This to my previous doctor, copied to Vara and Johnson.
Re: Depression, Anxiety attacks, prescription of fluoxetine and consequent suicidal ideations
I am a former patient of yours, and it was during the last year that I lived in Chadwell Heath that I experienced what I take to be quite severe anxiety and depression, owing to certain work-related issues. At the time, you took my word that I was suffering from depression (that is, you did not have me complete any kind of depression rating questionnaire), and prescribed me with fluoxetine, the generic name for Prozac.
As bad as I was feeling, at the time, there is no question in my mind that my state worsened, as a consequence, and I began to experience the sense that “I couldn’t go on,” which I reported to you. You gave me a prescription for a different drug, which I don’t remember the name of - I filled the prescription, and then binned the drugs without starting it, which I believe to be the best decision that I ever made. You told me that the suicidality that I was experiencing was consequent to my condition. At one point, I phoned the Samaritans, who directed me to the NHS Emergency line. In turn, I was directed to some response centre at Barking Hospital, I think it was. The “expert” who saw me reiterated what you had said.
You are both liars. The side effect that I experienced is noted on the PIL. Why did you seek to deflect responsibility for the side effect that I experienced back on to me, Dr Patel?
I have spent the past year or two piecing together the sordid story of the way that SSRIs have been marketed as miracle drugs. Perhaps you would like to refer yourself to the recent paper in the New England Journal of Medicine, which would appear to indicate that manufacturers routinely suppress the negative data on their drugs, thus making them appear less dangerous than they are. And more efficacious. It might also interest you to know that the MHRA is unable to explain to me how it assesses drugs for licence. Apparently because it doesn’t bother - it appears to take the word of the manufacturer.
I have also come to understand that there is a whole industry devoted to creating a false picture of the benefits and safety attributed to drugs, in general, and not just SSRIs, from the bribing of doctors, through promotion of off-label indications, via “interested” academics putting their names to ghostwritten papers, to the provision of free CPD. It is a massive fraud, Dr Patel. And the ones paying are the patients, of which I was one. I am very angry, Dr Patel. I would like an apology, Dr Patel. If I do not get one, then I will extract one.
Incidentally, I note that NICE recommends that patients on SSRIs are given “close and continual monitoring”. Could you explain what arrangements you made for my close and continual monitoring, Dr Patel?