David Healy: Making Medicine Safer for All


This week, we interview Dr. David Healy, internationally respected psychiatrist, psychopharmacologist scientist and author. A professor of Psychiatry in Wales, David studied medicine in Dublin, and at Cambridge University. He is a former Secretary of the British Association for Psychopharmacology, and has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed articles and 20 books, including The Antidepressant Era and The Creation of Psychopharmacology. David’s latest book, Pharmageddon, documents the riveting and terrifying story of how pharmaceutical companies have hijacked healthcare in America and the life-threatening results. David’s main areas of research are clinical trials in psychopharmacology, the history of psychopharmacology, and the impact of both trials and psychotropic drugs on our culture. We talk prescribing practice, medicine safety and regulation.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How Dr. Healy became interested in drug adverse reactions and medicine safety.
  • How he came to see the harm that medications can cause and why treatment induced harm, mainly through medications is a major concern.
  • How he witnessed parents become more anxious when taking SSRI antidepressant drugs
  • How David established Data Based Medicine and the website risk.org to increase awareness of medication safety
  • How people can now inform themselves about the risks with medications much more easily now with access to the internet
  • That rxisk.org is a very important resource for people wanting to know more about their medications
  • That the number of antidepressants being used year on year is increasing because more people are unable to get off the drugs
  • How the regulation of Pharmaceutical manufacturers is ineffective because it is mainly a bureaucratic exercise
  • That it’s not just drugs used in the mental health field that are problematic
  • We need to better distinguish between distress and a disease
  • Why people differ when trying to withdraw from psychiatric drugs
  • That trials in the 1980s on healthy volunteers showed that ssri antidepressants made them anxious and exhibit depressive symptoms within two weeks
  • That there is nowhere near enough research on antidepressant dependance and withdrawal

Relevant links

Dr. David Healy