Letter to The Maudsley Hospital’s Chief Executive
(Printable pdf version: 180411_Pariante_SLAM_ChiefExec)
From: Dr Neil MacFarlane MRCPsych (accompanying note contains my College-registered email and postal address) Any response(s) by email only please
To: Dr Matthew Patrick MRCPsych, Chief Executive of South London and Maudsley NHS Trust (SLAM), Bethlem Royal Hospital, Monks Orchard Road, Beckenham BR3 3BX
11th April 2018 [15th May: no response from Dr Patrick]
Dear Dr Patrick
Re: Are antidepressants overpromoted by the Maudsley Hospital?
This is to inform you that on 15th March I made a complaint about Dr Carmine Pariante MRCPsych, ‘spokesperson’ for the The Royal College of Psychiatrists, to the College, about his ‘false, misleading and irresponsible’ statement on antidepressant medication, of 21st February. His statement was widely reported in the media and probably impacted on tens of millions of people.
On 25th March Dr Pariante made 2-3 minor partial retractions in the Mail on Sunday. My further complaint about this wholly improper use of ‘spin’ remains unanswered. I escalated to the General Medical Council on 3rd April. Full details of these complaints are openly on my website www.DrNM.wordpress.com , with frequent comment on Twitter: @NMacFa
I understand Dr Pariante’s clinical work to be within local and national services, based at the Maudsley Hospital. If there is a separate management structure for the NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre, please let me know.
I am very concerned that Dr Pariante represents a culture of overmedication within SLAM. Despite a great deal of public and professional disquiet about overpromotion of antidepressants by himself and others, especially since his 21st February statement, I am not aware of any SLAM mental health professional, let alone any SLAM psychiatrist, feeling able to voice any critical perspective at all.
In 2013, Dr Pariante invited the disgraced Dr Charles Nemeroff MD, to give an inaugural lecture at the Maudsley Hospital’s academic wing, the Institute of Psychiatry, which is located on the same site. Dr Nemeroff is probably the most notorious of the many psychiatrists in the United States who avoided criminal convictions for failure to declare large pharmaceutical company payments (including from GSK, who in 2012 were found guilty of ‘criminal’ overmarketing) under the flaccid regulatory structure there. At the time, Dr Pariante defended the lecture on the wholly dubious basis of ‘academic freedom’, failing to acknowledge the widespread corruption in American academic psychiatry. But even though Dr Pariante did not dispute the charge that Nemeroff had lied to his employer about such payments, and been sacked for it, the lecture went ahead.
I would be grateful for a comment or response on this. You have had ample time, since the Nemeroff lecture, to form a view. I write not only as a concerned professional, but also as someone who has immediate family members living within a mile of The Maudsley Hospital.
Dr Neil MacFarlane MRCPsych (signed & dated)
SLAM complaints (by email: for information)
SLAM Council of Governors (by email)
Local residents (a limited mailing)
[15th May: no response from Dr Patrick]