Blog des AK Psychiatriekritik der NFJ Berlin

Kategorie: David Healy

Madness Radio: Risky Pills David Healy

Adverse effects from prescription drugs are the 4th leading cause of death in America. How can we know if the pills we take are actually safe? What can we do if they aren’t? Dr. David Healy, internationally renowned psychiatrist, whistleblower, and author of 20 books, discusses industry corruption of pharmaceutical regulation and proposes better ways to protect patients and prevent harm.


The House of GSK

In a just-published article in the BMJ, Peter Doshi notes how in recent months the English pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has assiduously portrayed itself as an advocate of transparency and in support of access to clinical trial data.

Well, in support of “Responsible Access.” “Responsible” essentially means that a researcher commits to the primacy of RCTs and statistical significance over an analysis of adverse events. It would not, for example, be responsible to claim that an SSRI causes suicide, a statin muscle damage or cognitive failure, or hypoglycemics cause hypoglycemia unless a trial has shown this to happen to a Statistically Significant extent – and they never do.


The Empire of Humbug: Not So Bad Pharma

(Editorial Note: This is the fifth in the Lasagna series of posts that began with Not So Bad Pharma, April Fool, Tragedy of Lou Lasagna, Empire of Humbug: Bad Pharma and will continue through to Brand Fascism and Witty A: Report to the President.)

In 1954, soon after his article with Beecher put the placebo on the map, Lou Lasagna was recruited from Harvard to Hopkins. Beecher pleaded with him to stay in Boston;

“Now that I am faced with the unhappy fact that you are gone, I find it more depressing than I can say… If your future career is anything like your performance here it is bound to be spectacular.”

Lasagna ended his days back in Boston, leading the Center for the Study of Drug Development, whose brief was to foster the development of specific treatments for specific conditions. In 1980, he was made president of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. The placebo had vanished from his working life.

Michael Shepherd had at one point been expected to take over the lead of Britain’s Maudsley Hospital when Aubrey Lewis retired but his style was too much at odds with the developing medico-pharmaceutical complex for this to be possible. He had been Vice-President of the World Psychopharmacology College (CINP) but by the mid-1960s he was persona non-grata within psychopharmacology.

He turned to primary care research and accidentally created a market for the SSRIs in the process. He grew increasingly opposed to the notion of specificity in medicine, and turned to exploring the placebo.


Not an just an anecdote

The side effects you experience are not just anecdotes. Dr. David Healy explains that all of the major problems on drugs have been picked up by patients and doctors reporting them — not by drug companies.

The Empire of Humbug: Bad Pharma

Note: This is the fourth in the Lasagna series of posts – Not So Bad Pharma,  April Fool and Tragedy. It will be followed by The Empire of Humbug: Not so Bad Pharma, Brand Fascism & Witty A: Report to President.

The First RCT

In 1956, two of the creators of the modern RCT, Lou Lasagna and Michael Shepherd, met. The randomization in randomized placebo controlled trials came from Bradford Hill in Britain and placebo controls from Beecher, Gold and Lasagna in the US. In 1956, Michael Shepherd, Bradford-Hill’s representative in all things psychiatric, came on sabbatical to stay with Lasagna at Hopkins’.  [Lasagna is on the left].

Lasagna Shepherd 1956