APRIL's third Conference
Adverse Psychiatric Side Effects of Medicines:
What's our Responsibility?
Thursday 6 November 2008
9am to 5pm
held at Friends' House, 173 Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ
main conference flyer
See Links on left hand side of screen
for VIDEO FILMS OF THE SESSIONS, /strong>Biogs and programmes.
Link on left side to biographies of speakers
THE SPEAKERS at the APRIL charity conference biographies link with some extra information here:
Professor Munir Pirmohamed who is in demand as a speaker and educator world wide and has been recently appointed as the first ever ‘Chair in Pharmacogenetics’ in the UK, at Liverpool University.
His recent discovery of the genetic links to serious side effects of a drug used for HIV Aids has resulted in the development of a test to select those who can and those who cannot tolerate the drug. This has led to increased use for a drug that could help some people, yet cause serious harm to others.
Professor Munir Pirmohamed’s Liverpool study of: Adverse drug reactions (ADR’s) as a cause of admission to hospital: prospective analysis of 18,820 patients was an invaluable study to show the extent of ADRs in the community.
The study however excluded paediatric, psychiatric and maternaty emergency admissions.
Professor Munir Pirmohamed and the research team found 6.5% of the emergency admissions were due to ADR’s with a median bed stay of 8 days (4% of hospital bed capacity) costing in the region of £466m or $847m. Most reactions being avoidable.
The team concluded the burden of ADR’s on the NHS is high, accounting for considerable morbidity (iatrogenic illness), mortality (deaths) and extra costs.
Other speakers at our 2004 and 2008 conferences were Dr Andrew Herxheimer and Mr Charles Medawar. Both are leading lights in the field of medicines side effects.
For years Charles Medawar has done in depth research into the serious and life threatening side effects, first of benzodiazepines and then of SSRI antidepressants and recorded patients’ own experiences.
Charles Medawar and his organisation Social Audit (www.socialaudit.org.uk) have recently been exploring the concept of ‘pharmageddon’ with eminent researchers. Details are on the Social Audit web site.
Andrew Herxheimer and Charles Medawar appeared in BBC Panorama documentaries about Seroxat / Paxil (paroxetine).
They reviewed the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) handling and analysis of ADR Yellow Card reports and the thousands of reports of ADRs and distressing withdrawal symptoms sent to the Panorama team.
Journalist Lynn Eaton wrote in the British Medical Journal about an apparent attempt by the UK government to distract from MHRA incompetence and a system, that in Dr Andrew Herxheimer’s words, was chaotic and misconceived
Professor David Healy was also interviewed for Panorama.
A transcript of programs. Links and Panorama viewer comments can be found at the following link:
Professor David Healy has devised a withdrawal protocol for SSRI and similar antidepressants which is widely used, has made studies and published papers on the risk of suicide for people taking SSRIs.
David Healy is Professor of psychological medicine at the University of Wales. More information on Professor Healy's attempts to draw attention to suicide and dependency problems caused to some people by SSRI and other antidepressants is on the web site:
There were many more speakers, panel members and chairs worthy of mention and more details of these amazing and ethical doctors, clinicians and academics will be put on to the web site when time allows, in the meantime try to ‘google’ for more information for those above and for the following speakers:
Dr Ben Goldacre a GP who writes a column and has published a book entitled Bad Science.
Dr Joanna Moncrieff Sen.lecturer, psychiatrist member of Critical Psychiatry Group.
Joanna Moncrieff is author of “ The myth of the chemical cure” interview with Joanna on BBC radio4 http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_8151000/8151332.stm
Dr Bob Johnson psychiatrist/author does not support the use of medication in dealing with mental illness. He believes by unravelling childhood trauma, many people can be helped back to living normal lives without drugs. His organisation the James Naylor Foundation publishes reviews of their conferences and debates held in London. They will be setting up a centre in London during 2009.
Dr Anita Holdcroft anaesthetist author on paper evaluating anaesthetic ADRs.
Professor Heather Ashton Emeritus Professor clinical pharmacology ran the benzodiazepine withdrawal clinic in Newcastle, produced a benzodiazepine and z drug withdrawal protocol which is used world wide,
Dr Simon Maxwell, Senior lecturer Clinical Pharmacology Edinburgh, paper on medical education and member of Medical Schools Council Safe Prescribing Working Group,
Dr John Halliday, Senior lecturer pharmacology and therapeutics.
Dr Hugh Middleton, psychiatrist and social scientist.
Nigel Meadows, HM Coroner Manchester City believes many of the sudden deaths are linked to medication and wants more help for Coroners to find information among the mine field of adverse drug reactions.