Is Vincent Browne Afraid Of The Gorilla?

6 Apr

Vincent and the GorillaReferring to the pharmaceutical industry, Marcia Angell, former editor of The New England Journal of Medicine, said “What does the eight-hundred-pound gorilla do? Anything it wants to”. 

I haven’t really mentioned the TV3 documentary, apart from my view that Patricia Casey used the exercise to contradict Professor David Healy, pushing a vendetta that she’s harboured since long before my son died. Professor Healy was expecting it so it didn’t come as a surprise, although I don’t think he’d mind me saying that he thought her posthumous diagnosis of my son was unprofessional, unprecedented and a serious abuse of her position. Protecting the drug and pushing instead the ‘psychiatric illness’ came as no surprise either – par for the course within Irish psychiatry.

It’s interesting that Patricia’s colleague, Irish psychiatrist and fellow Lundbeck supporter Ted Dinan, took a complaint to the medical council against doctor Michael Corry for commenting on Shane’s case without ever having met him; will he be doing the same with Patricia? Dr Justin Brophy, another Irish psychiatrist, also took a complaint to the BAI against Dr Corry and RTE following his Late Late Show appearance. They do protest a lot; could they possibly be right or are they just protecting their cash cow?

The debate following the documentary was supposed to be about the possible adverse effects of SSRIs and whether they can, or cannot, cause a person to become suicidal and/or homicidal. The debate, which sadly didn’t answer any questions on the drug issue can be viewed here. One of the panel, Pádraig MacLochlainn, a Sinn Féin TD, (22 mins) said that the experts need to get their facts in order, that the two experts Patricia Casey and David Healy expressed totally opposing views. He further stated that people need clarification on the effects of these drugs. Sensible man!

Now why would the debate not attempt to clarify these issues? David Healy was happy to take part and could have answered any queries put to him, but TV3 decided against it. Surely Patricia Casey would have welcomed the chance to have an open and honest discussion, considering not only does David Healy say that SSRIs including Citalopram can cause sudden death, suicide and homicide, he also says they cause miscarriages, birth defects and an increased rate of abortion due to the disinhibition effect when taking these drugs. Considering her well publicised views on abortion, she couldn’t possibly defend these drugs knowing that they actually increase the abortion rate, could she?

The only way to get any clarification on the effects of prescription drugs is to have a public debate; so why then did this promised debate not go ahead? Is it to do with the revenue that TV3 receive from its numerous pharmaceutical advertisements? Is Vincent Browne afraid to rock the boat and prod the pharma gorilla? It might be worth mentioning that Lundbeck, the inventor of the drug Citalopram, was supposed to take part in this debate but pulled out at the last minute. It might also be worth mentioning that this company has already admitted to reports of ‘self harm and harm to others’ in other countries such as Canada.

If David Healy was to be proved wrong, I’d be quite happy to admit to being misinformed, that Shane was just coincidently on this drug and I’d even apologise to Professor Casey. So how about it Vincent, will you facilitate a debate with the actual experts – or are you afraid to prod this particular gorilla?

 

 

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12 Responses to “Is Vincent Browne Afraid Of The Gorilla?”

  1. truthman30 April 6, 2014 at 8:36 pm #

    One of the most interesting things about this debate is that their are two absolutely opposing views about SSRU drugs within psychiatry. Professor Healy (an expert on pharmaceutical drugs and their adverse effects) says that SSRI’s can cause suicide, aggression, homicide etc (in some cases). Patricia Casey outright denies that there is any whiff of a possibility of any links to SSRI’s causing suicide, homicide etc. How can there be two diametrically opposing viewpoints within the same profession? Somebody is telling porkies…

    • Maria April 7, 2014 at 11:15 am #

      It could be a result of the fact that Patricia Casey is just a psychiatrist while David Healy is both a pyschiatrist and a psychopharmacologist. We know from surveys of psychiatrists that they have a worryingly low level of knowledge around the drugs they prescribe while a psychopharmacologist is obviously an expert in this area.

      • truthman30 April 8, 2014 at 12:08 am #

        I don’t buy that as a defense,I think the ones that defend SSRI’s without accepting any debate to the contrary know well what they are doing..

  2. Melanie April 6, 2014 at 8:39 pm #

    I’m watching with interest!

  3. truthman30 April 6, 2014 at 8:41 pm #

    Sorry Typo!… SSRI drugs.. not SSRU!…

    Also, while a lot of disciplines do have differing view-points within, it is unusual to have such profoundly differing views in medical science from two different experts… If psychiatry is a science then surely the basics of its theories should have a universal consensus? In the case of SSRI’s, and the psychiatric profession personally, I think it boils down to, which individual do you trust? Which individual has displayed more ethics? Whose opinion is more plausible?

  4. Sarah April 7, 2014 at 3:03 am #

    Two families have had been devastated. Two experts have differed. I was flabbergasted by Professor Casey undertaking a posthumous diagnosis of Shane’s mental health from a supermarket cctv footage. Is that not indicative of a malaise within Irish Psychiatry?

    • Leonie (For Shane) April 7, 2014 at 12:28 pm #

      Yes both families have been devastated by my son’s actions in 2009 and clarifying whether the drug or a psychiatric illness could have caused this can only be a good thing. The fact that Professor Casey had to resort to telling a blatant lie to forward her argument says a lot about Irish psychiatry. Repeatedly referring to a journal that my son kept, implying that she had access to his personal thoughts was a lie – there was no journal. The fact that TV3 knew this is the surprising thing for me – where is the investigative journalism of old? Very sloppy on both their parts!

      • truthman30 April 8, 2014 at 12:09 am #

        Irish psychiatry are at a stage similar to the Catholic Church was in the 90’s… in complete denial…. It will take a few more years before this can of sinister world sees the light of cultural disinfectant…

  5. John Clark (@JohnClarkDublin) April 11, 2014 at 8:37 pm #

    Psychiatry in general is a scam we would be far better off without it.

  6. Rose April 14, 2014 at 10:26 pm #

    “where is the investigative journalism of old? ”

    Good to see the BBC are at least adhering to the concept of Public Service Broadcasting in tonight’s Panorama, Leonie. Perhaps the Irish media should take note.

    • Leonie (For Shane) April 17, 2014 at 9:50 am #

      It sure is Rose. The Panorama programme, courtesy of Truthman, can be viewed here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u821Vb4mMe0

      Naturally, when there is corruption, there is always Lundbeck. Professor David Nutt’s involvement is interesting! He was the one who stated on BBC radio that ‘it’s impossible to kill yourself with an SSRI overdose’. He then backtracked and said ‘almost impossible’.. the fact that a lot of doctors believe that is inexcusable in 2014.

      Despite the fact that this study was given ‘ medical writing assistance’ by a Lundbeck employee, Nalmefene was still associated with drug-induced suicidal behaviour. Now I wonder what the increase in adverse events would have been without the Lundbeck employee’s ‘revision and editing of the manuscript’ and the 2 study authors who were also fellow employees?
      http://jop.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/03/24/0269881114527362.full

      • Rose April 18, 2014 at 7:41 pm #

        Oh yes Prof. Nutt, the former drugs Czar who believed ecstasy was no more dangerous than horse riding. And who was it wrote the Lundbeck study Frooit & Kayk?

        Putting your mind in their hands, reassuring.

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