Campaigner Claire Hanley began this petition and it is on-going. It will be delivered to the UK’s Health Select Committee and states:
The horrific life-destroying implications of benzodiazepines have been known about for decades and yet the medical profession remain largely in denial of the damage. The Department of Health, the BMA, and Parliament have a duty to give justice to those whose lives have been ruined. There must be an inquiry for the sake of future generations and for those undergoing the horrific consequences of this iatrogenically induced pandemic.
Marion Brown, a psychotherapist, has submitted a petition to the Scottish Parliament on behalf of affected patients calling for a helpline and specialist services for patients who have been made iatrogenically physically dependent on prescription drugs. Aside from signing the petition, patients have also submitted written evidence. The petition has the support of a number of psychiatrists, including Prof David Healy and Dr. Terry Lynch, author of The Depression Delusion. Marion has contributed to British Medical Association and All Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence discussions in the UK.
The first meeting of the Petition Committee is scheduled for 09:45 – 10:15 British Summer Time (approx) on Thursday 29 June 2017, Committee Room 3.
2010 FDA PETITION (INACTIVE)
In 2010, activists Emily Robin and Shirley Dahl co-wrote a petition that got on the docket for the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The petition requested changes in all benzodiazepine prescribing guidelines as well as drug information. They called for public comments, stating that the public comments would affect how the FDA ruled on the request and invited the public to be heard.
What was sent to the FDA:
They can also be viewed here on the FDA’s website.
The Petition garnered 533 comments (some of them very understandably angry). The comments section is now closed, but the old comments can be viewed here.
Note: the FDA calls these documents ‘Petitions’, although this document is not the classic petition where one tries to garner many signatures before submitting, but rather one that requests government changes in all benzodiazepine prescribing guidelines.
From Emily Robin:
In a nutshell, I met Shirley around 2008 on an online benzodiazepine support group (which has since closed). We were both short-term benzodiazepine users who very quickly got physically dependent on the drug. The doctors we saw denied it could be the drug since we were not on that long and were on a ‘low dose’.
I learned in 2007 that Ativan changed its drug labeling information to state: ‘In general, benzodiazepines should be prescribed for short periods only (e.g., 2-4 weeks). Extension of the treatment period should not take place without reevaluation of the need for continued therapy. Continued long-term use is not recommended. Withdrawal symptoms (e.g., rebound insomnia) can appear following cessation of the recommended dose after as little as one week of therapy. Abrupt discontinuation of product should be avoided and a gradual dosage-tapering schedule followed after extended therapy.’
None of the other benzodiazepine product labels state this. Shirley and I wanted all benzodiazepines to state the above and we also wanted the FDA to acknowledge Protracted Withdrawal Syndrome. We mailed the Petition to the FDA in 2010 and it took five years to get a response. The FDA response (a 16-page letter) denied any of our requests and relied on outdated information to support their reasons for denial.
To view the FDA’s 16-page response, go here.
In the following video, Emily Robin who petitioned the FDA discusses her own development of iatrogenic (medical induced) dependence to and withdrawal from as-prescribed “low dose” Klonopin. She also highlights the FDA petition efforts: (4:26)