Prof. dr. David Healy

Psychiatrist from the UK, who functions as MD FRC Psych, Professor Dept of Family Medicine, McMaster University. Hamilton, Canada.


David Healy is a psychiatrist, scientist, psychopharmacologist, and author.

Before becoming a professor of Psychiatry in Wales, and more recently in the Department of Family Medicine at McMaster University in Canada, he studied medicine in Dublin, and at Cambridge University. He is a former Secretary of the British Association for Psychopharmacology, and has authored more than 220 peer-reviewed articles, 300 other pieces, and 25 books.

His latest and most important book is Shipwreck of the Singular. Healthcare’s Castaways (2021). This documents how improvements in medicine which contributed to increasing our life expectancies have now turned inside out and are leading to shortened life spans. At the same time the climate of healthcare has turned toxic with increasingly fraught encounters between staff and management and between patients and services who are more concerned to manage risks to them rather than to us.

David’s main areas of research are clinical trials in psychopharmacology, the history of psychopharmacology, and the impact of both trials and psychotropic drugs on our culture.

He has been involved as an expert witness in homicide and suicide trials involving psychotropic drugs, and in bringing problems with these drugs to the attention of American and European regulators, as well raising awareness of how pharmaceutical companies sell drugs by marketing diseases and co-opting academic opinion-leaders, ghost-writing their articles.

David is a founder and CEO of Data Based Medicine Limited, which operates through its website, dedicated to making medicines safer through online direct patient reporting of drug side effects.

David and his colleagues recently established RxISK eConsult, an online medication consultation service to answer the question “Could it be my meds?”

Some relevant publications

  • The Antidepressant Era (Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1999). 
  • Let Them Eat Prozac (New York University Press, 2004) 
  • The Creation of Psychopharmacology (Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 2004) 
  • Mania, A short history of bipolar disorder (Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008)  
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