Anniken Hoel is a Norwegian writer, director and camerawoman. She studied film in Denmark and at FAMU (the Film Academy in Prague), and since 2003 she shot and directed documentaries in the Middle East, India, USA and Europe. CAUSE OF DEATH: UNKNOWN took 11 years to finish, and it´s her feature debut.
Robert Whitaker is an American journalist and author who has won numerous awards as a journalist covering medicine and science, and is the author of two important books on the pharmaceutical industry, Mad in America and Anatomy of an Epidemic. He also runs the Mad In America website, which is an essential resource for information on rethinking psychiatric care.
Professor of psychiatry at Bangor University in the UK, Dr. Healy's main areas of research are the contribution of antidepressants to suicide, conflict of interest between pharmaceutical companies and academic medicine, and the history of pharmacology.
A child of the film industry, producer, distributor, and film critic Andrew Grant has an 18 year history of working in film. As President of Benten Films in the US he set new standards in the curation and distribution of micro-budget independent cinema. In 2010 he relocated to Berlin where he began working as a producer. CAUSE OF DEATH: UNKNOWN is his first feature-length production.
Head of the Nordic Cochrane Center and an outspoken critic of the pharmaceutical industry and their methods of handling clinical trials, he is the author of several books including Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime : How Big Pharma has Corrupted Healthcare and Deadly Psychiatry and Organised Denial.
PROFESSOR OF PHARMACOLOGY
The primary areas of research for Dr. Fugh-Berman are pharmaceutical marketing practices and the culture of medicine. She directs PharmedOut, a Georgetown-based project that advances evidence-based prescribing and educates healthcare professionals about pharmaceutical marketing practices.
WHISTLEBLOWER/FDA DRUG REVIEWER
Dr. Ronald Kavanagh was an FDA drug reviewer in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) from 1998 to 2008, where he worked on psychiatric medications including Zyprexa, Cymbalta and Concerta. Feeling that severe drug safety risks were being minimized by the FDA, he eventually became a whistleblower, exposing practices within the agency.
FORMER DIRECTOR GENERAL OF EFPIA
Richard Bergström was Director General of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) from 2011-2016. EFPIA is a trade association that lobbies on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry in Europe. He resigned from the position in September 2016.
Kirsten Myhr from Norway is a pharmacist with a specialist degree in hospital pharmacy and a Master in Public Health. For almost 20 years, she has worked in university hospitals in Norway as head of the pharmacy department, with pharmacovigilance at the regulatory authority in Norway, and with medicine use, including antibiotic use, in the Norwegian Board of Health.
SENIOR ADVISOR, PUBLIC CITIZEN
Dr. Sidney Wolfe is the co-founder of the Health Research Group within Public Citizen, a Washington DC-based organization that lobbies on behalf of ordinary citizens. He has publicly crusaded against many pharmaceutical drugs, which he and his organization believe to be a danger to public health.
JOURNALIST, NEW YORK TIMES
In 2006, while working for the New York Times, Alex Berenson was the first journalist to cover the Zyprexa Papers, a document leak containing tens of thousands of internal emails and memos from Eli Lilly, that revealed, among other things, how the company was hiding dangerous side effects of their drug Zyprexa, and how they planned to turn it into a global blockbuster.
Dr. Joanna Moncrieff is a practising psychiatrist and a part-time academic and author. She has written extensively on the use, misuse, and misrepresentation of psychiatric drugs in such books as The Myth of the Chemical Cure and The Bitterest Pills: The Troubling Story of Antipsychotic Drugs.
Allen Jones, gained widespread attention as a whistleblower after discovering that state employees were receiving kickbacks from the pharmaceutical industry in Texas while working as an investigator in the Pennsylvania Office of the Inspector General (OIG).
SENIOR MEDICAL OFFICER, EMA
Hans-Georg Eichler, M.D., M.Sc., is the Senior Medical Officer at the European Medicines Agency in London, United Kingdom, where he is responsible for coordinating activities between the Agency’s scientific committees and giving advice on scientific and public health issues.
David Hammerstein is a consumer advocate and former Member of the European Parliament for Los Verdes, part of the European Greens. He is senior advisor on intellectual property for an international consumer advocacy group. He has a background in sociology and specializes in intellectual property.
PSYCHIATRIST, DSM-IV TASK FORCE CHAIR
Dr. Allen Frances is a psychiatrist who chaired the task force that produced the fourth revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV), and is now a vocal critic of the current version (DSM-5). He warned that the expanding boundary of psychiatry is causing a diagnostic inflation that is swallowing up normality.
Paul Thacker is an American journalist who specializes in science, medicine, and environmental reporting. In 2009, he was working on the Senate Finance Committee for Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, investigating medical research conflicts of interest. His efforts led to the creation of the Sunshine Act, which increases the transparency between healthcare providers and big pharma.
RESEARCH DIRECTOR, OPEN SECRETS
The Center for Responsible Politics is the nation's premier research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy. As Research Director, Sarah is responsible for overseeing the Center's data analysis and research collaborations. Previously, she was CRP's lobbying and revolving door researcher.
PSYCHIATRIC SURVIVOR, ACTIVIST
Laura Delano is a writer, public speaker and community facilitator. Her work is geared around building alternatives to the conventional mental health system for people experiencing distress and non-ordinary states of consciousness. Her latest venture, The Inner Compass Initiative, is a online resource guide for people interested in weaning themselves off of psychiatric medication.
STAN & SHIRLEY WHITE
PARENTS OF ANDREW WHITE
Stan and Shirley White are Gold Star parents whose son Andrew died suddenly while in the VA Hospital. He was being treated for PTSD with a cocktail of psychiatric medications, including an extremely high dosage (1600mg) of the antipsychotic Seroquel. Stan and Shirley are now committed to bringing awareness about the overuse of psychiatric medication in returning soldiers.
WIFE OF ERIC LAYNE
Jeanette Layne's husband, Sargeant Eric Layne died suddenly in 2008 at home while being treated with a cocktail of psychiatric medications. Though he and Jeanette complained to the VA of severe side effects from the drugs, including weight gain, breathing issues, and an overall zombie-like state, doctors did nothing. Jeanette has testified in Washington, DC about Eric's death and has fought to limit the use of antipsychotics in returning soldiers.
MOTHER OF JONATHAN MALIA
Jonathan Malia, an otherwise-healthy 24 year-old from Birmingham, UK, admitted himself into hospital on 4 January 2013 after struggling with depression. He was sectioned under the Mental Health Act and transferred to two further hospitals before suddenly dying two weeks later at the Cygnet Hospital in Stevenage, Hertfordshire. He was being treated with several medications, including at least one antipsychotic, but to this day his family still hasn't received the details of his treatment prior to his death.