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New Charges Filed Against Prozac Doctor But Psychologist Predicts He Will Be Vindicated

Thu., June 1, 1995, midnight

A state board on Wednesday expanded the charges against Wenatchee psychologist Jim Goodwin, one of the nation’s leading advocates of the antidepressant drug Prozac.

Goodwin dismissed the new statement from the Examining Board of Psychology as “just new wording for old charges.” He predicted he will be vindicated and will keep his license.

Goodwin has received national attention as “the Pied Piper of Prozac” for his advocacy of the drug, along with new cognitive therapies, to deal with depressed clients.

By his own account, he has treated more than 700 patients who take Prozac or similar drugs. He says he has taken Prozac since 1989.

The state board said additional complaints from consumers led to the filing of broader charges. The board now alleges that Goodwin required all his patients to take an antidepressant, tried to verbally intimidate clients into staying in treatment, lacked sufficient information for many of his diagnoses, “divulged inappropriate information about himself in vulgar, crude and intrusive ways,” and broke client confidentiality by introducing potential clients to his current patients.

In May, the board said Goodwin is impaired by a form of manic depression and an unspecified cognitive disorder. The board wants to take away his license.

In an interview, Goodwin said the new charges are “not really anything new” from the original charges of December 1993.

“Those charges, with the wording a little different, have been investigated and deposed upon, and that will all come out if we have an open hearing,” he said. “The charges have gone so far and are so outrageous and ridiculous.

“The complaints have been taken out of context. It has gotten way out of proportion.”

He said the case was brought against him originally because of “professional ignorance that there was such an incidence of mild to moderate depression.” Now that is widely known and Prozac is a mainstream part of treatment, he said.

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