Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Seroxat Prescriptions Decline 2001 to 2003 – An Analytical Study by Graham Aldred

The following chart is from statistical study “The Decline of use of Paroxetine in England” by Graham Aldred, a research associate at North Wales Department of Psychological Medicine, Hergest Unit, Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor, North Wales.

Graham Aldred, a colleague of Dr David Healy, has a personal interest in Seroxat as his late wife Rhona sadly took her own life in 2001, eleven days after starting treatment with the drug.

The paper discusses the UK 2001 to 2003 decline of GSKs paroxetine (Seroxat UK, Paxil USA, Aropax AU & NZ) in market standing and value due to licence end, and of trade name Seroxat and generic prescriptions due to generated adverse publicity about the drug.

The research study shows a gradual decline in Seroxat total prescription numbers 2001 to 2002, this decline went into a virtual freefall 2002 to 2003 resulting in a 36% decline for the period 2001 to 2003. The decline in Seroxat total prescriptions has continued in an exponential decay resulting in totals decline for the period 2001 to 2009 of 56%.

“The Decline of use of Paroxetine in England
Chart 2 (above) shows the accumulation for paroxetine in England and Illustrates the life saving decline in this ill validated drug”
“IMR uses the common medication unit called TWS, (Two Weeks Supply), this enables the medication to be accumulated under one universal label regardless of form or concentration. Chart 2 was plotted using annual data, rather than quarterly data. It shows that the annual consumption of paroxetine in all its forms grew by more than 1.15 million units per year for 7 years up to 2001, then it fell by 2.7 M units i.e. 25% from 2001 to 2003. In fact this decline is much worse if the higher precision quarterly data is used; from the peak at Q4 2001 to Q4 2003 the fall was 36%. Annual totals can disguise higher rates of change defined by the quarters within the years (frequently exploited in financial marketing.)"

Given the relatively quick decline of 2.7 million or 25% of Seroxat prescription totals over a 24 month period, 2001 to 2003, and on balance of the increase in total drug class prescriptions of 23.2% for the same period - can Seroxat be considered worse than any other drug in that class?

(The blog will return a little later to the media coverage - in particular the role of the BBC’s program Panorama, the production team and lead journalist Shelley Jofre, the position taken by UK politicians in taking the SSRI, SNRI issue to parliament … and the legacy of ignorance left to millions of patients consuming or who went on to consume SSRI, SNRI brands other than GSK’s Seroxat.)

Data collection reference:

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