Complaints to GMC: Dr Carmine Pariante MRCPsych, Dr Wendy Burn FRCPsych, Dr David Baldwin FRCPsych

[In my 15th March complaint to RCPsych I said that Dr Pariante’s ‘finally puts to bed the controversy on antidepressants’ was irresponsible and misleading; that he repeated the 21st February Lancet paper’s false claim about lack of selective reporting of antidepressant trials by pharmaceutical companies; he trivialized criminal wrongdoing by pharmaceutical companies and he has a history of so doing. He evaded the issue of trial registration, and he endorsed overmedication contrary to College policy. Dr Pariante falsely stated that the Lancet paper addressed antidepressant ‘safety’, and in not mentioning placebo response his statement was misleadingly biased towards drug treatment.]

GMC COMPLAINT SUBMITTED TODAY, receipt confirmed. Complaints to the GMC are usually online, and they ask for a brief (300 words) summary:

‘61. You must respond promptly, fully and honestly to complaints and apologise when appropriate.’ This, and 15 other ‘Duties of a Doctor’, plus 1 in the Social Media guidance, have been contravened.

On 21st February 2018 Dr Pariante, as College ‘spokesperson’, made public statements about the antidepressant meta-analysis published that day in the Lancet. It was widely reported in print, broadcast and online media.

On 15th March I complained to The Royal College of Psychiatrists (acknowledged 22nd March) about his ‘false, misleading and irresponsible’ statements. I asked for rapid retraction and clarification on the College website, with promotion to counter the wide impact on current and future patients, relatives, and doctors.

The College has made no response (3rd April).

On 2[5]th March the Mail on Sunday quoted Dr Pariante: he clearly intended to ‘spin’ a media response to my complaint. He mentioned ‘placebo’, as he had not before (one complaint, of eight) on 21st February; neither had he in a 900-word article for the Independent (10th January 2018). The Mail on Sunday quotes also drew back, a little, from his statement on publication bias. And his 21st February statement that the Lancet paper ‘finally puts to bed the controversy on antidepressants’ was, he said, ‘taken out of context’, which appears either false or deliberately misleading. My other complaints, including one about his false claim the Lancet paper considered ‘safety’, were not addressed.

On 2[6]th March the College Tweeted that ‘.@ParianteSPILab [Dr Pariante’s Twitter name] readdresses comments made on the effectiveness of #antidepressants. [link to Mail on Sunday article]

The College claims to ‘Lead, represent and support psychiatrists…Work with patients, carers and other organisations’ to deliver ‘high quality mental health services’.

Dr Burn manages spokespersons and complaints. Dr Baldwin also appears implicated, given his lack of response to a related complaint by others.


Full complaint (pdf, 8 pages) to GMC 3rd April, including text of Dr Pariante’s statement in the Mail on Sunday, 25th March: 180403-3_Pariante_Baldwin_Burn_GMC

Original complaint (pdf, 5 pages) to Royal College of Psychiatrists, 15th March: 180315-3_Pariante_complaint

About Dr Neil MacFarlane MRCPsych

Independent Psychiatrist providing culturally informed mental health opinion, advice, and a few new facts. Based near London, UK. Main qualifications: BA MBBS MA MRCPsych.

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