant minority of patients using SSRIs can give rise to violent behaviour including self-harm, suicide and violence to others, even up to killing them. He said that this was independent of any condition the patient might have, as the same symptomatology had been observed in healthy volunteers.

Dr Healy criticised the existing warnings for patients, as they give the impression that such feelings and behaviours are part of the patient’s complaint, and because they are not strong enough. ”The risk arises entirely from the treatment,” he said.

The jury was obviously strongly influenced by his evidence and that of Dr Gilsenan, who testified to “toxic” levels of citalopram in Clancy’s blood, the active ingredient in the antidepressant Cipramil which he had been taking in the period leading up to the night of horrific violence in Bray in which he and Seb Creane died and Seb Creane’s brother, Dylan, and the latter’s girlfriend were lucky to escape with their lives.

Both doctors also stressed that the high levels of the drug were not necessarily due to an overdose, but could have resulted from a build-up of citalopram resulting from it being slower to metabolise in Shane Clancy. Prof Healy recommended that the warnings in respect of this class of drugs be strengthened to emphasise that the drug can cause the problem, and that feelings such as suicidal ideation, agitation, restlessness, hostility and others are caused by the drug rather than by  the patient’s diagnosed condition. He stated that there should be compulsory monitoring of patients prescribed SSRIs at the starting period of their treatment, as the danger period is generally within the first two weeks and usually within the first days of taking the drug.

The Wellbeing Foundation supports Prof Healy’s recommendations. We wish to point out, yet again, that while in the USA and other countries the warning about possible suicidal and violent bahaviour is compulsorily displayed at the top of the patient information leaflet, in large, bold type and enclosed in a black box with a heavy bold rule all round, in Ireland the Irish medicines Board allows a mild warning of suicidal ideation to be included far down the text of the patient information leaflet and without any form of emphasis.

Dr Michael Corry, our founder, was hounded by the psychiatric establishment for stating last October that if Shane Clancy had not been taking SSRIs, this appalling tragedy, which has deeply affected two families and wide circles of friends and relations, would not have happened. A jury has now accepted that these drugs were implicated in these deaths and injuries which occurred during an outburst of insane violence.

We call on Minister John Moloney to move instantly on this matter in order to protect other young people and their families, and indeed anyone who may be prescribed SSRIs, from the possible consequences of taking these drugs. We call on Minister Moloney to do the following right away:

1. Instruct the Irish Medicines Board immediately to introduce a strong Black Box warning, similar to those in the USA and Canada, on the patient information leaflets for all SSRIs, SNRIs, and similar antidepressants; and also to strengthen the prescribing information for doctors to include a similar warning and to stress the need for close monitoring.

2. Make it obligatory for all prescribing doctors to carefully monitor all patients prescribed these same classes of drugs, including setting at least one return appointment on the date of prescription, so that the doctor can check the patient for any tell-tale signs and take corrective action.

3. We also ask the Minister to implement the relevant recommendations of the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children in 2007, which he himself chaired at the time. The findings of this inquiry into the use of pharmaceuticals in Ireland included a finding that the structure and funding of the Irish Medicines Board were seriously flawed, and recommended that the IMB be broken up into two bodies, one to deal with licencing and one with pharmacovigilance or post-licencing safety monitoring. The committee also recommended that the present funding of the IMB, by the drug companies, should end and that this body should receive its funding from central government sources.

If further tragedies of this type are not to occur in future, with all the pain and suffering that they visit on parents, uncles, aunts, wives, husbands, or partners, other relations and friends of the victims, the Minister must act promptly to ensure that the public receives strong and adequate information on the real dangers posed by taking these drugs, and that anyone who is prescribed them is protected by a compulsory monitoring system.

Dr Aine Tubridy, Clinical Director of the Wellbeing Foundation, and Mr Basil Miller, the Foundation’s Director of Communications, are both available for further comment or interview.

To contact Dr Tubridy, call 01 2800084.

To contact Basil Miller, call 086 8182082

April 16, 2010 – Posted by Philip Barton | Blogroll | | No Comments Yet

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4/17/2001 – Snub to Prozac critic upsets teachers

http://www.globeandmail.com

Snub to Prozac critic upsets teachers

Faculty group sees academic freedom
at risk in U of T withdrawal of job offer

ANNE McILROY
SCIENCE REPORTER
Monday, April 16, 2001

The Canadian Association of University Teachers says it is disturbed by the
University of Toronto’s decision to revoke the job offer it made to an
internationally recognized psychiatrist after he criticized a drug company.

“It appears that there has been a very serious violation of academic freedom
at the University of Toronto that requires remedy,” James Turk, executive
director of the association, said in a letter to U of T president Robert
Birgeneau.

The U of T and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, an affiliated
teaching hospital, had been courting Dr. David Healy since July of 1999. He
is an expert in drugs and psychiatry at the University of Wales.

They made him a formal, written offer of a combined faculty and clinical
position in May of 2000, and sent a more detailed letter in August. The U of
T hired a lawyer to help him immigrate.

Then, on Nov. 30, 2000, Dr. Healy gave a lecture at the CAMH in which he
criticized drug companies for avoiding experiments that may show there are
problems with their drugs, and for not publishing unfavourable results. He
said the data show that Prozac, manufactured by Eli Lilly and Co., may cause
suicide in some people.

Eli Lilly is the “lead” donor to the CAMH, according to its Web site, and has
contributed more than $1-million to the centre’s $10-million capital
campaign. It argues Prozac is safe.

Last year, Eli Lilly cancelled its $25,000 (U.S.) annual donation to the
Hastings Center in New York, a think tank that looks at ethical issues, after
it published a series of articles about Prozac, including a critical one by
Dr. Healy.

“There are good grounds to believe that Prozac can trigger suicidality. The
pharmaceutical companies are not investigating, however; one wonders whether
they are receiving legal advice echoing that given to the tobacco companies,
that any investigation of these issues may increase product liability,” Dr.
Healy wrote.

Eli Lilly says it withdrew funding because the Hastings Center published
“articles which Lilly felt contained information that was biased and
scientifically unfounded, and that may have led to significant misinformation
to readers, patients and the community,” said Laurel Swartz, manager of
corporate communications for Eli Lilly.

A week after Dr. Healy’s speech, Dr. David Goldbloom, physician-in-chief at
the CAMH and a professor at the U of T, rescinded his job offer.

The CAMH says the decision was made on the basis of a number of factors it
can’t make public. Eli Lilly says it played no role.

Mr. Turk has asked for a meeting with the U of T president to discuss what
happened.

David Naylor, dean of the University of Toronto’s faculty of medicine, says
it is not the U of T’s role to launch an inquiry.

The eight hospitals affiliated with the U of T are responsible for their own
human-resources decisions, he said. In the case of Dr. Healy, the CAMH would
have been the primary employer, not the U of T.

Yet it was the U of T vice-provost who sent Dr. Healy a memo confirming his
offer of employment and informing him that a lawyer had been hired to help
him immigrate.

While saying that the Dr. Healy affair is strictly in the domain of the CAMH,
Dr. Naylor acknowledges that he did make inquiries about what happened.

“I don’t believe there is any particular conspiracy, conflict of interest or
any malice here. In fact, I am satisfied there is not.”

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4/15/2001 – Prozac critic sees U of T job revoked

This article makes it very clear what unethical tactics Lilly and other
pharmaceutical companies use regularly. With Lilly being the major
contributor to this university it should be obvious who pulls the strings in
this situation.

Who is pulling the strings at your alma mater? Drug companies have tied up
about every university in this country and around the world to gain control
over the disinformation coming out of those universities in the form of
“medical studies.” Yes, those same studies we just learned are being
“ghostwritten” by pharmaceutical companies and then pawned off to the public
as the “gospel truth” or “credible scientific evidence.”

You see they need that control over the studies so that they can make
statements like this: “There is no credible scientific evidence that
establishes a causal link between Prozac [fluoxetine hydrochloride] and
violent or suicidal behavior.”

Dr. David Healy is perhaps their greatest threat when it comes to the SSRIs.
I am sure that part of their motive was a hope that this move might become a
“black mark” on his resume that they could use against him in court to
discredit him. I know all too well that they will twist everything they can
to discredit those who have the courage to stand up for the truth against
them. And, Dr. Healy does that well.

I don’t know why they would not want anyone to hear what Dr. Healy is saying
about Prozac, such as: “the data show that Prozac and other popular
antidepressants in the same chemical family may have been responsible for one
suicide for every day they have been on the market.”

If I were the CEO of Lilly I would be thinking, “Wow! That would be a VERY
LARGE number of lawsuits to have to settle.” Now I can’t imagine what has
made them so upset as to ruin Dr. Healy’s new position, can you?

Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition For Drug Awareness
www.drugawareness.org

http://www.globeandmail.com/

Saturday, April 14

Prozac critic sees U of T job revoked

By ANNE McILROY
From Saturday’s Globe and Mail

A world-renowned scientist saw a job offer at the University of Toronto
evaporate after warning that the popular antidepressant Prozac may trigger
suicide in some patients.

The drug’s manufacturer, Eli Lilly, is an important private donor to a
mental-health research institute affiliated with the university.

Critics say it appears that David Healy’s job offer was rescinded to avoid
offending the corporate giant or for fear of compromising future fundraising
efforts.

Eli Lilly said it had no role in the matter. The university said the decision
not to hire Dr. Healy was made by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health,
an affiliated teaching hospital, and that it would not be proper for the
university to question it. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, for
its part, steadfastly denies that it has allowed fundraising concerns to
interfere with academic freedom.

“If you are asking me if his comments influenced our decision, let me be
clear that there were a number of factors involved. We regret that our
actions have been misinterpreted as an attack against academic freedom and as
a conflict of interest,” said Paul Garfinkel, chief executive officer of the
CAMH.

Dr. Garfinkel said the reasons for the decision to revoke Dr. Healy’s job
offer are confidential. “Let me be clear, we’ve never made an offer or
withdrawn an offer on the basis of an impact on an outside donor.”

When initially approached by The Globe and Mail several months ago, Dr.
Healy, who works at the University of Wales, was reluctant to speak publicly
about what happened.

He said he decided to do so to publicize his concerns about Prozac and to
raise questions about the appearance of a conflict of interest at U of T.

“I’ve had people call from a number of countries asking whether it is safe to
say something [critical] about pharmaceutical companies. The public needs to
know what happened here,” he said in an interview.

Dr. Healy said that he made his views clear in private interviews with
university officials before the speech.

University of Toronto colleagues are providing a public platform for him to
express his views on Prozac next week. He will give a lecture at the Joint
Centre for Bioethics on Thursday evening.

U of T and CAMH had been courting Dr. Healy since July of 1999. They made him
a formal written offer of a combined faculty and clinical position in May of
2000, followed by a more detailed letter in August.
They hired a lawyer to help him immigrate.

Then, on Nov. 30, 2000, Dr. Healy gave a wide-ranging lecture at CAMH, part
of a colloquium titled Looking Back, Looking Ahead — Psychiatry in the 21st
Century: Mental Health and Addiction.

He criticized pharmaceutical companies for avoiding experiments that could
demonstrate problems with their drugs, and for not publishing unfavourable
results. He said the data show that Prozac and other popular antidepressants
in the same chemical family may have been responsible for one suicide for
every day they have been on the market.

A week later, Dr. David Goldbloom, physician-in-chief at CAMH and a professor
at U of T, rescinded the offer to Dr. Healy in an e-mail, a copy of which was
sent to The Globe and Mail in an unmarked brown envelope.

Dr. Goldbloom told Dr. Healy his lecture was evidence that his approach was
not “compatible” with development goals. Development, in the university
context, is widely understood to mean fundraising, although CAMH denies that
fundraising was what was meant.

Eli Lilly, the drug company that manufactures Prozac, is its “lead” donor
according to the CAMH Web site, contributing more than $1-million to the
centre’s $10-million capital-fundraising campaign.

Last year, Eli Lilly cancelled its $25,000 (U.S.) annual donation to the
Hastings Center in New York, a think tank that looks at ethical issues, after
it published a series of articles about Prozac, including a critical one by
Dr. Healy titled Good Science or Good Business.

“The centre had published articles that Lilly felt contained information that
was biased and scientifically unfounded and that may have led to significant
misinformation to readers, patients and the community,” said Laurel Swartz,
manager of corporate communications for Eli Lilly.

Two U of T professors, who have asked that their names not be published, said
that what happened to Dr. Healy in Canada raises disturbing questions about
whether professors are free to be critical of drug companies in an era where
medical schools are heavily dependent on them for financing.

James Turk, executive director of the Canadian Association of University
Teachers, said the paper trail appears to make it clear why Dr. Healy was no
longer welcome at U of T.

“The language they use indicates they feel they can’t hire this guy because
it will give them trouble raising money,” Mr. Turk said.

Experts such as Bob Michels, the former head of medicine at Cornell
University in New York, say Dr. Healy is internationally renowned, both as a
clinical psychopharmacologist and a historian of the role of drugs in modern
psychiatry.

He is also well-known for his outspoken criticism of Prozac and other similar
drugs and has appeared as an expert witness on behalf of families suing Eli
Lilly and other drug companies.

Dr. Healy says the data show Prozac and related medications, which are widely
prescribed for people who in the past would not be deemed sick enough to
require medication, can cause patients with no history of mental illness to
fall into a state of extreme agitation anxiety. In some cases it can lead to
suicide, or thoughts of suicide.

Last year, Dr. Healy published a study that found that two healthy volunteers
out of 20 who were given Prozac reported feeling extremely anxious and that
they entertained thoughts of suicide.

Eli Lilly says Prozac is safe. “There is no credible scientific evidence that
establishes a causal link between Prozac [fluoxetine hydrochloride] and
violent or suicidal behaviour,” Ms. Swartz said.

Dr. Healy insists warning labels are needed on Prozac so doctors will know to
watch for suicidal tendencies when they prescribe the antidepressant.

His speech did not go over well at U of T. Dr. Healy said Dr. Goldbloom
appeared unhappy when they discussed the lecture at a dinner that evening.

Dr. Healy said he understood Dr. Goldbloom to be critical of his speech
because people would take away from it the understanding that Prozac makes
people suicidal and the Eli Lilly knew about the problem but wouldn’t
acknowledge it.

Dr. Healy left that weekend for New York, where he was scheduled to give the
same speech at Cornell University.

On the Monday after the Thursday speech, Dr. Goldbloom began sending Dr.
Healy e-mails saying it was urgent they find a time to talk by telephone. Dr.
Healy kept copies of them, and has provided them to The Globe and Mail.

When the two men couldn’t arrange the phone call, Dr. Goldbloom sent the
e-mail rescinding the job offer on behalf of both CAMH and U of T.

“Essentially, we believe that it is not a good fit between you and the role
of leader of an academic program in mood and anxiety disorders at the Centre
and in relation to the University. This view was solidified by your recent
appearance at the Centre in the context of an academic lecture,” the message
said.

“While you are held in high regard as a scholar of the history of modern
psychiatry, we do not feel your approach is compatible with the goals for
development of the academic and clinical resource that we have.”

Dr. Goldbloom would not be interviewed for this story. Dr. Garfinkel said he
didn’t know what Dr. Goldbloom had said to Dr. Healy in person after the
speech. But he categorically denied that when Dr. Goldbloom referred to the
development of the centre he was referring in any way to the ability to raise
funds, either from Eli Lilly or other drug companies.

“Development is a technical term that many places use to talk about
fundraising. This is development of a program, totally different meaning,”
Dr. Garfinkel said.

He said the meeting where senior managers from U of T and CAMH made the
decision to rescind the job offer was on Dec. 8. Yet Dr. Goldbloom sent the
e-mail on Dec. 7, and began requesting an interview by phone several days
before that.

Dr. Healy didn’t quit his job in Wales and said he is not planning legal
action. He said he has asked for a more detailed explanation about why the
job offer was rescinded, but none was given. He said he would like to hear
from Dr. Garfinkel about the confidential reasons the job offer was revoked.

“Nobody has offered me any other reasons at all. I don’t believe there are
any other reasons. We have the paper trail, and what I am asking them to
explain is the paper trail. Maybe there is an explanation that will let them
off the hook, but if there is, maybe they could try explaining it to me.”

He certainly never imagined that his speech, which contained nothing he
hasn’t said before, would cost him the job.

In fact, Dr. Michels said the same speech did not cause problems at Cornell.

“He certainly has many people who sharply differ with him. That’s not unusual
in science. He has points of view that other people don’t agree with. He has
certainly been very open and expressive about his points of view. The
material is an area where there is great controversy, and he takes positions
in that controversy, but they are well within the dialogue in his field.”

This is the second controversy of its kind at the university. Researcher
Nancy Olivieri faced an ugly internal battle and a lawsuit in when she
published data unfavourable to the drug company that funded her work.

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10/19/1999 – PFIZER REJECTS NEUTRAL, COURT-APPOINTED EXPERT

Here is news release in a pivotal wrongful death case involving Zoloft.
For more information on this case, you may want to visit
(drugawareness.org/memorial/matt-miller)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (OCTOBER 19, 1999):

PLAINTIFFS WILLING TO HAVE SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE IN WRONGFUL
DEATH/SUICIDE CASE AGAINST MANUFACTURER OF ZOLOFT MEASURED BY NEUTRAL,
COURT-APPOINTED EXPERTS. PFIZER IS NOT.

MARK AND CHERYL MILLER OF KANSAS CITY HAVE FILED SUIT AGAINST PFIZER,
ALLEGING THAT ITS $2 BILLION DOLLAR PER YEAR PSYCHOACTIVE DRUG “ZOLOFT”
CAUSED THEIR 13 YEAR OLD SON TO COMMIT SUICIDE 7 DAYS AFTER HE WAS
GIVEN SAMPLES OF THE DRUG. PFIZER VEHEMENTLY DENIES THAT ITS DRUG
CAUSES ANY PATIENT TO COMMIT ACTS OF VIOLENCE OR SUICIDE.

TAKING THEIR CUE FROM A RECENT SUPREME COURT OPINION, THE MILLERS HAVE
SUGGESTED THAT THE JUDGE COULD AND SHOULD APPOINT A “NEUTRAL”,
OBJECTIVE EXPERT TO ADVISE HER AS TO WHETHER THE EXPERTS ON BOTH SIDES
ARE USING “SCIENTIFICALLY RELIABLE” METHODOLOGIES AND REASONING.

THE MILLERS’ COUNSEL, ANDY VICKERY OF HOUSTON, TEXAS
(andy@…) SAID THAT HE WAS DISAPPOINTED WITH PFIZER’S
UNWILLINGNESS TO HAVE A NEUTRAL SCIENTIST ADVISE THE COURT. “THE DRUG
COMPANIES YAP AND YAP ABOUT JUNK SCIENCE ALL OF THE TIME,” VICKERY
SAID, “BUT IT SEEMS TO ME THAT `JUNK SCIENCE’ TO THEM MERELY MEANS
SCIENCE FROM SOMEONE THAT THEY AREN’T PAYING AND CAN’T CONTROL”. THE
MILLERS’ PRINCIPAL LIABILITY EXPERT, DR. DAVID HEALY, WROTE THE HIGHLY
ACCLAIMED HARVARD PRESS BOOK, “THE ANTIDEPRESSANT ERA”, AND HAS ALREADY
BEEN RECEIVED BY ONE FEDERAL COURT AS A QUALIFIED EXPERT IN THIS AREA.

FEDERAL JUDGE KATHRYN VRATIL OF KANSAS CITY WILL DECIDE THE MOTION.

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