Adverse Psychiatric Reactions Information Link
Promoting awareness of medicines that can harm mental health

APRIL's first groundbreaking conference

Adverse Psychiatric Reactions to Medication

APRIL's first conference November 2001  - 

Venue Friends' House Euston London

This was the first conference organised by APRIL charity  -  Conference Flyer

Our first conference which we were informed led to the BBC Panorama programme on Seroxat (Paxil)

Our first conference was a groundbreaking event. 

No one had held such a meeting before with doctors and professors and the public participating.

Not funded by the pharmaceutical industry. Totally free of industy influence so unbiased towards promotion of drugs as many medical conferences are.

Adverse Psychiatric Reactions to Medication - APRIL's first conference November 2001  -  Conference Flyer

Venue Friends' House Euston London

Speakers included

Dr David Healy, Professor of Psychological Medicine

David Healy Professor of psychological medicine, Hergest Unit University of Wales  had been ousted from a job he was about to take up in Toronto due to what appeared to be industry pressure as he was outspoken on the subject of suicide risk linked to SSRI antidepressant drugs.

Professor Heather Ashton, Psychopharmacologist at Newcastle University

Heather Ashton devised the Ashton Manual advice for benzo withdrawal.

Professor James Wright (Canada), Clinical Pharmacologist

Professor Wright runs the Therapeutics Initiative at the University of British Columbia an independent group of clinical pharmacologists who evaluate medicines efficacy and safety - he is Managing Director and Chair, Therapeutics Initiative, Professor, Departments of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics and Medicine, UBC

Talk title:  Deficient Reporting of Adverse Events in Clinical Trials and how we can be duped.

 Clinical trials can be manipulated. His PowerPoint presentation has some interesting facts

Rufus May, Clinical psychologist

Loren Mosher MD (USA),

Loren Mosher  was well know for a project called 'Soteria' and was admired for standing up to the American Psychiatric Association when he wrote a letter of resignation due to the undue influence, he felt from the pharmaceutical industry.

Dr Walter Loebl, retired consultant rheumatologist

Walter was a friend , supporter of APRIL and one of the first trustees of APRIL

Dr Joanna Moncrief, psychiatrist

Joanna is concerned about patients' experiences, a member of the Critical Psychiatry Group and author of  The Myth of the Chemical Cure

Linda Hurcombe, Sue Bibby, Ramo Kabbani, spoke about personal experiences of suicide, benzo addiction and prozac triggered seizures

Millie Kieve (founder of APRIL) organised the conference with the help of volunteers, family and friends

Following the conference and after many communications with the GMC, the General Medical Council added the topic of 'Side Effects' which had been previously omitted from their Guidelines on Medical Education called 'Tomorrows Doctors'

We were thanked by a member of the GMC Education Committee for drawing their attention to this omission

 To hear talks from our conferences click here:  Talks from our conferences 

We received supportive comments from one of our speakers, Dr David Healy in a letter

Additional information added August 2022 by Millie Kieve - 

A knock on effect  of our conference, which gave opportunities for meeting and discussion in a unique medical conference. Ours was unusual as the independence of APRIL charity meant no influence from the Pharmaceutical Industry was able to prevent the truth being discussed, about harm from pharmaceutical drugs.

Eventually people who met at our conference were involved in a BBC Panorama programme about the antidepressant Seroxat/ Paxil (paroxetine) and the adverse side-effects including akathisia and the devastating withdrawal effects so many people suffered from.

Thousands contacted the BBC after the first programme, which led to two further investigative Panorama programmes. The eventual outcome was APRIL and others were invited to meetings by the European Medicines Agency and the UK regulator to discuss better warnings on the labels.

Following the Panorama programmes, a review of the way Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) are meant to be reported in the UK, was undertaken by a Professor of Clinical Pharmacology Dr Andrew Herxheimer and scientific researcher and writer Charles Medawar. 

Their findings were in a paper they published and remarked upon in the British Medical Journal, click here to read the BMJ comment by Lynn Eaton





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