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Raj Persaud in conversation - the podcasts

Jan 30, 2019

You can also listen to this interview on a free app on iTunes and Google Play Store entitled 'Raj Persaud in conversation', which includes a lot of free information on the latest research findings in psychology, psychiatry, neuroscience and mental health, plus interviews with top experts from around the world. Download it free from these links. Don't forget to check out the bonus content button on the app.


from David Healy's blog


Dr. David Healy

Dr. David HealyDr. David Healy is an internationally respected psychiatrist, psychopharmacologist, scientist, and author.

A professor of Psychiatry in Wales, David studied medicine in Dublin, and at Cambridge University. He is a former Secretary of the British Association for Psychopharmacology, and has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed articles, 200 other pieces, and 20 books, including The Antidepressant Era and The Creation of Psychopharmacology from Harvard University Press, The Psychopharmacologists Volumes 1-3 and Let Them Eat Prozac from New York University Press, and Mania from Johns Hopkins University Press.

David’s latest book, Pharmageddon, documents the riveting and terrifying story of how pharmaceutical companies have hijacked healthcare in America and the life-threatening results.

David’s main areas of research are clinical trials in psychopharmacology, the history of psychopharmacology, and the impact of both trials and psychotropic drugs on our culture.

He has been involved as an expert witness in homicide and suicide trials involving psychotropic drugs, and in bringing problems with these drugs to the attention of American and British regulators, as well raising awareness of how pharmaceutical companies sell drugs by marketing diseases and co-opting academic opinion-leaders, ghost-writing their articles.

David is a founder and CEO of Data Based Medicine Limited, which operates through its website, dedicated to making medicines safer through online direct patient reporting of drug side effects.

David and his colleagues recently established RxISK eConsult, an online medication consultation service to answer the question “Could it be my meds?”

About Data Based Medicine

Adverse drug events are now the fourth leading cause of death in hospitals

It’s a reasonable bet they are an even greater cause of death in non-hospital settings where there is no one to monitor things going wrong and no one to intervene to save a life. In mental health for instance drug-induced problems are the leading cause of death — and these deaths happen in community rather than hospital settings.

There is also another drug crisis — we are failing to discover new drugs.

These two crises may be linked in that detecting adverse events on drugs is still the best way to discover a new use for a drug, and new drugs. But there are fewer and fewer incentives for anyone to recognize adverse events. Companies are blocking efforts to detect problems and in so doing are sawing off the branch on which they are sitting. Doctors are neutering themselves by failing to recognize and treat what should be the most recognizable threat to life and moreover the most eminently treatable cause of death in the world today.

A century ago Freud drew our attention to the many ways in which speech could be biased. Half a century ago clinical trials drew our attention to the biases that both doctors and patients bring to therapy. Just as Freud’s insights once made it difficult for anyone to accept things that were said at face value, so clinical trials and evidence-based medicine have created a culture that makes it increasingly difficult for doctors or patients to spot what is right in front of our own eyes. Ultimately Freud ended up being used to explain away or deny claims of abuse that we now know were happening, and in much the same way companies and doctors are now using trial data, or the lack of it, as a drunk uses a lamppost — for support rather than illumination. Just as a point came at which claims of abuse could no longer be denied, we may be nearing a point where treatment-induced problems will have to be recognized.

This blog aims at raising the profile of this interlocked set of problems and the need for Data Based Medicine.

See my first blog post for a full discussion of what I hope this blog can help achieve.

David Healy
January 2012

 2019;30(1):1-7. doi: 10.3233/JRS-180746.

Paediatric antidepressants: Benefits and risks.


The data supporting the use of "antidepressants" in children and adolescents is largely unavailable. Academic publications give a different picture as regards benefits and harms to publications from regulatory other sources. Despite disagreements about the data driving use of these medicines, in practice "antidepressants" may now be the most commonly used drugs by adolescent girls, and children's mental health services are attracting increasing attention.This paper reviews the difficulties surrounding the data. It outlines a case for benefits (as well as risks) that would require physicians to exert a greater degree of professional autonomy than service managers might wish.