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Sir

The Professional Standards Committee (PSC) judgement, said that I

needed to consult a senior colleague about deficiencies in my

knowledge and communication. It concerned 3 patients out of 30

whose pharmacological treatment I had reported to the area health

service and to the NSW Medical Board.

Before I saw them, all had displayed suicidal, homicidal, psychotic,

violent or otherwise peculiar behaviours both caused and aggravated

by high doses of 'SSRI' antidepressants to which had been added to

other medicines which have been well documented interactions with

them. Two were on Aropax which its maker, GSK had admitted, a

fortnight ago, had increased suicides eightfold in clinical trials over

placebo, but they had not disclosed this catastrophic side effect when

Aropax was licensed as an 'antidepressant.' The third was on three

drugs together with Luvox, a drug so interactive that it had been

withdrawn from use in the United States.

The NSW Medical Board had declined to investigate my 30 complaints

as prescribing issues. The HCCC used the services of a psychiatrist

who was a 'peer' of the prescribers, who found nothing unusual in a

series that soon involved four deaths and several more suicides and
deaths which were not investigated either and a dozen near lethal

suicide attempts and a variety of bizarre behaviours on these drugs.

On legal advice, I made the reports prospectively, at a rate of two or

so each week, as the doctors of concern continued in their prescribing

after I had issued formal warnings supported by documentation to the

Superintendent. The first deaths occurred very soon after the

prescriber had been ‘exonerated’ by the HCCC for the first group of

suicide attempts but the reports of the deaths were ‘lost’ for two years

at the HCCC, then not investigated either, or not by relevant experts. .

These same ‘side effects’ have been reported tens or possibly,

hundreds of thousands of times to the United States Food and Drug

Administration (US FDA) which issued Public Health Advisory in

March 2004 and many before and since about worsening depression,

suicidality, mania, akathisia, violence, insomnia, agitation, panic and

anxiety caused by antidepressants. The Area Health Service, the

PSC and the various ‘peers’ all failed to acknowledge the significance

and legal importance of such high level advisories.

The PSC was not concerned that one of the three went on to stab a

man and attempt suicide when he was given even more of the very

drugs that I had warned (in writing) had already caused a ‘serotonergic

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reaction.’ Nor were they concerned that he had been abandoned by

his treaters and re-diagnosed with an ‘antisocial personality disorder’

after he had done that.

That complaint was bizarre in that it was I, who had tried to prevent

such a catastrophe by warning in writing, was alleged to be somehow

responsible for causing this behaviour. The PSC was advised that I

was unethical for making so many unjustified reports and for informing

a patient’s mother about her son’s problems, although that information

led to his full recovery.

Since 1997, that Area Health Service had increased its mental health

beds from 30 to 42 and it was promised another 12 in 2006, after yet

another inpatient suicide.

Hospitalised suicide attempts have trebled from 55 to 155/100,000.

Suicides under mental health care in NSW (a relatively new

phenomenon) run at between 100 and 150 annually and violence and

homicides by mental health patients have hugely increased. 194 such

patients were admitted to one ward during 2003-4, but it took a

psychiatrist with 42 years of experience to see that this was a

population which did not exist before this new batch of serotonin

altering psychiatric drugs came into use, antidepressants and ‘atypical’

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antipsychotics which have the same side effects at double the rate of

antidepressants.

We have a Crisis in Mental Health. The Department of Health has

installed nearly 500 more mental health beds and there are 1100 more

on the drawing boards.

Finding and relieving such patients has been a Mental Health priority

in the UK for three years now and in Canada where I had lectured on

this problem.

In the USA, 40 State Attorneys are suing the makers of these drugs for

criminal fraud, to get funds to compensate patients who had suffered

and to recoup costs so generated, and settlements run in billions of

dollars. Doctors, when sued, say they were not properly warned, and

thus pass the responsibility successfully onto the drug companies.

The Department of Health has been told many times that the causes

of this crisis are: new drugs which have suicide attempts, homicidal

thinking and hallucinations among their listed side effects. It prefers to

kill the messenger by repeated acts of defamation.

The Health Care Complaints Commission is the only body available to

look at treatment complaints. It had been was set up in the wake of the

Chelmsford Royal Commission to ensure that malpractice of such

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magnitude could not happen again. Thirty years ago, 26 deaths and

suicides were occasioned by pharmacological treatment delivered by

the late Dr Harry Bailey over some twenty years.

Today's drugs are far more dangerous inductive of suicide. They are

given to a million Australians, 14% of whom do not have the

metabolism to deal with them at all. Huge numbers who are at risk of

these catastrophic side effects which, more often than not, are taken

for schizophrenia, bipolar illness or borderline personality disorder and

the patient is given more drugs. Persons seeking mental health care

doubled in the decade since Prozac was released in 1992 to 2003 and

the numbers are still increasing, as the number of people whose SSRI

side effects were taken for schizophrenia, etc mounts up.

I reported this series of suicides deaths and suicide attempts over 6

months, after which I was advised by lawyers to stop reporting

because the Medial Board has decided to pursue me. The series was

far worse than anything that Dr. Bailey and Chelmsford produced in

that short period time and every complaint was dismissed in a cavalier

fashion. One senior administrator apologised to me for not dealing

with my reports. He explained that it was ‘The System.’

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