Beverly Hatcher — (2004 FDA Hearings)

SSRI Ed note: Woman, 60, prescribed Paxil for grief hangs herself. Her daughter tells her story in 2004 FDA hearings.

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DR. GOODMAN:  Speaker number 30, please.

HATCHER:  My name is Beverly Hatcher and I want to tell you how Paxil destroyed my mother’s life.  She was a normal, healthy person who loved life to the utmost.  She loved to eat, cook, travel and talk on the phone.

She had a smile for everyone that she met.  She had no history of mental illness.

In 1997, after my dad died, she moved from North Carolina to live with me, in Virginia.  She soon found work but later chose to retire.

She soon ran across another one of her childhood sweethearts.  They began to travel everywhere.

This was life before Paxil.  On August 18, 2003, she was prescribed Paxil because of a small bout of depression that was due because of a heart attack of her closest cousin.

She quickly transformed into someone that began to complain of having constant bad dreams, having no appetite, being nervous, hearing voices.  She stopped taking baths at night and bit her nails down to nubs.

She said she thought things were crawling all over her and that she was losing her mind.  Nothing mattered  anymore.  These were not normal signs of normal  grief.

On September 2nd, 2003, the day before her daughter’s birthday, she hung herself in that daughter’s basement.  This was 16 days after starting Paxil.  She was only 60.

How did Paxil get the FDA stamp of approval and make it to market?  How or why would any healthcare provider prescribe such a medicine capable of causing this?

As a nurse and healthcare provider myself, we take an oath to save life, not destroy it.

Are drug companies providing the FDA and healthcare providers all the facts about Paxil?

No.  Drug companies are not telling the truth to the FDA, healthcare providers and certainly not to consumers because they have figured out a way around all the loopholes.  In this case, the FDA’s  guidelines are meaningless and they contain even bigger loopholes.

To the FDA, we will never understand why this had to happen to us.  There is no excuse.  It was your job to protect my mother and not the drug company’s profits.  Because of this, we will be motherless for the rest of our lives.  Nothing can change that.  When will enough be enough?  Stop taking innocent lives.

To the drug companies, and especially to the FDA, this T-shirt sums up how we, the family of Barbara Jean Darton, feel about Paxil.  The back reads “cocaine is an illegal drug that kills.”  On the front it reads, “Paxil is a legal drug that kills.”  Don’t put another family through this.

Remove Paxil from society.  Until then, remember  the faith and the message of this T-shirt and do the right thing.  Sincerely, in memory of my mother, Ms. Barbara Jean Darden.  Thank you.