Government advises “reporting adverse drug reactions”
The Prime Minister's Office announced yesterday the MHRA's intention to advise prescription drug users to report adverse reactions to pharmaceutical products, in response to a petition started by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) in London, which called for 'Black Box Warnings' on psychotropic drugs.
According to CCHR, whose mission is 'to expose and eradicate psychiatric violations of human rights,' there have been 119 international warnings against psycho-pharmaceuticals since the year 2000. Included among these are well-known psychiatric drugs such as Ritalin, Prozac and Seroxat.
Responding to the petition, the Government pointed to the Yellow Card Scheme, which is run by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the Commission on Human Medicines (CHM), and which collects information on side effects and adverse drug reactions.
Supporting the petition's aim, the Government announced a change to Patient Information Leaflets, rather than on-the-box warnings:
“As part of the MHRA’s strategy to raise public awareness of the Yellow Card Scheme, the Agency is seeking to include a statement in Patient Information Leaflets making consumers aware of the need to report suspected adverse drug reactions. While this is not currently a requirement of European legislation, in the UK it is considered good practice.”
CCHR supporters highlighted child suicides linked to psychiatric antidepressants at a demonstration in Liverpool last week, in response to the annual meeting of the Royal College of Psychiatrists which took place at Liverpool's BT Convention Centre. Supporters included members of the Church of Scientology, which originally founded the organisation with Jewish Professor of Psychiatry Dr Thomas Szasz in 1969.
CCHR is said to be happy with the petition response.