In July 2009, Professor Henry Nasrallah, was invited to give a paid talk to psychiatrists and psychiatrists-in-training for NHS Forth Valley. Professor Nasrallah was flown over from the USA to give this talk all at the expense of Janssen Pharmaceuticals.
Concerned about this I wrote to the organiser of our Continuing Medical Education and shared this USA commentary on Professor Nasrallah:
“I see in this month’s Current Psychiatry that Professor Henry Nasrallah is once again using his pulpit to be Pharma’s lead apologist/defender. His tone seems to be increasingly shrill. He bemoans the ‘relentless demonization of pharmaceutical companies’ as if they bear no responsibility for their own problems. Like so many other people who are immersed in corporate culture, he lives in this bubble where everything that they have done seems perfectly rational and where all detractors are hounding them unfairly . . . but nowadays, how can you see him as anything other than a woefully misguided commercial spokesman for an industry that is in serious need of an overhaul?”
I informed the organiser that I would not be attending this talk by Professor Nasrallah. After the talk the organiser shared these reflections, which I have not published before:
“Professor Nasrallah is an excellent speaker and could sell fridges to the Eskimos. His talk was really informative, however he seems to have sold his soul to Jansen and would have us all taking Consta for the rest of our days as it solves everything.”
You can check out Professor Nasrallah’s earnings from industry here. He has amassed nearly half a milliion dollars from the Pharmaceutical industry for promoting psychiatric drugs. He clearly helps establish a world-wide market given that he made it in person to “educate” NHS Forth Valley. It was around this time that I began to campaign for Sunshine legislation.
Nearly a decade on and matters do not seem to be any better in NHS Scotland.