The Evidence, However, Is Clear…The Seroxat Scandal


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By Bob Fiddaman

ISBN: 978-1-84991-120-7
Published: 2010
Pages: 331
Key Themes: depression, pharmacy, campaign, seroxat



Bob Fiddaman was prescribed Seroxat due to depression that was, in essence, due to work related problems.

What followed was a journey that took him through a tapering process of, what he believes to be, a highly addictive antidepressant.

Following almost two years of withdrawal, Fiddaman’s new battle with the manufacturer of the drug, GlaxoSmithKline and the UK’s medicine regulator, the MHRA, took him on a more frustrating journey than he ever could have imagined.

The name Bob Fiddaman has become synonymous throughout cyberspace. Google his name and you will find articles he has written, many of which have been republished by a vast army of fellow patient advocates.

In his debut book, Fiddaman takes the bull by the horns and pulls no punches.

Doctor’s and patients alike will find Fiddaman’s journey both tragic and informative, in particular the current stance of the UK regulator with regard to pregnancy and antidepressants.

It may also make you stop and seriously reconsider the safety and efficacy of the medications you take.

About the Author

Bob Fiddaman was born in London in 1964, the youngest of three children to his parents, Douglas and Teresa Fiddaman.

In 1967 his parents moved to Birmingham where he has lived since.
Bob married in 1987 but divorced in 2006. He has three children, Danny, Marc and Gary.

He is currently unemployed but previously held down jobs at Land Rover, Solihull and the Royal Mail in Birmingham City Centre.

In 1999 Bob became the Poetry Slam Champion of Birmingham, beating a teacher of poetry in the final. Although unpublished, much of his work can be seen on the Internet.

In 2006, Bob created the SEROXAT SUFFERERS STAND UP AND BE COUNTED blog. To date he has had over 148,000 visitors and ranks in 5th place when entering the search term ‘Seroxat’ into the Google search engine.

Bob has met with the UK Medicines regulator [MHRA] on a number of occasions but has now ceased contact with them.

Book Extract

On Friday the 7th of April, 2006, I began what I thought at the time to be a mini protest against the Medicines Healthcare products and Regulatory Agency [MHRA] and the second largest pharmaceutical company in the world, GlaxoSmithKline [GSK]. The world of blogging [1] was new to me but it seemed a good outlet to get ones voice heard and a short way to cut through the red tape that exists at government level here in the UK. I wasn’t happy with the way an antidepressant called Seroxat, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, was being widely prescribed and its serious adverse side-effects were being largely ignored by both the medical profession and the UK Medicine regulator, the MHRA.

The MHRA was founded in 2003 by merging the Medicines Control Agency (MCA) and the Medical Devices Agency (MDA). The MCA was created by the UK Medicines Act 1968, in the wake of the thalidomide disaster. [2] The thalidomide tragedy occurred over fifty years ago, when it came onto the market. The years that followed saw it causing serious deformities in children whose mothers had taken the drug during pregnancy. Many of them died. Both the pharmaceuticals industry and legislators learned lessons from this tragedy. The safety tests that a new drug is required to undergo before it can be administered to humans were made much more stringent… or so we were led to believe.

[1] A blog (a contraction of the term weblog) is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse- chronological order.

[2] Drug which is a powerful human teratogen. [See Chapters 17 &18]

40 years on and prescription drugs are still slipping through the system and into the bloodstreams of humans. Some would say that the whole Seroxat scandal is on a par with the thalidomide disaster.

I would suggest, with respect, that it is far worse than that, worse because we actually have a regulator in place who has ignored the pleas of patients, articles and even doctors that have claimed Seroxat has ruined their lives or the lives of their patients. Of course, the fact of children born with abnormalities is far worse than those suffering withdrawal; those poor children were dragged into this world with defects, it is because of them that we have a drugs regulator in place. The Seroxat scandal should have been quickly nipped in the bud by the regulator, instead the denial continues and patients still suffer. This is what sets it aside from the thalidomide disaster. We have people in place to help us and they are clearly not.

Emails to the CEO of the MHRA, Prof. Kent Woods were being ignored. Freedom of Information requests [FOI’s] to the MHRA were being returned to me with exemption rules and/or a vagueness that defied belief. Something just didn’t sit right with me. My suspicions regarding the MHRA and their closeness to the pharmaceutical industry stemmed from a documentary aired on BBC TV almost two years before I started blogging. BBC’s Panorama [1] had already aired two programmes regarding Seroxat and their third, ‘Taken on Trust’, delved deeper into how prescription drugs are regulated in the UK. The programme’s investigative reporter, Shelley Jofre, exposed huge failings in the MHRA and revealed how patients’ lives had been put at risk. It focused on one drug, a drug whose controversy was rising daily here in the UK. That drug was GlaxoSmithKline’s Seroxat.

2 reviews for The Evidence, However, Is Clear…The Seroxat Scandal

  1. susan schechter (verified owner)

    A must read book about the dark side of the drug industry and Big Pharma, from a first person account. I read this in one sitting, it’s gripping reading, not for the faint hearted. Patients should read so they know to be informed about what really goes on with drugs and why drugs can and do go wrong, so what happened to Bob doesn’t happen to your loved one.

  2. De Bunker (verified owner)

    Do you trust the medicines in your cabinet? Do you trust the Lives of your family to those medicines, and more importantly, do you trust the Government Regulatory Agencies charged with assuring that those medicines are actually “safe and effective”?

    Read this book before you swallow anything: either in Pill or PR form.

    First, it is vital to note that the author, Mr. Fiddaman, is not affiliated in any way with Scientology, its offshoots, or its politics. His book is about a drug, his personal (and others) experience of it, its makers, and its Regulators. Visit him online at:


    Do you believe that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in a person’s brain? As you will learn, chemical neurotransmitters are in a constant state of flux, and establishing any normal amount of them requires more than Drug Advertisements stating that scientists, Think, or Believe, whatever the Drug Co. is paying them to believe. Those payments have run into the Millions, and are the subject of ongoing investigations by the US Senate Finance Committee.

    Paroxetine is an SSRI Antidepressant sold in the UK as Seroxat, and in America as Paxil. Bob Fiddaman was on this drug for 6 years. It wrecked utter havoc upon himself and his family, and that was even before his descent into hell accelerated when he battled the drug out of himself. One of the manufacturers employees had stated online that ‘discontinuation reactions’ last about 2 weeks. His own personal ‘discontinuation’ took him 22 months.

    Between Jan 2004 – Dec 2006 the FDA’s Medwatch received 5,253 individual case reports of “Drug Withdrawal Syndrome” associated with Paroxetine. And those are only the cases which were reported. Drug Withdrawal Syndrome was the #1 most numerically often reported reaction, ….. out of 2,497 distinct adverse reactions, …… not just 2,497 different Patients, …… 2,497 different Adverse Reactions.

    Medwatch also received reports of 841 completed suicides.

    Do you know what a teratogen (te-Rat-o-gen) is? It’s an agent or factor that causes malformation of an embryo: Birth Defects. Thalidomide is a teratogen.

    Mr. Fiddaman repeatedly questioned UK Regulators and Paroxetine’s Manufacturer as to whether or not Paroxetine is a teratogen. Reading their replies leaves one firmly convinced they’d rather have bitten off their own noses than commit to a simple yes or no.

    Quitting this drug took him almost 2 years. He writes of ice water towels and charging through sub zero February nights in a tee shirt trying to rid himself of the Brain Zaps – electric like shocks. The final three months were cold turkey and he shares his search for pre dawn physical confrontation with youth gangs in a freezing, outdoor park.

    Paroxetine can make people up to 8 times more predisposed to commit suicide, and one of the widely used methods of tapering off is shaving the tablets with a razor blade, time and again, right in view inches from the consumer’s wrists.

    Dismissing Mr. Fiddaman’s experiences as just the normal percentile cost of progress – (some people do worse than others on any given drug) – would be a grave mistake, with Over 5,000 people in the United States in only 36 months registering an official report with the FDA just about the troubles they had Quitting it.

    We’ve all seen one Regulatory fiasco after another in our time, but what makes this book so important is that the Drug Regulatory fiasco is not just about taking your money.


    The US Mental Health System has students and advocacy groups inculcated in the hype that at least 1 in every 5 people are suffering from Diagnosable Mental Disorders which can be treated with such drugs.

    In America the National Patient Advocacy Group NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) is a virtual Advertising Dept. of the makers of psychotropic drugs. The Industry Watch Group ‘Alliance For Human Research Protection’ pegs 81% of NAMIs 2009 income (from over $5,000 contributors), to the makers of psychotropic drugs such as Paroxetine. Roughly a fifth of FDA’s $2.2 Billion budget came from Drug Companies through the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA).

    Mr. Fiddaman has literally taken the Bull by the Horns (after being slammed to the mat by Paroxetine) to contact repeatedly and meet face to face with UK Regulators in his efforts to get truth from them out to the public.

    Ignore this book at your own, and your children’s peril. An informed public demanding that their legislators clean this mess up, must commence. The Drug Industry and its Regulators must be held accountable to protecting consumers ahead of profits and not the other way around.

    If you don’t buy Mr. Fiddaman’s book, your false economy could cost you an awful lot more than just £5.00/$9.00.

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