British Medical Association
“Prescribing of psychoactive drugs is a major clinical activity and a key therapeutic tool for influencing the health of patients. But often their use can lead to a patient becoming dependent or suffering withdrawal symptoms.
“The stats also reveal that more than 87% of people were taking antidepressants at the time of death, while 44.6% were on drugs used in psychoses and related disorders.“
New figures have revealed that almost three quarters of all suicides in Dundee were among men.
The latest statistics released by the NHS show that there were a total of 147 suicides in Dundee between 2009 and 2015, of which 109 were men.
The figures also show that the majority of men who committed suicide in the city were employed in senior positions, such as managers, while 43% of men who committed suicide were unemployed, disabled or living off their own means.
One Dundee dad who knows only too well the devastation and heartbreak caused by suicide is Phil Welsh.
Lee Welsh, 27, of the city’s West End, took his own life in August, leaving his friends and family devastated. Phil called for a crisis centre — similar to one in Edinburgh, which is open 24/7 and provides community based, emotional and practical support at times of crisis — to be set up in Dundee.
Phil told the Evening Telegraph: “Not until Lee died did I appreciate just how many men took their own lives.
“Lee’s death left our family heartbroken and we’re doing everything we can to stop this happening to other families.
“We would like to see a crisis centre set up in Dundee similar to the one in Edinburgh where people who feel suicidal can turn.”
The Tele previously told that Lee had battled mental health issues for almost a decade prior to his death.
Lee’s suicide prompted his parents to campaign for more action to help people with similar issues and following his death, the website Not in Vain for Lee was established.
He said: “If through this focus we can prevent one family from enduring the heartache we as a family are currently suffering, then Lee’s death will not have been in vain.”
Rob Burns, development manager of Dundee’s mental health service the Hearing Voices Network, said that the figures relating to men did not surprise him.
Mr Burns said men who have taken their own lives may not have spoken to anyone about the issues they are experiencing.
He added: “It is really quite frightening the number of people who take their own lives.
“We are very aware that up until now men have not been as willing to come forward to talk about their mental issues or other things that are concerning them as women have been.”
“I would think the men in Dundee who have taken their own lives have not previously spoken to anyone about their concerns.
“We are currently doing a lot of work to get men to open up, including taking on more male volunteer supporters.”
The majority of men — 64% — who took their own lives were also single, compared to just over 18% who were married or in a civil relationship.
The figures also revealed that 36 suicides took place within five years of discharge from a mental health service.
Britain’s leading role in evaluating new medicines for sale to patients across the EU has collapsed with no more work coming from Europe because of Brexit, it has emerged.
The decision by the European Medicines Agency to cut Britain out of its contracts seven months ahead of Brexit is a devastating blow to British pharmaceutical companies already reeling from the loss of the EMA’s HQ in London and with it 900 jobs.
All drugs sold in Europe have to go through a lengthy EMA authorisation process before use by health services, and the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in Britain has built up a leading role in this work, with 20-30% of all assessments in the EU.
The MHRA won just two contracts this year and the EMA said that that work was now off limits. “We couldn’t even allocate the work now for new drugs because the expert has to be available throughout the evaluation period and sometimes that can take a year,” said a spokeswoman.
In a devastating second blow, existing contracts with the MHRA are also being reallocated to bloc members.
Martin McKee, the professor of European health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who has given evidence to select committees about Brexit, said it was a disaster for the MHRA, which had about £14m a year from the EMA.
The head of the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry said it was akin to watching a “British success story” being broken up.
Mike Thompson, the chief executive of the association, said: “Clearly we’ve all been incredibly proud of the MHRA’s role over the last few years. They’d established themselves as one of the most respected regulators across all of Europe and industry. It’s been a British success story.”
The EMA said that because of the long lead-time involved in assessing medicines it could no longer award the lead contracts to British people since there was no guarantee they would be part of the EU after March 2019.
It is understood the MHRA bid for 36 EMA contracts this year but were only awarded two, and these were for drugs for which evaluation had already begun.
The situation is a stark contrast to 2016 when the UK was the lead assessor, known as the rapporteur, on 22 applications, and was joint lead or co-rapporteur on 19 multinational applications.
This made it the number one in Europe, with Germany’s regulator behind with 22 lead contracts but only 12 co-contracts.
An MHRA statement said:
“We want to retain a close working partnership with the EU to ensure patients continue to have timely access to safe medicines and medical devices. This involves us making sure our regulators continue to work together, as they do with regulators internationally, and we would like to explore with the EU the terms on which the UK could continue to participate in the EMA.”
Over the years, as often happens, a difference between clinical trials and the real world started to emerge.
Though there were concerns about tramadol abuse in the years after release, the FDA repeatedly determined that the drug was not being widely abused, and so left it as an unscheduled drug.
This made Tramadol a particularly dangerous drug — because it was, in fact, highly addictive and prone to abuse. But because it was easier to obtain and had less concerns from physicians, it was more widely prescribed. Over the years, as often happens, a difference between clinical trials and the real world started to emerge. Emergency rooms began to report a growing number of overdoses related to Tramadol ……..