‘The willingness among some . . .’

Hole Ousia

The support of the BMJ Editor in Chief to address meaningfully financial conflicts of interest in medicine and science is most welcome.

As an NHS doctor of 25 years I have willingly given much of my spare time in trying to bring about change in this area. I have to be honest: I have not found it easy and my ‘activism’ has had consequences for my career. In 2013 I raised a petition with the Scottish Parliament seeking the introduction of a Sunshine Act for Scotland. That petition was closed more than three years ago after a public consultation. The majority of those consulted agreed that legislation was necessary. However the Scottish Government, behind closed doors, chose one of four options under consideration. The “option” that was chosen might be reasonably considered as status quo.

It would seem then that the Scottish Government do not find it…

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A Sunshine Act for Scotland [FOI update]

Hole Ousia

It is now over three years since my petition for a Sunshine Act for Scotland was closed. Over this time I have on occasion requested an update from the Scottish Government on actions taken. The Scottish Government  informed me on each occasion that it was “scoping options”. In search of further clarification I requested (through Freedom of Information legislation) any Scottish Government correspondence regarding this subject.

The response, some of which is reproduced below, did indeed provide further clarification on Scottish Government actions since my petition was closed.  As is often the case with FOI responses some of the material has been redacted.

It was interesting to note that a considerable amount of the correspondence included the Counter Fraud Service of NHS National Services Scotland.

I was also encouraged to learn that the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) was broadly in support of the principles behind my petition.

I have included…

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Royal College of Psychiatrists: “Necessary redactions have been made”

Hole Ousia

A month before I resigned from the Royal College of Psychiatrists I made a Subject Access Request asking for College communications that involved me to be released. At the beginning of this month I recieved a large bundle of printed material from the College that exceeded 300 sides of A4.

Of this material supplied by the College 93 A4 sides had been COMPLETELY redacted and another 94 sides had everything redacted other than a subject heading, date, and/or partial address list [in other words NO content was provided].

Of the remaining material 32 A4 sides were full copies of my communications over the years with the College in relation to ethics, transparency of competing interests, and realistic medicine.

This is an example of one of the pages that was not fully redacted by the Royal College of Psychiatrists:

There was not a single page where material had not been redacted…

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Tapering SSRI treatment to mitigate withdrawal symptoms

Hole Ousia

This Personal View by Mark Abie Horowitz and David Taylor has been published in this month’s Lancet. I have written to the authors to thank them for providing this sensible and scientific perspective.

What follows are a few sections taken from the overall paper along with brief comments based on my two decade experience of paroxetine:

This is the summary that came with the paper:

My experience of paroxetine is that withdrawal symptoms can last many years. In 2004, after a number of failed attempts at gradual reduction, I reduced paroxetine as slowly as I could using a liquid preparation and micro-pipette. Despite this the slow withdrawal [as slowly as I could] symptoms were with me day and night. It took me over a year to gradually wean myself from paroxetine. This was the consequence for me (and my young family)

1 in 5 Scots are now taking antidepressants…

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It’s BOOM time in Industry

Hole Ousia

This is an unedited clip of a contribution made by Professor Michael Sharpe, Professor of Psychological Medicine at the University of Oxford. The Event marked the 50th Anniversary of the Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford.

The full coverage of the afternoon session of the 18th March 2019 can be watched here (thanks to The Mental Elf):

At this afternoon session Professor Michael Sharpe said: “. . . we live in the greatest of times . . . Mental Health is the rage. This is BOOM time! We have a PRODUCT that is selling like hotcakes everywhere. How are we going to make enough PRODUCT?” [capitalization is mine, but as I heard it] This statement/question by Professor Michael Sharpe was followed by laughter from the audience.

I have watched several of the sessions of this 50th Anniversary. I was struck by the frequent use of the language…

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Why you need to remain critical of ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences)

VictimFocus Blog

Why you need to remain critical of ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences)

Jessica Eaton

15th March 2019

Lots of people have been asking me why I am critical of the ‘ACEs’ movement. Before I explain why I remain wary of such an approach to human development, for the followers of this blog who don’t know much about ACEs, I will briefly explain it.

ACE stands for Adverse Childhood Experiences.

Essentially, adverse childhood experiences in your own life might include sexual or domestic abuse, neglect or physical abuse, emotional abuse, living with a parent who was in addiction, one of your parents going to prison, being frequently bullied, losing one of your parents to divorce, illness or suicide and so on.

The approach suggests that if you have multiple ACEs, you might require support, therapy, trauma-informed interventions and specialist provision. This is being used to build services, policies, strategies, research and interventions…

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