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  1. There has been a bit of a storm in the UK media over the last couple of weeks. There is an ongoing review of the effects of prescribed drug dependence by the UK government ( All Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence) after a request from Public Health England last year. PHE is an executive agency of the UK government to monitor and improve health and social care delivery in England. The committee working on this project consists of many people, ranging from psychiatrists, doctors and psychologists through to people who have recovered from medication withdrawal and now campaign for change. The details of the review are here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/prescribed-medicines-an-evidence-review Last week a member of the review group was forced to resign due to his obvious connections to the pharma industry. Professor David Baldwin, a professor of psychiatry, has taken payments for his 'work' from at least 12 different pharma companies. He was put forward to participate on the review panel by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the main UK professional body for psychiatry. Not surprisingly, many people objected due to his industry connections and he received quite a lot of negative publicity, especially on social media, which he blamed for his resignation from the group. In fact a very reasoned and well worded complaint about Baldwins participation in the project was lodged with the Royal College of Psychiatrists by a group of 30 psychiatrists, doctors, psychologists and people in recovery from antidepressant withdrawal, which they chose to ignore. The complaint was then escalated to the Secretary of State for Health (the leading UK government health minister). Baldwins resignation made front page news in two national newspapers: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6203875/Government-drugs-advisor-QUITS-sustained-campaign-abuse.html https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/drugs-adviser-david-baldwin-quits-after-being-branded-worse-than-hitler-in-online-abuse-row-srtqltmfs https://www.madintheuk.com/2018/09/royal-college-of-psychiatry-representative-resigns-from-government-review-after-complaints-about-his-drug-company-involvement/ Today there has been coverage of research published by two other members of the Prescribed Drug Dependence Committee, James Davies and John Read. I haven't seen a copy of the paper published by these well respected authors (Dr James Davies wrote Cracked and Professor John Read is well know for his work on and support of non drug treatments for mental health). When I find a copy I will post it here. In the mean time these are the media articles that have been published today https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-6228645/Now-doctors-wake-dangers-patients-hooked-depression-pills.html?ito=amp_twitter_share-top https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-6229295/Millions-warned-severe-withdrawal-risk-coming-antidepressants.html Accompanying this, there has been quite a bit of coverage on social media: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1044581415686477/?multi_permalinks=1465564233588191&notif_id=1538434827319380&notif_t=group_activity https://fiddaman.blogspot.com/2018/10/breaking-antidepressants-cause-majority.html Most of the coverage has been positive for the cause and there are rumblings about the possibility this research will have a positive affect on the warnings regarding withdrawal from psychiatric drugs, given out by health agencies and organisations in the UK. It would be nice to think the coverage will go further than that, but we shall see. Thanks Caspur
  2. David Healy's recent editorial, "Serotonin and Depression: the Marketing of a Myth," in the British Medical Journal, has been picked up and commented upon by lots and lots of media outlets, many of them quite respectable (i.e. mainstream) and most of them quite respectful of his critique of SSRI hegemony. One thing he says in the editorial that I wasn't aware of is that theories of depression which included the role of cortisol were swept aside by the SSRI sales blitz. Also, in the mainstream media coverage, the defensiveness of some of his critics from within psychiatry was quite satisfying.
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