Saturday, November 07, 2009

We call upon the NHS to stop promoting harmful psychotropic drugs for children


The NHS react to the fact that their leaflets, that promote Atomoxetine (brand name "Strattera"), Olanzapine (brand name "Zyprexa") and Risperidone to children, are being publicly displayed.

About a year ago, I came across a series of NHS-produced leaflets which encourage children to take certain psychiatric drugs, the safety of which has not been studied on children. Disgusted, I blogged about the situation here.

A few months later, the Bonkers Institute for Nearly Genuine Research, a group that campaigns against psychiatry and psychiatric drugs, found my blog post and left a comment as follows:

We've added these NHS leaflets to our Marvelous Mental Medicine Show's "Kid Stuff" page:

We're always looking for similar items to include in the Institute's Medicine Show, so please drop us a line if you come across anything else which might be of interest to us.

Best regards,
Ben Hansen
Special Assistant to Dr. M.I. Bonkers, M.D.
Institute for Nearly Genuine Research

Then, a few days ago, the Institute for Nearly Genuine Research received an e-mail from Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, as follows:

Central and North West London NHS Trust email correspondence
regarding NHS children's leaflets posted at

From: Eccles Sue (Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust)
Date: Mon, Nov 2, 2009 at 11:53 AM
Subject: Our Patient Information Leaflets

I have been informed that you are using our leaflets on your web-site. Whilst I think your intention is to draw attention to the material which is available for patients and their parents/carers (I have read your end-piece about copyright) you have nevertheless uploaded the whole text of our leaflet. Could I please request that you amend the site so that it is no longer possible to access the whole leaflet -- the front page and our contact details would be appropriate. I'm sure you appreciate that the only way that we will be able to produce more materials for patient benefit is by recouping the cost from other organisations which want to use them -- our objective is provide written materials to support the verbal counselling given by healthcare professionals -- they are not meant to stand alone as sources of information. We charge a reasonable fee for full access to all the children's leaflets and so it not in our interest, or necessarily, patients and parents to have access to them on your website without the professional support intended.

I hope this explanation makes sense to you and that you will amend your site quickly. I would appreciate your response and compliance with this request as soon as possible.

Sue Eccles
Deputy Chief Pharmacist
Central and North West London NHS Trust
Greater London House
Hampstead Road
Tel. 020 3214 5898

Dr. Bonkers responds:

We posted the NHS leaflets to stimulate public scrutiny of your agency. We call upon the NHS to stop promoting harmful psychotropic drugs for children. In a spirit of full disclosure and transparency, we have now posted your letter as well.

Psychiatry is to medicine what astrology is to astronomy. ~ Leonard Roy Frank
Bonkers Institute for Nearly Genuine Research

How do you feel about the NHS encouraging children to take medication that has not been tested for use by children?

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