Investigate Dangerous Drug Trial on Mental Health Patients

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Clozapine is a powerful psychoactive drug with serious side effects, usually only used for people diagnosed with Schizophrenia, who have not responded to at least two other medications. Clozapine is not licensed anywhere in the world for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). In the UK it is used 'off label' for people with severe BPD who are typically in secure in-patient settings and have failed to respond to other medications and talking therapies. However, there is no high quality evidence to support this off-label prescribing. Close monitoring of people taking Clozapine is essential due to its potentially life threatening side-effects.

A drug trial run by Imperial College is trying to recruit people diagnosed with
‘Borderline Personality Disorder’ (BPD) to take Clozapine for 6 months. But they are not limiting recruitment to those who need a 'last resort' medication, who have severe BPD in secure inpatient settings. Those with mild and moderate BPD can take part from NHS wards. This means a powerful drug is being given to people who otherwise would very probably never be prescribed it, and for whom the side effects could be severe but will not be closely checked.

We have written about this in detail here.

The trial needs to have its rules investigated and amended to make it safe.

We have made official complaints through the correct channels at Imperial College and the Health Research Authority. They have had two months to make a meaningful response yet have not told us what actions they have taken to protect patient safety. Imperial College want us to wait until a conference in March 2020 before they will tell us what they have done. This is unacceptable.

Meanwhile users of mental health services continue to be exposed to unethical research. We have been forced to escalate this issue to save people from harm. Please sign and share and check our website for updates about how to protect people from this potentially very dangerous research.