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Post by Cassey on Sat 19 Jan 2019, 8:21 am

January 18, 2019

Royal Canadian Legion backs Saskatoon researcher on mission to study mefloquine

By Meaghan Craig and Thomas Piller Global News



 Mefloquine - Assorted Topics - Page 7 Royal-canadian-legion-saskatchewan-command-mefloquine


The Royal Canadian Legion’s Saskatchewan Command has awarded a bursary for research on mefloquine and its reported link to psychiatric conditions.


The drug was issued by the Canadian military to soldiers to protect them from malaria while on deployment.


Some studies have suggested it to have psychological side-effects similar to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

University of Saskatchewan researcher Jacob Cohen, who served as a medic in the Israeli Armed Forces, will continue to conduct his research on mefloquine and the use of cannabis to treat PTSD.

“The main focus was veterans and then EMS because that’s the main populous really but we want to apply it to everyone including civilians,” bursary recipient Jacob Cohen said in Saskatoon Friday.

“And then the same thing with mefloquine because not only soldiers get it. Anyone who goes aboard to countries were malarial is an issue gets this drug, including aid workers, relief workers so it’s a problem for everybody not just the military.”


Cohen said, if melfoquine is the best option to prevent malaria, he hopes to determine the maximum dosage that can be given to someone safely before negative side-effects occur.



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Post by Xenophon on Wed 06 Feb 2019, 10:13 am

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Mefloquine Town Hall Meeting - Gagetown

Public · Hosted by Kentrina Jenkins and John Dowe

Saturday, March 9, 2019 at 12 PM – 2 PM

Oromocto Legion
284 Restigouche Road, Oromocto, New Brunswick E2V 2H5





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Public · Hosted by Howie Sacks & Henry LLP

Sunday, February 10, 2019 at 12 PM – 2 PM EST

Streetsville Overseas Veterans' Club Royal Canadian Legion Branch 139
101 Church Street, Mississauga, Ontario L5M 1M6

Get Tickets: https://www.facebook.com/events/568080980340318/







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Post by Alpha on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 7:56 pm

Anti-malaria drug sparks lawsuit from Canadian veterans


An anti-malaria drug given to Canadian soldiers decades ago reportedly caused severe side effects. Faiza Amin speaks to veterans who attended a meeting about a legal challenge that promises to hold the government accountable.
Feb 10, 2019, 4:18 PM






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Post by Lincoln on Tue 12 Feb 2019, 10:03 am

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Post by RunningLight on Sat 23 Feb 2019, 9:48 am

Alberta soldiers who took 'distressing' malaria drug sought for lawsuit
Social Sharing

Countless soldiers suffered terrible side-effects in 'botched clinical trial'

Wallis Snowdon · CBC News · Posted: Feb 23, 2019

 Mefloquine - Assorted Topics - Page 7 Canadian-military


Alberta soldiers who believe they were harmed by anti-malarial medication commonly prescribed during overseas deployments in the 1990s are being recruited for a massive legal case against the federal government.

Some soldiers who took the drug mefloquine complain it caused long-term brain damage and lasting side-effects, including night terrors, mood swings, panic attacks, hallucinations and suicidal thoughts.

Two law firms, which represent military veterans planning to launch legal action against the government, estimate that thousands of Canadian soldiers may be eligible for compensation.


'You did not have a choice'

"Some of the most common side-effects — and most distressing side-effects — are the vivid nightmares and hallucinations, coupled with anxiety and paranoia," said Paul Miller, a partner with the Toronto-based law firm Howie Sacks & Henry.

"Some of them, when I asked them to describe their dreams, they couldn't. They just broke down and started crying."


Howie Sacks & Henry, a personal injury firm, has partnered with another Toronto firm, Waddell Phillips, to bring forward individual claims for any member of the Canadian Armed Forces who was prescribed mefloquine.

The firm is holding an information session at the Kingsway Legion in Edmonton on Saturday as part of a national effort to find former mefloquine users.

Soldiers were part of a clinical trial that didn't follow proper procedure and they deserve compensation, Miller said. The lawsuits are expected to be filed in the coming weeks.

"With this medication, the drug manufacturer had disclosed that if you have certain side-effects, you must report them right away so you can discontinue the medication. But the soldiers were never told that, and that's a huge problem," Miller said in an interview Friday with CBC Radio's Edmonton AM.

"Veterans have told me, if you did not take the medication, you could be court-martialled. You did not have a choice."


In 2016, Health Canada revised the drug's prescribing information. The updated label warns that those experiencing side-effects such as anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, thoughts of suicide and psychotic behaviour must stop using the drug. Side-effects can persist for years or become permanent in some people, it adds.

In response to the growing scrutiny around mefloquine, the Canadian Armed Forces launched a review of the drug's use, publishing a report in June 2017.

It found that while there is no evidence to suggest mefloquine causes long-term adverse effects on human health, it should not be prescribed as the first option for soldiers being deployed to malaria-affected regions.


 Mefloquine - Assorted Topics - Page 7 John-dowe
Canadian veteran John Dowe experienced nightmares, insomnia and other side-effects after taking mefloquine in Somalia in 1993.



John Dowe, a plaintiff in the pending lawsuits, will speak at Saturday's town hall meeting in north Edmonton. Dowe, who served with the Canadians Forces from 1990 to 2000, took mefloquine tablets while serving in 1992 with the now-infamous Canadian Airborne Regiment in Somalia.

He said the adverse effects of the drugs were immediate and troubling, and that he still feels them to this day.

"That tour was supposed to undergo a clinical drug trial with Health Canada and the Department of National Defence," said Dowe, who has since been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

"I suffered acute symptoms of hyper-vigilance, anxiety, disassociation, insomnia and sleep disturbances. Those were the main ones. Unfortunately today, I still have chronic symptoms."


For others in his contingent, it was far worse.

Dowe is convinced the drug played a role in the killing of Shidane Arone, a teenage boy who was beaten to death by a group of Canadian soldiers who were taking the drug.

Canadian veteran John Dowe is the head of the Canadian chapter of the International Mefloquine Veterans' Alliance. (John Dowe)
The tragedy marked one of the darkest chapters in Canada's military history.


 Mefloquine - Assorted Topics - Page 7 John-dowe-canadian-veteran
Canadian veteran John Dowe is the head of
the Canadian chapter of the International
Mefloquine Veterans' Alliance. (John Dowe)

Master Cpl. Clayton Matchee, one of the two soldiers eventually charged in Arone's death, had "wigged out," Dowe said. He was beating imaginary camel spiders in the bunker where he held the bruised Somali prisoner before the teen's body was found an hour later.

The Saskatchewan soldier was later found hanging in his cell. He suffered irreparable brain damage as a result of the suicide attempt.


Dowe said he and countless others were harmed by what he describes as a "botched clinical trial" — and they deserve help.

"The lawsuit deals with the human rights violations and the negligence for the way the drug was dispensed without proper medical screening," Dowe said.

"We are being forced to take action in court because we cannot get Health Canada, the Department of National Defence and Veterans Affairs to co-operate with an official outreach program to screen former users of the drug."

Dowe wants long term treatment options for former users — and an official apology for the atrocities which occurred in Somalia.

"Then we can move forward," he said.





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Post by Edgefore on Sun 24 Feb 2019, 9:27 pm

Alberta soldiers gather to mull lawsuit over forced anti-malaria drug

Mefloquine is an anti-malarial drug that was first given to soldiers going to Somalia in 1992 as part of a clinical trial.

DYLAN SHORT February 24, 2019

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Hundreds of Alberta veterans attended a town hall meeting in Edmonton this weekend to discuss an impending lawsuit for soldiers who say they have been permanently affected by an anti-malarial drug commonly given to Canadian troops in the 1990s.

Mefloquine is a drug that was first given to soldiers going to Somalia in 1992 as part of a clinical trial.

Paul Miller, a partner with Howie, Sacks & Henry (HSH), spoke at the town hall meeting at the Kingsway Legion, 14339 50 St., on Saturday. HSH claims the federal government was negligent in informing soldiers of the drug’s side-effects.

“They gave these drugs to the serviceman, they did not tell them about the side-effects and one of the things the manufacturer warned was if anyone suffered from these side-effects they need to discontinue the drug immediately,” Miller said in an interview Sunday.

Miller said most people affected by the drug suffer from mefloquine toxicity, also known as quinism, which affects the brain in ways similar to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Side-effects can range from nausea, diarrhea, and muscle weakness to vivid dreams, vertigo and visual disturbance. In 2016, Health Canada updated label warnings on mefloquine to include psychotic behaviour, suicidal thoughts, paranoia and anxiety.

Jessica Lamirande, Canadian Forces spokeswoman, said the military’s general surgeon conducted a report two years ago that said mefloquine should not be the first anti-malarial option.

“However, it remains the preferred option for some individuals,” said Lamirande. “We will continue to allow members to make this evidence-based choice.”


‘There is no cure right now’

John Dowe, a plaintiff in HSH’s lawsuit, served in Somalia and took mefloquine as part of the clinical trial in 1992.

Dowe said he had acute symptoms of quinism, including hyper-vigilance, insomnia, aggressiveness and detachment during his time in Somalia. He said he still feels those symptoms today.

“Today I’m left with a sizeable minority of veterans with chronic ongoing symptoms that are permanent,” said Dowe, who was among the estimated 200 people who attended the Edmonton town hall. “There is no cure right now.”





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Post by Derring on Sun 24 Mar 2019, 8:25 am

John Dowe was live. March 22, 2019

#quinism #mefloquine #InThisTogether

Thank you everyone for your heartfelt concern! I feel so much better now, and have had time to absorb the news of my category change at VA.

I am permanently disabled from Quinism. I accept that.

Now to bash on and finish this thing with our Mefloquine lawyer Paul Miller!

Paul was at the VA meeting with me today-he is a genuine, caring individual.

I trust him-you should too!





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Post by Mullberry on Sun 24 Mar 2019, 7:12 pm

Town hall held for veterans planning on suing government over anti-malaria drug

 Mefloquine - Assorted Topics - Page 7 Image

CTV Ottawa
Published Sunday, March 24, 2019


A town hall was held Sunday at the Brookstreet Hotel for veterans who took an anti-malaria drug called mefloquine.

Mefloquine was given to soldiers before being deployed overseas. Soldiers who’ve taken the potent anti-malarial drug have complained of a wide range of side-effects including depression, night terrors, aggressive behaviour and suicide.

“Unfortunately we were not provided with the true and right consent forms and we were not given accurate information about the true side effects profile that this drug presented,” says 10-year-veteran John Dowe,

Dowe served with the Canadians Forces from 1990 to 2000 and took mefloquine while deployed in Somalia. Decades later, Dowe said he’s still dealing with side-effects, including anxiety and insomnia.

He says, “Anxiety, insomnia, the vivid dreams, hypervigilance and such. Once I got off the drug and carried on... I never changed.”

He is part of the groups of veterans who plan on suing the military for compensation.

Two law firms say will represent military veterans willing to go to court against the government. Lawyer Paul Miller estimates that thousands of Canadian soldiers may be eligible.

Miller says, “The government you are fighting for was going to give you a drug that would affect you for the rest of your life.... you didn’t sign up for that – your families didn’t sign off for that.”

Retired Maj. Christian Glauninger is part of the group suing. He says “Many were diagnosed with PTDS has similar side effects but it is not PTSD it’s very different.”

Glauninger says, “Originally when is started to feel that way after Congo, I came home and my wife had cancer so I thought it was all the stuff at home. But I still had the symptoms after.”

In a statement, the government says they have not received notice of the proposed lawsuit, and takes the health of its members very seriously.

The statement says, “In 2017, Health Canada and the Department of National Defence and the CAF announced the release of independent findings from the Health Canada report of Mefloquine and the Surgeon General’s review on the operational use of mefloquine. No evidence was found in the CAF report that would suggest potential long-term adverse effects of mefloquine on human health.‎”

Veteran Philip Brooks wants accountability, “You can’t pull wool over their eyes... we just want to be dealt with honestly.”

The once-a-week drug is still authorized for sale in Canada to prevent malaria.

The lawsuits are expected to be filed in the coming weeks.





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Post by Lincoln on Mon 25 Mar 2019, 7:45 am

Canadian veterans set to sue government over anti-malarial drug effects


CTVNews.ca Staff, with a report from CTV National News' Annie Bergeron-Oliver
Published Sunday, March 24, 2019 10:00PM EDT

Canadian soldiers who took a military-issued anti-malarial drug held a town hall in Ottawa, Ont., on Sunday to discuss both their concerns that the drug may have caused incapacitating mental health side-effects and a class-action lawsuit they are set to launch.

Nearly 1,000 Canadian veterans have joined the lawsuit, which will sue the federal government, claiming that the anti-malarial medication mefloquine has left them suffering from depression, night terrors, aggressive behaviour and suicide.

Philip Brooks, a retired air force captain who joined to lawsuit, was on the drug for two weeks before his mission to the Congo was cancelled.


He said he received no warning about any potential side effects of the drug, but immediately after taking it, began having vivid nightmares and experiencing a sense of doom.

“I went down and couldn’t recover,” said Brooks, who had no previous history of depression or anxiety.

Mefloquine is highly effective against malaria and was first given to the Canadian troops heading to Somalia in the early 1990s, even before it was approved by Health Canada.

But some experts believe it may be linked to long-term effects that often mimic the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

“In some people, the drug either accumulates or acts in some way in the brain tissue to cause damage,” said Dr. Remington Nevin, the executive director of The Quinism Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to supporting research and education of the effects of mefloquine.

She added that related drugs “have actually been known to cause permanent injury and destruction in diverse areas in the brain stem or limbic system.”

A Canadian Armed Forces study in 2017 found that there is “limited evidence” that the drug causes “long-lasting and permanent neurological and psychiatric adverse events.”

In a statement, the Canadian Armed Forces said that it takes the health and well-being of its members seriously. It said that it stopped using mefloquine in 2017 as its preferred anti-malarial drug as a precaution.

Mefloquine has been the subject of lawsuits before. In the United States, veterans who claimed to have been harmed by the drug are receiving disability compensation. Earlier this year, lawyers for a former American army sergeant argued in court that the drug caused psychosis that was linked to his massacre of 16 Afghan villagers in 2012.

The sergeant, Robert Bales, was sentenced in 2013 to life in prison without parole.








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Post by Lincoln on Mon 25 Mar 2019, 7:52 am

Canadian veterans set to sue government over anti-malarial drug effects


CTVNews.ca Staff, with a report from CTV National News' Annie Bergeron-Oliver
Published Sunday, March 24, 2019 10:00PM EDT

Canadian soldiers who took a military-issued anti-malarial drug held a town hall in Ottawa, Ont., on Sunday to discuss both their concerns that the drug may have caused incapacitating mental health side-effects and a class-action lawsuit they are set to launch.

Nearly 1,000 Canadian veterans have joined the lawsuit, which will sue the federal government, claiming that the anti-malarial medication mefloquine has left them suffering from depression, night terrors, aggressive behaviour and suicide.

Philip Brooks, a retired air force captain who joined to lawsuit, was on the drug for two weeks before his mission to the Congo was cancelled.


He said he received no warning about any potential side effects of the drug, but immediately after taking it, began having vivid nightmares and experiencing a sense of doom.

“I went down and couldn’t recover,” said Brooks, who had no previous history of depression or anxiety.

Mefloquine is highly effective against malaria and was first given to the Canadian troops heading to Somalia in the early 1990s, even before it was approved by Health Canada.

But some experts believe it may be linked to long-term effects that often mimic the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

“In some people, the drug either accumulates or acts in some way in the brain tissue to cause damage,” said Dr. Remington Nevin, the executive director of The Quinism Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to supporting research and education of the effects of mefloquine.

She added that related drugs “have actually been known to cause permanent injury and destruction in diverse areas in the brain stem or limbic system.”

A Canadian Armed Forces study in 2017 found that there is “limited evidence” that the drug causes “long-lasting and permanent neurological and psychiatric adverse events.”

In a statement, the Canadian Armed Forces said that it takes the health and well-being of its members seriously. It said that it stopped using mefloquine in 2017 as its preferred anti-malarial drug as a precaution.

Mefloquine has been the subject of lawsuits before. In the United States, veterans who claimed to have been harmed by the drug are receiving disability compensation. Earlier this year, lawyers for a former American army sergeant argued in court that the drug caused psychosis that was linked to his massacre of 16 Afghan villagers in 2012.

The sergeant, Robert Bales, was sentenced in 2013 to life in prison without parole.





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Post by Featherally on Thu 04 Apr 2019, 6:29 pm

 Mefloquine - Assorted Topics - Page 7 ShaunArnsten4web

Afghan war vet implores others to come forward in the face of mefloquine poisoning
A mass tort is being launched against the federal government for ordering the miltary to take the anti-malarial drug, with knowledge of the potentially debilitating side effects

BY LINDSAY SEEWALT APR 4, 2019


Soldiers across the country, and the world, are uniting as a result of lifelong impairments resulting from an anti-malarial drug widely administered for the last 25 years.

Those who took military-issued anti-malarial quinaline drugs including mefloquine or tafenoquine may be suffering from a disease known as “quinism” – lifelong and often debilitating side effects that result from being poisoned by this family of drugs.

Cochrane veteran Shaun Arnsten is one of those living with quinism with the hope that his story will inspire other veterans who were prescribed to take mefloquine and who have “never since been the same” to come forward.

“This is the smoking gun behind veteran suicide,” said Arnsten, who served with the Third Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Afghanistan in 2002 and received medical discharge the following year, after being diagnosed with PTSD, following a bombing incident that killed four members and injured eight.

In the years since, Arnsten has lived with the effects of this diagnosis and the resulting frustration of seemingly ineffective traditional talk therapy and medication for PTSD treatment.

It was only two months ago that he began to read online about “mefloquine poisoning” and came to the realization that he was among those living with the disease.

While serving overseas in 2002, Arnsten was ordered to take mefloquine, known to be a highly-effective anti-malarial drug. Immediately after he began taking the week-long dosage prescribed, he began to experience the symptoms now known to be associated with quinism – terrifying nightmares and personality changes.

“I immediately had a stomach reaction – then I had this crazy dream, this crazy vivid dream,” he explained, adding that in hindsight he knew he should have immediately quit taking the drug, that was not an option as the treatment was ordered by superiors.

Over the years ,the symptoms escalated into seizures, rapid acceleration of emotions often culminating in bouts of rage, sleep issues, GI issues, suicidal tendencies, migraines, numbness in his extremities, anxiety and confusion.


These symptoms, particularly the bouts of rage, have rendered him unable to work.

“Now I understand what’s been happening. For me, as a veteran, you’re going through all this treatment (for PTSD) … when you’re dealing with mefloquine poisoning and toxicity, it’s an actual physical injury.”

Dr. Remington Nevin is the executive director of the Quinism Foundation and expert consult in the adverse effects of anti-malarial drugs who said the Canadian military has a lot to answer for.

“There are many soldiers who are dead because of a handful of misguided Canadian officials,” he said, adding that mefloquine is a “visible scar on the Canadian military.”

Nevin said he has hundreds of case files that have largely come to him unsolicited. He reviews records and assigns causation based on his expert analyses. The Vermont-based MD has testified before senates in Australia, Canada, Europe, the U.S. and the U.K. and testified in cases that have led to favourable settlements in claims relating to central nervous system injury and other adverse effects from anti-malarial drugs.

“It’s a disease we’re dealing with – these aren’t just signs and symptoms … the tragedy is we’ve known all along,” said Nevin, adding that an estimated one-third of those who take mefloquin experience abnormal side effects associated with quinism.

Nevin, known as the leading advocate for quinism, maintains that if the military had advocated for those experiencing these side effects, which were known, to immediately stop taking the drug, it likely would have prevented the yet unknown number of people living with quinism.

In 2016, Health Canada updated its “black box warning” to include the serious side effects of taking mefloquine: anxiety, paranoia, depression, hallucinations, psychotic behaviour and thoughts of suicide.

As of 2017, the Department of National Defence announced mefloquin would only be administered to a Canadian Armed Forces member if requested.


In recent months, town halls have been popping up across the country, with more than 1,000 veterans coming together in a mass tort to sue the federal government for issuing soldiers to take the drug, beginning in the early 1990s in Somalia, claiming that the government knew about the debilitating side effects of the drug.

Paul Miller, a partner in law firm Howie, Sacks & Henry, is the co-lead counsel in a mass tort building against the Canadian federal government, along with partners Waddell Phillips (both are Toronto-based law firms).

Arnsten’s case is one of those included in the mass tort.

It was early December 2018 when the first file hit Miller’s desk – a referral from a colleague.

“Between Dec. 8 and now we’ve been contacted by close to 1,200 people,” said Miller, who spoke at an Edmonton town hall meeting for veterans in February. “We’re also getting the wives. The wives are suffering because they’re dealing with the brunt of this.”

“It’s one of the most incredible processes I’ve ever been involved with,” said Miller, adding that he has sat with mothers who have had sons commit suicide.

A class action lawsuit against the federal government was launched in 2000, dismissed for delay until April 2018. Miller said his team is bringing it forward as a mass tort due to the number of those affected and the belief that better individual compensation can be potentially achieved this way rather than through a class action.

With further town halls to go, Miller expects more will come forward. The tort is anticipated to include upwards of 2,000 cases of veterans and their families living with the aftermath of mefloquine poisoning.

Miller added that it is very difficult to estimate the number of civilians who may have experienced mefloquine poisoning – such as travellers who took the anti-malarial drug. The difference for these individuals is that they were not ordered to take the medication, unlike the military, and Miller said it looks as though manufacturer Hoffman-La Roche AG did issue the side effects in the early years. He clarified that his team is not looking to sue the manufacturer at this time.


“I’m hoping they (the federal government) will want to help their veterans – because they deserve it,” said Miller.

Estimates of those living with quinism could reach into the tens or even hundreds of thousands, as these anti-malarial drugs were dispensed in high volumes to the military since the early 1990s.

As more soldiers come forward with reports of living with severe PTSD-like symptoms with no relief despite ongoing therapies for PTSD, the pieces of the puzzle are beginning to come together and experts in the field of quinism are looking to expand awareness and let veterans know there is an answer to their unexplained frustrations.

For Arnsten, he just hopes others like him will find some solace in learning they aren’t alone.

To learn more, or get in touch with Nevin, visit quinism.org. If you believe you have experienced mefloquin poisoning, reach out to Miller at pmiller@hshlawyers.com.





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Post by Garrison on Mon 08 Apr 2019, 8:28 am

Lawsuits alleging mefloquine poisoning expected to be filed by veterans within weeks, lawyer says

GLORIA GALLOWAY PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER
PUBLISHED APRIL 7, 2019
UPDATED April 8, 2019

 Mefloquine - Assorted Topics - Page 7 GIHXWJLU2BGGDAYZ73VFBBPZFA

More than a thousand veterans, serving members of the the military and former RCMP officers who were ordered to take mefloquine while deployed overseas have expressed interest in suing the government over the damage they believe the anti-malarial drug caused to their brains.

Paul Miller, an attorney with the Toronto-based personal-injury firm Howie, Sacks and Henry, says at least 1,200 potential clients have contacted his office this year to learn more about the possibility of launching such a suit. And 200 people, to date, have completed the required paperwork.

Some claims are expected to be filed in court within the next two weeks, Mr. Miller said Friday in a telephone interview.

“The basic allegation is that the government, or the military, ordered the military personnel to take the drug or they would be court-martialled,” said Mr. Miller, “and [the Canadian Forces] did not reveal the side effects that they [the soldiers] needed to watch for, and they did not alert the soldiers to the fact that, if they experienced the side effects, they must discontinue the medication immediately.”

Much of the interest has been stirred by a series of town halls the law firm has held in Edmonton, Mississauga, Ottawa and Oromocto, N.B. Additional events are being planned for Quebec and possibly Kingston.

Soldiers who took mefloquine have complained about a wide range of mental-health issues including depression, aggressive behaviour, poor concentration, social isolation and suicidal thoughts.

The Canadian Forces conducted a review of the drug in 2016 that concluded there is no evidence mefloquine causes long-lasting problems. But the military also decided at that time that alternative drugs were the preferred options for soldiers who deploy to countries where malaria is a risk.

And Health Canada updated the warning labels for mefloquine that same year to emphasize that certain side effects can persist for months after the drug has been discontinued, and may be permanent in some patients.

Rather than a class action, Mr. Miller said he has opted to go with individual suits, even if that could potentially mean more than a thousand trips to court, because it puts more power into the hands of the individual claimants. “It gives them the ability to say yes or no to a settlement,” said Mr. Miller.

The cases have been divided into three groups, according to the year and place of deployment.

The first group includes soldiers who were sent to Somalia in the early 1990s and who were required to take the drug as part of an improperly conducted clinical trial. The second group includes veterans who were deployed to Rwanda in 1994 and other deployments in the 1990s. And the third, and largest, group are veterans and serving members of the military who were sent to Afghanistan.

Shaun Arnsten of Cochrane, Ont., a former member of the Third Battalion Princess Patricia’s Light Infantry who served in Afghanistan in 2002, was diagnosed with post-traumatic distress disorder (PTSD) in 2003 and medically discharged in 2004. He is also among those who plan to sue the government over what he says are the long-term effects of the anti-malarial medication.

“We were essentially told ‘You’re either taking mefloquine or you go home, and if you’re caught not taking mefloquine, you’re going to jail,’” Mr. Arnsten said in a telephone interview. Even today, 16 years after the first diagnosis, he said he is not able to hold down a job and is continually dealing with issues of rage, tinnitus, tingling in his extremities and an inability to focus.

“After this much time of experiencing [symptoms] at this severity, I know it’s not PTSD,” said Mr. Arnsten.

The Defence Department, which has yet to be notified of the suits, said in an e-mail that it maintains there is no evidence to suggest mefloquine poses long-term adverse effects on human health.‎ “However,” said department spokesman Derek Abma, the Canadian Armed Forces “will continue to monitor the scientific evidence related to mefloquine, and any future relevant scientific research will be thoroughly reviewed.”

Mr. Miller pointed out that countries around the world, including the United States, Australia and Ireland are acknowledging the harmful effects of mefloquine on deployed soldiers, some through court settlements and others through general compensation.

Some of his clients appear to be recovering “and then there are guys who are just a wreck," he said. “There are guys who have gone on multiple deployments and did what they had to do, and now they are just so screwed up.”





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Post by Glideon on Wed 10 Apr 2019, 7:34 am

April 9 2019


Mefloquine lawsuits set to be filed by
veterans in the next week


The first individual claims will be filed in court in the next week by Canadian Armed Forces veterans who took the antimalarial drug mefloquine. Rebekah Lesko reports.




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Post by Fonzirette on Wed 01 May 2019, 7:18 am

Canadian veterans suing government over anti-malarial drug's adverse effects


 Mefloquine - Assorted Topics - Page 7 Image Avery Haines, Investigative Correspondent, W5

@avery_haines



Published Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Eight former Canadian soldiers are suing the government of Canada, claiming they were poisoned by a military-issued anti-malarial drug while on missions in Somalia, Rwanda and Afghanistan. Seeking more than $10 million each, the veterans say their lives have been destroyed by the drug Mefloquine.

Lawyer Paul Miller is representing the former soldiers and says his clients were forced to take the drug and are still living with the side effects, including psychosis, rage, paranoia, insomnia and tinnitus.

“The soldiers had no choice in taking the medication. They were under fear of court martial and imprisonment if they didn’t take it. There was fraudulent concealment of the side effects and they were never told that if you suffer certain side affects you need to discontinue the medication,” Miller said.


The mass tort, similar to a class-action lawsuit, will be filed on Wednesday, but CTV News has been given an advance copy of the claims, which are expected to eventually grow into the thousands.

Among the eight soldiers represented in this first wave of lawsuits is Brad Elms, a former captain who was ordered to take Mefloquine on missions to Somalia, Haiti and Afghanistan. The suit, on behalf of his estate and his widow, claims: “Capt. Elms died by suicide on November 3, 2014, as a result of serious neurological and psychiatric side effects caused by Mefloquine.”

At a recent town hall meeting in Kingston, Ont., dozens of veterans gathered to hear details of the legal action against the government, including retired Sgt. Richard Schumann, who was ordered to take Mefloquine in Afghanistan in 2005. Schumann says he experienced horrifyingly vivid dreams, including one of suicide that almost cost him his life.

“I attempted suicide in my dream. I remember taking my side arm, cocking the action, chambered a round and put the barrel in my mouth.” Schumann says he pulled the trigger in a dream that he was unknowingly acting out in real life. “My fire team partner was beside me in the bed space, and he heard me cock the action of my C-7. Here I was standing there with a chambered round on the edge of my cot getting ready to spin my rifle around.”

Schumann, who plans to add his name to the mass tort action, says his life has been destroyed by Mefloquine. He can’t sleep, he has seizures, tingling in the limbs and night terrors.

Some experts believe that some veterans who took the drug may be misdiagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

The drug company’s own warning label cautions about the potential for serious side effects that can last for years. However, a 2017 Health Canada report found “limited evidence” that the drug causes “long lasting and permeant adverse events.”

The statement of claim alleges that the government “continues to willfully deny and conceal the risks” of the drug. These claims have not been tested in court.

Mefloquine is no longer used by the Canadian military as a first line of defence against malaria but the drug is still authorized for sale in Canada.





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Post by Diesel on Wed 01 May 2019, 3:35 pm

May 1, 2019

Mefloquine lawsuits against federal government filed in court for military use of drug


The federal government is now facing three lawsuits from eight people over the military’s use of mefloquine.

The controversial anti-malarial drug was used by the Canadian Forces for its members deploying to regions where malaria posed a health risk.

But the medication has been shown to carry serious side effects which the claimants argue the military failed to make clear to them.

“Three separate lawsuits have been filed in the Federal Court by a total of 8 individuals against the Government of Canada alleging that the Government, through the Department of National Defence, ordered members of the Canadian Armed Forces to take an anti-malarial medication known as ‘Mefloquine’ without adequately informing CAF Members of the severe adverse reactions, despite warnings from the drug manufacturer,” reads a statement issued by Howie, Sacks & Henry LLP and Waddell Phillips Professional Corporation.



The two law firms are representing the plaintiffs in the three lawsuits, which focus on the experiences of Canadian Forces members who say they were forced to take mefloquine between 1990 and 2017, and suffered harm as a result.

Side effects of mefloquine include anxiety, paranoia, depressions, hallucinations and nervous system problems such as vertigo, tinnitus, seizures and insomnia.

The Canadian Forces offered it as a first option for certain deployments but stopped doing so in 2017 after analyzing available studies on the use of the drug.

While the results of the review said there was no evidence of long-term damage from the drug, veterans quickly accused the government of cherry-picking the studies used in its review.

Mefloquine is now considered a drug of last resort by the Canadian military.

— More to come …





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