About Kim Witczak
I like to call myself the accidental advocate. I never set out to become a drug safety advocate 15 years ago. However, I was thrown into this world and NOT by choice. I was just living life...married, had a successful career in advertising, traveling the world, and plan. However, all that changed with one phone call on August 6, 2003. Woody, my husband of almost 10 years was found hanging by the rafters of our garage - dead at age 37.
From the beginning, his death made no sense to me or anyone else who knew him. Something didn't add up. Everywhere I turned, all the so-called experts and suicide support groups were telling me Woody must have been depressed. But Woody wasn’t depressed nor did he have a history of depression or suicidality or any other mental illness.
He had just started his dream job as Vice President of Sales with a start-up company two months prior and started having trouble sleeping which is not uncommon for entrepreneurs. So Woody went to see his family physician and was given the antidepressant Zoloft off-label for insomnia. Five weeks later, Woody took his own life.
Woody and I never once questioned the drug. Why would we? Zoloft is FDA approved, given to him by his doctor and was advertised and sold as safe and effective.
The journey for the truth has taken me to the FDA, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Congress, the courts, and media.
It was too late for Woody and we decided that something had to be done. If just one family was informed, then Woody’s life and death made a difference. No family should ever have to learn after the fact.
More about Kim…
Kim Witczak is a leading national drug safety advocate In the US and speaker with over 25 years professional experience in advertising and marketing communications. She became involved in pharmaceutical drug safety issues after the sudden death of her husband due to undisclosed drug side effect of an antidepressant. Kim co-founded Woodymatters, a non-profit dedicated to advocating for a stronger FDA and drug safety system. She co-created and organized the international, multi-disciplinary conference Selling Sickness: People Before Profits conference in Washington, D.C. In 2016, she was appointed Consumer Representative on the FDA Psychopharmacologic Drug Advisory Committee and is on the Board of Directors of National Physicians Alliance and MISSD (Medication Induced Suicide Prevention in Memory of Stewart Dolin.) She is an active member of the DC-based Patient, Consumer, and Public Health Coalition making sure the voice of non-conflicted patients and consumers is represented in healthcare/FDA related legislative issues.