Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Another Family Destroyed

A US teen from Ohio who was about to Graduate from high school has just shot to death his grandparents, his Mother and two young friends. He also tried to kill his younger sister who is in intensive care with a neck wound.

The rampage puzzled school officials. The Logan County Sheriff said he was going to try to find out why he did it.

Check out the medical cabinet in the bathroom Sheriff. Why a young boy would kill his family will be because of the psychotropic pills inside a bottle there.

Psych Accused of Improper Behaviour

Psychiatrist Erol F. Giray could be stripped of his medical license if the State of California board finds that he has engaged in unethical behaviour.

Giray is accused of destroying patient records and exorting “clients” to give him more than $400,000- in cash gifts plus various personal items.

Pharmaceutical Drug Trials Under Attack

Jeffrey Drazen is a pulmonologist and Harvard Medical School graduate. He has taken over as editor of the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

For a long while Drazen has been a defender of Big Pharma. Now that he is in a position to really understand the pharmaceutical company pressure and influence that is wielded on medical practitioners, medical schools and medical publications he has changed his tune dramatically.

Amongst his many complaints is that pharmaceutical companies are placing undue pressure and influence over the supposedly independent academics hired to conduct drug trials.

He also claims that drug researchers “weren’t giving us the straight story”.

Dr. Drazen accuses three of the largest pharmaceutical companies of “making a mockery” of a government database designed to provide information about drug trials.

All the major medical journals in the US have now warned that they might refuse to publish drug studies that do not adhere to their disclosure demands.

His predecesor Marcia Angell, senior lecturer at Harvard Medical School said: “Through painful experience Jeff is learning what these companies are about. He sees the ugly side that he hadn't seen before -- the bias that company-sponsored research contains, the suppression of results that they don't like, the spin of unfavorable results.”

It wasn’t until October 2004 that regulators finally forced the drug companies to ads strong warnings about the link between anti-depressants and suicide.

Researchers familiar with the trials admitted that ‘unflattering’ findings about the anti-depressants hadn’t been published thus creating a more positive picture of the drugs than was warranted.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Childhood is Not a Disease

Philip Barton 29/5/05

Why are suicide rates rising? What can we do about it? These are questions raised regularly in our media but few credible answers seem to be forthcoming. The answer as to why suicide rates are rising is that we regularly, loudly and actively promote suicide. To dramatically reduce suicides we only have to stop promoting it.

Many suicides stem from the following process. First of all convince someone that their bereavement or upset or sadness over something or other is actually called depression. Then solemnly inform them that depression is a life threatening psychiatric disease requiring expensive psychotropic drugs, probably for life. Or, inform parents that their disruptive child with boundless energy is suffering from a psychiatric disease called ADHD and that the child urgently needs to be put on a daily psychotropic drug.

And that’s it. People are suddenly (and often to their utter bewilderment and shame) branded as “mentally ill” and placed on psychotropic drugs with the potential for suicidal thoughts and tendencies, and with a pill bottle label properly warning them of that fact. Is it any wonder that they start to have suicidal thoughts and tendencies? How could they possibly not?

Pharmaceutical companies are guilty of not only wildly over promoting the efficacy of their chemical ‘cures’, and under presenting their dark, side effects, but of actually re-branding common emotions and worries and fears into ‘disorders’... and then selling drugs to cure those ‘disorders’. First they create and market a new ‘disease’, then they market a new ‘cure’.

Pharmaceutical companies are deliberately causing people who are well, to suddenly accept a reclassification as ill... and mentally ill at that. Great for selling drugs, but not great for the self-esteem of the target market.

Stop that process and the suicide rates would drop very quickly back to where they used to be. Childhood clumsiness and unruliness are not a disease. The stresses resulting from the normal sadness, upsets and problems that affect everyone from time to time are not a disease. Childhood is not a disease. Life is not a disease.

If someone is sad or depressed and feels that to announce it leaves them open to the stigma of mental illness, then they are less likely to announce it for fear of that stigma... not to mention the fear of the pharmaceutical ‘cures’ or other, even worse, treatments like Electro Shock. Trying to remove the stigma is not only probably impossible, but badly misses the point.

Upsets, sadness, depression and anything else that is bothering someone need to be talked about. Talking things over with one’s friends and family, or anyone who really cares, is vital to the resolution of such feelings. Often it is all that is needed. Maybe the person needs Omega-3 which has been the subject of startling new research in the UK into brain development in the last couple of years. Maybe it is some other dietary deficiency. Whatever it is it certainly isn’t a drug deficiency that causes someone to be sad.

Trying to tough it out on your own for fear that others will think you have a psychiatric disease, or trying to dull the symptoms with psychotropic drugs (or any drugs) is worse than useless. It is dangerous.

Prior to the promotion of psychotropic drugs to ‘cure’ made up ‘disorders’ suicide was statistically insignificant. Now it is a major problem. The answer is not more mind-numbing drugs... the answer is less, or better still, none. A good start would be to totally ban the prescribing of psychotropic drugs to minors under any circumstances.

The children who are now on psychotropic drugs because they suffer from the psychiatric disease known as childhood are the next generation of suicides. Unless that is, we their parents do something about it.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Psychiatric Twit of the Week

This week’s "Severe Transcranial Dysfuntion" award (otherwise known as "Psychiatric Twit of the Week") is awarded to psychiatrist Dr. Ashok Pai from India who has announced that Psychiatry is going to be the discipline of the century.... yes, it was said recently and he means the 21st century not the fifteenth century. With this gem of idiocy Dr Ashok Pai is in strong contention for the “Severe Transcranial Dysfuntion” award of the YEAR.

Anti-Depressants Causing Medical Complications

Doctors at Duke University Medical Centre were puzzled by patients who, after having heart-bypass surgery developed excessive health problems far above the average.

A just completed study found that these patients were the ones who were taking the most popular anti-depressants.

Mental Health Officials Resign

Just one month after the resignation of a senior manager, Washington’s top mental health official has also resigned.

In February, the Lakewood psychiatric hospital was accused of releasing mentally ill patients before they should have been discharged. Some patients reportedly were hallucinating when they left.

In November 2003 the psychiatric centre was also the subject of a sexual harassment case.

Children Saved from Ritalin

Under pressure from legislators and Citizens Commission on Human Rights, Governor Jeb Bush of Florida has signed a bill saying that school personnel cannot deny student’s access to school services or programs if their parent’s refuse a psychological screening, or refuse to place their child on psychotropic drugs.

The bill also places restrictions on the state Department of Children & Families when it comes to giving psychotropic drugs to foster children.

An alternative bill sponsored by Rep. Gustavo Barreiro was vetoed by Bush, but Barreiro has stated that he will file it again next year. That bill demands that school personnel disclose all the facts related to the taking of psychotropic drugs. Barreiro believes that many children are on psychotropic drugs such as Ritalin for the wrong reason.

Dr. Thomas Szasz

In a wondeful new book called “Szasz Under Fire” Dr Thomas Szasz, a Reason contributing editor and an emeritus professor of psychiatry at the SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, explains why, unlike the defense experts, he did not conduct a "psychiatric examination" of Cromer in the famous 1980 case.

"I regard the practice as the epitome of junk science and refuse to participate in it," he writes. Not only is there "no objective test for mental illness," but psychiatrists are supposed to determine a defendant's state of mind at the time of the crime by talking to him many months later, a pretense Szasz considers "prima facie absurd."

This was one of the main points he made in his testimony, which was condemned by psychiatrists outraged that he had dared to question the premises of their profession.

The jurors, who convicted Cromer, apparently agreed with Szasz about the reliability of psychiatric testimony.

Psychiatric "Hospitals"

According to a major article in the UK's Guardian newspaper, mentally ill patients in psychiatric hospitals are being sedated with drugs due to critical staff shortages.

I understand that the word "hospital" implies some sort of healing, but what does the Guardian think normally happens in psychiatric hospitals? At least the victims are not having their brains fried with Electro-Convulsive "Therapy" or lobotomised with ice-picks.

Roche Sued for Psychotropic Death of Son

Swiss based Roche Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of Accutane is being sued by Liam Grant whose son hanged himself after taking the drug. This story does not directly relate to psychiatry as the drug was prescribed by a dermatologist, BUT it could well be a major nail in the coffin of the casual dispensing of mind-numbing, psychotropic drugs that has done so much damage to our society.

This is a huge case and a successful prosecution of Roche will impact heavily throughout the world of Big Pharma and consequently psychiatry. The pretence of psychiatry that it is a profession related to the healing industry are one step closer to being exposed for all to see.

The case which is attracting enormous, world-wide attention starts in Dublin next month.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Letters to the Editor/Ireland

Another letter from the ubiquitous Dick Barton:
Dear Sir,
Rita Carter's review of Steven Rose's book was a fascinating insight into the continuing battle between a bureaucratic and unaccountable establishment and the few senior scientists with integrity who try to sound the alarms in various areas. However, from the first priest who declared that the earth went round the sun to the several people who, in the early 70's, warned against feeding offal to vegetarian ruminants and the scientists currently starting to warn against GMOs, all whistle blowers have been scorned and mocked (or even burnt alive, in the case of that poor priest). Carter accuses Rose of "something perilously close to a rant" while her critique of his book is much the same. For instance, the only three facts about Prozac (and similar drugs) are that they cure absolutely nobody, are very difficult for patients to stop taking and are associated with an increased suicide risk, amongst other dreadful side-effects. (I know people who suffer from them!) Two other facts are that there is a high degree of manipulation involved in the research results that actually get published by drug companies and that many scientists don't really even know what they're doing (see last article in same issue). For Carter to proudly quote such research to show that Prozac "shows benefits" (whatever that means) in as much as 60% of cases (in itself a pathetically small figure for something that "works") is simply an establishment rant. Anything that educated, intelligent people (as I assume Carter to be) try to hide or deride is worth knowing about so I am going to buy the book.
Yours faithfully,

Dick Barton

New Study on Omega-3

This article was obtained from Marshall at http://www.marshallsontag.com/mt/mt-tb.pl/22
Thanks Marshall, it's a great, well written article. I hightly recommend a visit to Marshall's Blog
May 27, 2005
Omega-6 Levels in Brain Linked to Depression

A new study found that depressed rats had higher levels of Omega-6 fatty acids in their brains The researchers were surprised:
"But the finding lends itself nicely to the theory that increased omega-3 fatty acid intake may shift the balance between the two fatty acid families in the brain, since it has been demonstrated in animal studies that increased omega-3 fatty acid intake may result in decreased brain arachidonic acid."

"The finding that in the depressive rats the omega-3 fatty acid levels were not decreased, but arachidonic acid was substantially increased as compared to controls is somewhat unexpected"

Arachidonic acid is a metabolite (or product) of omega-6 fatty acids, which are found in heavy abundance in most vegetable oils. So how does supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids relieve depression? The answer lies in the relationship between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Put on your thinking caps, folks, it's time for a science lesson! Don't worry, it's easy to understand.

Omega-6 fatty acids are metabolized in the body to become Arachidonic Acid. Arachidonic Acid is a precursor to pro-inflammatory eicosanoids, or hormone-like substances that increase inflammation in the body. While redness, heat, swelling and pain are the more commonly-known products of inflammation, a lesser known product is the dysfunction of the organ involved. Elevated levels of arachidonic acid in the brain actually cause dysfunction of the brain, thus causing depression! Or ADHD. Or Alzheimers. The list goes on and on. So how do the omega-3 fatty acids fit in?

To put things simply, the omega-3 fatty acids compete with the omega-6 fatty acids for the chemicals required to convert the omega-6s into arachidonic acid, effectively neutralizing them. We need inflammation for when an infection or injury occurs, but we also need the omega-3s to allow the inflammation to subside. When you have a balance of the two, you remain well. When you have too many omega-6s and too few omega-3s, inflammation proliferates and so does dysfunction of the inflammed organs. What then happens from the system-wide inflammation is system-wide dysfunction, resulting in not just depression, but eventually also heart disease, Alzheimer's Disease, Type II (Adult-Onset) Diabetes, ADHD and a host of other diseases.

Would the researchers agree? Let's see what they had to say:

"But the finding lends itself nicely to the theory that increased omega-3 fatty acid intake may shift the balance between the two fatty acid families in the brain, since it has been demonstrated in animal studies that increased omega-3 fatty acid intake may result in decreased brain arachidonic acid."

Posted by Marshall at May 27, 2005 10:45 PM
TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.marshallsontag.com/mt/mt-tb.pl/22

Pfizer and Eli Lilly in Trouble Again

Two of the main manufacturers of anti-depressants Eli Lilly and Co and Pfizer are also the respective manufacturers of Cialis and Viagra, the “erectile dysfunction” drugs.

Forty eight people so far have gone blind after taking these products. The psychiatric defence witnesses will claim it is from excessive masturbation of course.

Should be another Big Pharma profit sapping saga to look forward to.

Real Mental Health

From Psychiatrist Dr Raj Persaud:

“A grave omission has arisen in psychology and psychiatry over the last 100 years. What we should have been doing throughout our history, but have almost completely omitted to, is to advise the public on how to prevent the onset of mental illness or psychological problems, rather than simply being so completely focused on only offering treatment once disturbance has set in.

“Prevention is always more efficient and helpful than cure. This major failure of our discipline in the last century has occurred partly because of the erroneous belief that mental illness cannot be prevented as its causes remain obscure. Yet the history of medicine has been dominated by effective preventive action, which occurred long before specific causes were identified.”

The causes are not that obscure Doctor. A good diet with supplements including but not limited to Omega-3 via fish oil would be a great start... and then maybe a cup of tea and someone who really cared just to listen.

Tom Cruise in His Best Role Yet

Found on the internet tonight and reprinted as was:

Tom Cruise slams psychiatry as pseudo-science!:-
Washington | May 27, 2005 4:40:48 PM IST
 
Hollywood heart throb Tom Cruise has slammed psychiatrists, whom he blames for a drug-fuelled crisis in children.


The actor was diagnosed with dyslexia when he was just seven, and doctors suggested he should take drugs to control his learning problems.

Memories of that part of his childhood fuelled Cruise to seek alternative ways of overcoming his dyslexia - a problem that led him to the Church of Scientology's educational programmes.

Becoming a scientologist in 1984 made the actor look closely at the controversial religion's anti-psychiatry stance, and he has since become a firm believer that the science and the medicating of children is wrong.

"I'm going right after psychiatry and these false labels and this pseudo-science," Cruise was quoted by Access Hollywood as saying.

"I was diagnosed as dyslexic; I had a lot of energy as a child. They wanted to put me on drugs... Never did; my mother said no, absolutely not, no way and I'm thankful.

Am I making people aware of it by discussing it openly and saying what a fraud psychiatry is? You bet I am. I feel a responsibility because I care," he added.

The actor also maintains that poor results in education in America can be blamed on mind-altering drugs that are given to children.

"SAT (exam) scores have gone right down the toilet. The parents are blaming the teachers, the teachers are blaming the parents and the psychs are putting everyone on drugs," he said.

More Psychiatric Deaths

Painkillers Used to Subdue Mentally Ill

THREE deaths at the Little Hulton psychiatric unit in the UK are being investigated by police after claims that powerful painkillers were used to subdue patients.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Discipline of the Century

Galloping to the lead in the "Severe Transcranial Dysfuntion" award (otherwise known as "Psychiatric Twit of the Week" is Dr. KA Ashok Pai who has announced that Psychiatry is going to be the discipline of the century.

This was said recently and referred to the twenty first century... not to the fifteenth century!

Child Psychiatric Research Team Dumped

The whole forty member research team into child psychiatry has been dumped by the School of Medicine at the University of Chicago. They will be leaving in July this year.

Chief of child psychiatry Bennett Leventhal admitted that it had been made clear to him by the School of Medicine that their department was “... not a priority for this place.”

Great breaking news to start the day!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

New Mental Illness

Gaser Mohammed Mahmoud, mentioned in a previous Blog, is still being held in a Cairo mental institution.

His diligent pyschiatrist, Dr Nevine, has tried all the tricks in the psychiatric book.

But, despite forced confinement, whippings, beatings and potentially fatal injections, he has failed to respond to treatment and still wishes to be a Christian.

Letters to the Editor

Two great letters to the Editor culled from the Irish papers:
Dear Madam,
I was very disappointed to see Kate Holmquist joining in the latest fraud of the psychiatric profession, namely ADD, ADHD and so on. The most elementary research will show that these names are simply made up by a group of psychiatrists to cover a whole range of perceived symptoms. It was done largely to disguise the fact that they have very little idea what's "wrong" with a lot of children nor how to handle them. Giving misbehaviour a name like ADHD makes them seem competent in the area. The vast majority of healthy kids exhibit some of the symptoms some of the time. Some of the more unruly behaviour is well-known to be due simply to a diet rich in food chemicals - easily altered. If we allow this dangerous fraud to continue, the next step is to make doctors or psychiatrists officially obliged to give pharmaceutical pills to any children who show any of the symptoms. In other words, any defenceless child that is adjudged "bold" in the future - by whom? - might have pills (= drugs = more chemicals) forced on it by an incompetent bureaucracy. Is this what we want for our children and grandchildren? It's already happening in the USA.
Yours most apprehensively,
Dick Barton
________________
Dear Sir,
Great article on genius and madness. May I assume that our Ministry of Illness will now somehow find a way to test for early signs of great intelligence and force-feed the unlucky children with a "preventative" psychiatric drug of some sort? Along the lines of the Ritalin scandal for children who exhibit too much independence or get bored easily. But perhaps the greatest poser - Barton's Paradox? - would be how to get a bureaucracy to test for intelligence.
Yours faithfully,
Dick Barton

More Pushers!

According to AP (Associated Press), a new law has taken effect in Louisiana that allows psychologists to prescribe the whole range of anti-depressants. Has the world gone mad. Our towns and cities are already awash with psychiatric pushers. Now even psychologists are allowed to prescribe them. Many other US states are now looking to follow suit. Two steps forward, one step back.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Another Protest Against Psychiatry

I'm off to Darling Harbour in Sydney Australia to demonstate at a psychiatric convention. It starts at 4:30pm. I am a little incredulous that the psychs are willing to be seen in such a public place. I have heard that there are Tee shirts on sale saying "Hide your children.. Psychiatrists in Town". I shall definitely buy one of those.

Able Laboratories Suspends all Business

Able laboratories, makers of generic drugs in the class of Tylenol, Ritalin and Vicodin etc, were warned that they were about to be checked out by the FDA. Their CEO promptly resigned.

Now Able have suspended all manufacturing and distribution. An internal investigation is underway.

According to a warning letter sent to the company by the U.S. Food and Drug Administrationin the company was in violation of not reporting serious side effects linked to some of its drugs.

A lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court by the law firm Schoengold, Sporn, Laitman, and Lometti accused company executives of “making materially false and misleading statements regarding the company’s business and prospects to artificially inflate the value of Able stock.”

Able’s share price has dropped 80%.

Big Pharma's Undue Influence of Psychiatrists and Even Proper Doctors

http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0020138

Chekc out the above html above for a very good expose and explanation of the way pharmaceutical companies influence psychiatrists, proper doctors, and the public on what drugs are sold... whether or not they work.

It was published on May 17th 2005 by PLoS (Public Library of Science) and is by Richard Smith the Chief Executive of UnitedHealth Europe, London, United Kingdom. E-mail: richardswsmith@yahoo.co.uk

Richard Smith was an editor for the BMJ for 25 years. For the last 13 of those years, he was the editor and chief executive of the BMJ Publishing Group, responsible for the profits of not only the BMJ but of the whole group, which published some 25 other journals. He stepped down in July 2004. He is now a member of the board of the Public Library of Science, a position for which he is not paid.

This web page is a must read for anyone who still has a shred of doubt about the unbridled power and immoral influence of Big Pharma.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Merck in Big Trouble

A federal judge has informed lawyers jam-packed into a courtroom in New Orleans that the number of people suing Merck & Co over the Vioxx fiasco could amount to around 100,000.

Estimations are that this case alone could cost Merck $18,000,000,000.

Sometimes, when the person or entity is so deserving of being sued, I just love the litiginous society that we live in.

This case will further open the eyes of the pill popping public to the chicanery that lies behind Big Pharma’s loosely labelled ‘research’ and 'trials'.

Every exposure of Big Pharma’s utter indifference to the wellbeing of the consumer will make it harder and harder for psychiatrists to push their drugs onto an unsuspecting public.

The exposure of the manipulation of truth endemic in drug ‘trials’ will also help to bring into question the credibility of Big Pharma in other cases to come.

I smell greater independant oversight of Big Pharma in the near future... hopefully, unlike the FDA, one that manages to stay at arm’s length.

Intravaginal Ejaculatory Latency Time

In their increasing desperation to combat major share price slides as more and more people become rightly nervous of swallowing their drugs, pharmaceutical companies are now sponsoring ‘research’ to try to prove that swallowing anti-depressants can help men overcome premature ejaculation.

‘Researchers’ had men swallow an anti-depressant two to three hours before intercourse, then, with a stop-watch in hand (no kidding!) they measured the time between vaginal penetration and male ejaculation. This, in a ponderous effort to sound scientific, was known as their “intravaginal ejaculatory latency time”.

This sort of creative clutching at straws (and stop-watches and goodness knows what else) indicates that the falling sales of the pharmaceutical companies must be really starting to impact.

Psychiatrists will have to quickly relabel premature ejaculation as a mental disorder to be entitled to a slice of the new action.

Monday, May 23, 2005

The ADHD Fraud

I have been asked why it is that the Blog is called 'Psychiatric News', yet contains many articles that are solely about Pharmaceutical Companies. The answer is that it is almost not possible to discuss one without discussing the other. To understand why so many psychiatrists still prescribe destructive, mind altering drugs, you need to understand the influence that they are under and the money that is available to them if they 'play their cards right'. That overriding influence is the HUGE pharmaceutical companies with power beyond imagination.

The following two articles sent to me just today from Ireland are reproduced in full (with credits), and will possibly help readers to understand the relationship.

ALLIANCE FOR HUMAN RESEARCH PROTECTION (AHRP)
Promoting Openness, Full Disclosure, and Accountability
www.ahrp.org

"After 25 years and 35 studies, there is not a single straightforward experiment comparing typical unmedicated children with an ADHD diagnosis to typical controls."

But science is not what the psychotropic drug industry relies on to bolster sales.

Industry relies on an army of psychiatrists affiliated with academia who serve as marketeres advocating the use of psychostimulant drugs for ADHD-a non-specific unvalidated behavioral "condition." And these marketeers get paid handome "consultancy" fees.

Gretchen LeFever did the unthinkable. She pursued a line of research that threatens the interest of the university's pharmaceutical supporters--for this she got fired.

For years Dr. LeFever has been documenting an inordinate, medically unsupported rise in the diagnosis of children with ADHD in eastern Virginia-as high as 17% compared to the national average of 5%.

That inflated diagnosis translates into doctors' high prescribing rates which enriches the manufacturers of ADHD drugs: Eli Lilly, manufacturer of Strattera; Johnson & Johnson manufacturer of Concerta ; Shire manufacturer of Adderall, the most popular ADHD drug; and Novartis which continues to profit from Ritalin.

Not only is there no medical justification for prescribing these drugs to most children, but the drugs have been linked to serious, even potentially life-threatening adverse effects. In the wake of public outrage at the concealment of adverse drug effects, the FDA has just created a new website providing drug safety information: http://www.fda.gov/cder/drugSafety.htm

The following information about drugs prescribed for ADHD is on FDA's new website.

The amphetamine, Adderall (extended release) was linked to 20 sudden deaths-14 in children-and was withdrawn from market by Health Canada.

Concerta (methylphenidate,, much like Ritalin) is linked to difficulty breathing, irregular, fast heart beat, high blood pressure, and liver damage.

Strattera (atomoxetine) an anti-depressant, is linked to high systolic blood pressure, tachycardia, hypotention, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and mood swings.

Dr. William Pelham who has tested Concerta and Adderall, notes that 75% of children who relied on behavioral treatments in a trial comparing drug and non-drug approaches, functioned well without ADHD drugs for a full year as well as the year following the study.

"What this means to me is that two-thirds of ADHD kids could be taken off the medications."

Dr. LeFevere's "crime" appears to be her efforts to alert the public about a potential health hazard. Why are bioethicists not supporting Dr. LeFevere?

Might they be chasing after PHARMA give-a-ways?

Contact: Vera Hassner Sharav
212-595-8974
veracare@ahrp.org

URL: http://www.thestreet.com/stocks/melissadavid/10222737.html

http://www.thestreet.com/stocks/melissadavid/10222737.html

THE STREET
Attention Deficit Pays at Shire
By Melissa Davis
Senior Writer
5/11/2005


For a while, Gretchen LeFever was able to draw national television coverage to her crusade: what she calls the excessive diagnosis and treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The pediatric clinical psychologist made a name for herself after studying the apparent prevalence of ADHD in her eastern Virginia community. At one local school district, for example, LeFever found that 17% of the children in grades two through five had been diagnosed with ADHD. Moreover, she discovered that the vast majority of those diagnosed with the disorder
were being treated with prescription stimulants like Ritalin and the next-generation drugs manufactured by Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson and Shire Pharmaceuticals.

On average, only about 5% of the nation's children supposedly suffer from ADHD. So LeFever's findings, representing the highest rates of ADHD ever documented, led to stories by major news outlets including CBS, CNN and NPR.

But soon enough, critics attacked her research. LeFever believes some were actually bankrolled by the pharmaceutical industry. She says even her employer, the financially strapped Eastern Virginia Medical School, turned against her. The university failed to return a phone call from TheStreet.com.

"I was one of the more notable researchers at the school," LeFever says. "But suddenly, everything I did was under scrutiny."

Now, LeFever says she no longer feels surprised. After all, she has come to realize, her research could threaten a major growth market for the cash-rich drug industry.

In this third of five articles exploring apparent conflicts of interest in the medical business, TheStreet.com examines how an increasingly popular but still controversial diagnosis has paid off for big pharma companies -- and how the industry might benefit from silencing troublesome questions.

Booming Business

As LeFever fights to keep her job, pharmaceutical companies continue to rake in huge sums for their ADHD drugs.

Last year, one of Eli Lilly's newest drugs -- the ADHD treatment Strattera -- became one of its most popular as well. Sales of Strattera rocketed 80% to $667 million, far outpacing the growth posted by every other product line.

Johnson & Johnson also counts its ADHD drug Concerta, obtained through an $11.8 billion purchase of Alza in 2001, as a particularly strong performer. Even Novartis continues to make plenty of money on the old standby Ritalin.

But Shire now boasts the most popular ADHD drug of all. Last year, sales of Adderall jumped 28% -- capturing one-fourth of the crucial U.S. market -- as physicians wrote more and more prescriptions. Shire is now banking much of its future on ADHD as it races to bring out four new treatments for the disorder in 2005 alone.

"As the ADHD market develops, new choices of treatment are emerging," Shire CEO Matthew Emmens recently explained. And "Shire aims to have a range of medicines in its ADHD portfolio."

Yet some believe the ADHD drug market has already grown too large. William Pelham -- a prominent researcher involved with trials of both Concerta and Adderall -- says a major government study, sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health, showed that behavioral therapy often eliminates the need for ADHD drugs altogether. During that one-year trial, he says, 75% of the children who relied on behavioral treatments
functioned well without ADHD drugs. Moreover, he adds, most of those children remained off the drugs a full year later.

"What this means to me is that two-thirds of ADHD kids could be taken off the medications," Pelham says. "I'm not saying the drugs are all bad. They're useful for many children. But I do think they are grossly overused as a first line of intervention."

Still, Pelham has battled to make his views known. Following the first Concerta trial, he says, Alza "wanted whole paragraphs cut out" of a journal article that highlighted the role of behavioral therapy in treatment.
Pelham ultimately won his fight to retain the material, but he believes that other researchers -- without his stubbornness or seniority -- often feel pressured enough to back down instead.

"That pressure, whether it is subtle or not so subtle, is always something you have to deal with," he says. "The drug companies want to emphasize medications. That is what they are selling."

Catching Conflicts

LeFever's research could hurt that goal.

So far, her opponents have only managed to nitpick. For example, they pounced on the wording of a single question in one of her studies even though it failed to influence her overall results. They also highlighted research that showed much lower ADHD rates instead of more recent studies that helped support her work.

Still, LeFever has felt herself battling an unimaginable force.

Russell Barkley -- a high-profile expert known to embrace the ADHD drugs -- emerged with his familiar argument that, if anything, even more children should be medicated for the disorder. His recent "Without Boundaries" survey was spearheaded in 2004 by the World Federation for Mental Health, in partnership with Eli Lilly.

Donald Lewis, a pediatrics professor at LeFever's own medical school, also took aim at LeFever's work. Lewis did not respond to a phone message from TheStreet.com. But like many researchers, he could be answering to more than one boss. The school's directory says that Lewis actually works for nearby Monarch Research. Notably, Monarch counts dozens of drug manufacturers among its "collaborators" -- including Alza, Eli Lilly, Novartis and Shire -- and currently operates four clinical studies on ADHD treatments alone.

Pelham worries about potential conflicts in the industry and even points to a shortcoming in his very own work. He believes that researchers, including himself, should have disclosed their industry ties when reporting on the
big NIMH study of ADHD. Right now, he says, the reports simply include a footnote -- running for roughly 40 lines -- about the researchers involved in the study. He says that a second footnote, exposing industry ties, would be about three times that long.

Pelham says he has tried, but failed, to see that addition made.

"I have argued for five years -- on every paper -- that we should have a footnote listing those relationships," he says. "But pretty much nobody else thinks that's necessary or important. ... I always get outvoted."

Meanwhile, LeFever fears that other researchers -- influenced by their industry ties -- feel compelled to halt her work.

If so, they seem to have succeeded. Late last year, LeFever says, the school abruptly placed her on administrative leave and seized the computers filled with her research. In addition, she says, the school terminated her latest ADHD project -- financed by a prestigious government grant -- and banned her from presenting her findings at two national conferences.

Today, she says, she remains shut out of her university office and restricted from even discussing her most recent ADHD findings.

LeFever feels like the victim of powerful academic intrusions that, before, she never dreamed possible.

"This is research that's important for the public interest and the public good, and they're interfering with that," she says. "It's wrong. It's an injustice. And it's dangerous."

Shaping Studies

To be fair, others have attacked more mainstream ADHD research as well.

Indeed, scientists Jonathan Leo and David Cohen offered a direct challenge.

"Broken Brains or Flawed Studies?" they asked in a 2003 article published by the Journal of Mind and Behavior. They went on to tear apart some of the most powerful studies used to support the prescription of ADHD drugs.

Those studies, they said, rely on imaging tests that seem to show brain differences in normal children and ADHD sufferers. But, they argued, those studies are faulty because they compare a control group with children who have already been medicated with ADHD drugs that could have actually caused the brain changes.

"After 25 years and 35 studies, there is not a single straightforward experiment comparing typical unmedicated children with an ADHD diagnosis to typical controls," they concluded. "We are perplexed."

Nor have scientists fully studied the long-term effects of popular ADHD drugs.

Berkeley professor Nadine Lambert offers one of the more extensive -- and frightening -- reports available.

Lambert set out to determine whether children who take ADHD drugs go on to abuse other stimulants, such as tobacco and cocaine, as adults. She found a troubling correlation.

"Childhood use of CNS (central nervous system) stimulant treatment is significantly and pervasively implicated in the uptake of regular smoking, in daily smoking in adulthood, as well as ... diagnoses of tobacco and cocaine dependence," she wrote.

But other experts, including Barkley, have criticized those results. They call Lambert's study flawed and highlight other research that contradicts her findings.

Andrea Arcona, a clinical psychologist and former colleague of LeFever's, sees a pressing need for more extensive ADHD research. She says that current
"long-term" studies often stretch for just a few months even though they involve drugs that may be taken by children -- beginning as early as preschool -- who will go on to use them for decades.

"Does it really hurt when kids start taking a drug -- sometimes with other drugs -- and stay on it for that long?" she asked. "Nobody knows. The research is just not out there."

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Psychiatric Twit of the Week

Last week's winner of the Severe Transcranial Disfuntion Award, otherwise known as Psychiatric Twit of the Week, is Dr. Lorrin Koran from the Stanford University School of Medicine.

See Tuesday, May 17th posting: "Anti-Depressants Cause GI Bleeding"

Cyberonics

Last August the FDA told Cyberonics that their implant procedure for depression was not approvable. Six months later the regulator changed its mind and has indicated that it will approve the medical device.

What changed?

Certainly not the machine... it still doesn’t work on the vast majority of cases.

What has changed is that a note of desperation has come in to the issue with the general admission that psychotropic drugs and brain frying (ECT) also don’t work.

The psychiatric industry is a sham. They come up with one crazy idea after another, from brain cutting (lobotomy), to brain frying (ECT), to brain befuddling (drugs). One after the other they are discarded after terrible damage to the recipients.

Still the psychiatrists try to hang on to the spurious claim that they know something about the human mind. Still they receive billions in government funding for destroying people’s lives.

Public Outrage Against Drugs Push

Today in Atlanta USA there is a mass street protest organised by Citizens Commission on Human Rights against the plan of the American Psychiatric Association to screen all 52 million US school children. God help these children if the psychs get their way. More children on psychotropic drugs is the last thing that any civilised society needs.

The protesters are pointing out that there are already EIGHT MILLION children in the US taking cocaine like stimulants and anti-depressants that lead to suicide and hostility. The screening could end up seeing millions more children subjected to highly profitable drugging. The estimate is that compulsory screening could lead to FORTY MILLION children being drugged stupid..

Apparently some of the questions asked in these tests are:

"In the past month, how much of a problem have you had with feeling unhappy or sad?"

"Has there been a time when you felt you couldn't do anything well or that you weren't as good-looking or as smart as other people?"

"Has there been a time when you couldn't think as clearly or as fast as usual?"

Any child undergoing the APA's mental screening is at risk of being diagnosed and drugged simply by filling out a questionnaire at school.

Words fail me.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Psychiatric Torture of Dissidents

A report by Amnesty International this week details the case of Mao Hengfeng. She was locked up in a Chinese psychiatric ‘hospital’ where psychiatrists ‘treated’ her with electro-convulsive therapy to cure her of her mental illness.

What was her mental illness? Mao Hengfeng refused to abort her second child.

Not surprisingly Mao was not cured of her ‘mental illness’ by this torture and is now in a forced labour camp.

Psychiatry has a long history of happily accomodating ruthless, totalitarian regimes. They were most useful to the Soviets with their experiments in moulding 'the Soviet Man'. Psychiatrists were also very evident and active in Hitler's concentration camps and in the Nazi quest for the Master Race via eugenics.

The history of Psychiatry, with its self-serving pretence of mental healing, will be a grim tale of torture and destroyed lives when it is finally told.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Four Tonnes of Prozac

Fluoxetine, better known as Prozac, is poisoning English rivers and affecting fish life as reported in an earlier Blog.

It turns out that British doctors issued over 5,000,000 prescriptions for the drug in 2004 alone. Those 5,000,000 prescriptions equate to FOUR TONNES of Fluoxetine.

The Environment Agency, in wonderful English understatement, said that this could be enough to cause concern.

Psychiatric Fraud

A physician who was practising psychiatry in Southern Saskatchewan in Canada is believed to have used fraudulent credentials. Ashoka Prasad practised in Weyburn toward the end of 2004 until early 2005. He has now fled the country.

Bryan Salte of The College of Physicians and Surgeons in Saskatchewan said that Dr. Prasad had presented credentials to the college that, whilst legitimate, were not his. Mr Salte added that he thought that Prasad was a genuine psychiatrist.

In other words The College of Physicians and Surgeons couldn’t tell the difference between a genuine psychiatric fraud and a fraudulent psychiatric fraud.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Family Destroyed

Right now the jury is out on Janet Hall of Granite Falls in the US.

In January 2004 Janet Hall was placed on a heavy dose of anti-depressants by her psychiatrist.

Three weeks later in February 2004 Janet Hall shot dead her own 11 year old son and then tried to kill her own 17 year old daughter.

Today Janet Hall’s fate is in the hands of a jury.

The psychiatrist who peddled the drugs that destroyed this family was not even charged.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Dr John Read-White Knight

Dr John Read is a brave man, and an honest one. Going up against the entrenched and dogmatic views of the forces of psychiatry leaves him open to all sorts of slander such as that which has befallen other good men before him like Dr Thomas Szasz and Dr Peter Breggin. They also spoke the truth about ECT and were publicly reviled and ridiculed. All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. Hats off to Dr Ford for not doing nothing.

In a major article in the New Zealand Herald on 30th March 2005, Psychologist Dr John Read spelled out in detail the truth about electo-convulsive therapy. Some quotes:

“...when ECT was invented it was argued, in medical journals, that it worked precisely because it caused brain damage. It was thought that some people were better off with fewer memories and lower intelligence.”

“But the history of medicine includes many treatments later found to be ineffective and dangerous. In the mental-health field, these include surprise baths, rotating chairs and, more recently, lobotomies. At the time, the doctors genuinely believed they were helping people. So, no doubt, do the dwindling number of psychiatrists still using ECT.”

“At this rate of attrition ECT will have gone the same way as lobotomies before 2010. Use has been declining in most countries, except the United States, for some time.”

“And why are so many New Zealanders given ECT against their will? Clearly our regulatory controls are insufficient to prevent excesses. I hope the Government will be bold enough to make New Zealand the first country to render ECT illegal. It is already hardly used at all in many countries. Parliament should at least consider ensuring that all New Zealanders have the right to accurate, comprehensive information about the limited benefits and the serious harmful effects of ECT. This is far from the case at the moment.”

“Parliament should certainly insist that we all, not just those deemed competent to know what is best for us - as recommended by the report - have an absolute right to refuse ECT if we wish.”

Dr. John Read is the Senior Lecturer at the Psychology Department at The University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Euro2.9 Million Award to Victim of Psychiatry

John Manweiller has just been awarded 2.9 million Euros in a Dublin Court after being unlawfully detained in a psychiatric hospital.

He was forced to take a treatment drug when released under threat of being locked up again if he didn’t.

The payout was the highest ever award by an Irish jury.

Mr Manweiller had sought damages for personal injury, loss and damage sustained by him arising out of the negligence and breach of duty by the Eastern Health Board, its servants or agents, and for trespass to his person, assault, battery, false imprisonment and breach of his constitutional rights, in particular his right to liberty.

Anti-Depressants and Pregnancy

Women who take anti-depressants during the last three months of their pregnancy risked their babies suffering from serious respiratory problems and possible seizures. Jitteriness, irritability and feeding problems were other less severe problems encountered.

The new malady is known as neonatal behavioural syndrome, or withdrawal syndrome. Babies who are exposed to anti-depressants late in the pregnancy are twice as likely to end up as hospital admissions.

The report published 18th May by the Journal of the American Medical Association claimed that at least 80,000 women take anti-depressants during their pregnancy.

The anti-depressants most related to the complications are Prozac and Paxil. Complications from Zoloft, Celexa and Effexor were less frequent but still significant.

Update on Gastro Bleeding

With regard to the posting on Gastro bleeding brought about by taking anti-depressants, Morry Smulevitz, spokesman for Lilly, the maker of Prozac, said that he had not seen the new study but that gastrointestinal bleeding risk is already noted in the drug's publicly available prescribing information.

More from Michael Jones the original report's head researcher: "While more research needs to be conducted ... physicians must closely monitor for this serious adverse event, especially in patients who are taking both SSRIs and NSAIDs,".
and:
"This is a potent example of the need for doctors to be particularly conscious about potential side effects when prescribing multiple medications for their patients,".

16 Year Old Boy Receives Unsolicited Sample of Prozac From Eli Lilly

A lawsuit against Eli Lilly and some psychiatrists for breach of confidentiality was dismissed on Mon 15th May.
Unsolicited supplies of Prozac were sent through the mail.

Amongst other recipients of this ‘generosity’ were a 16-year-old boy, who never had taken Prozac. He received a free month's supply in the mail after Lilly representatives obtained names of patients from a doctor in western Palm Beach County, Florida, US.

The decision is likely to be appealed.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Anti-Depressants Cause GI Bleeding

According to a report released yesterday (Mon. 16th May ‘05) by lead researcher Dr, Michael Jones, associate professor of gastroenterology at Northwestern University in the US, the use of anti-depressants such as Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft etc cause an increased risk of abdominal bleeding. The risk was almost double that of control subjects.

The report which was presented at the Digestive Disease Week meeting of gastroenterologists in Chicago, Illinois confirmed research published in the British Medical Journal in 1999. The bleeding affects both the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract.

According to psychiatrist Dr. Lorrin Koran from the Stanford University School of Medicine: "You cannot conclude from these data that SSRIs increase the risk of abdominal bleeding," and: "...it's not a serious problem,". Of course not. Do we have an early entrant for Psychiatric Twit of the Week here?

Prozac Contamination

The United Kingdom’s Environment Agency is concerned about the amount of fluoxetine hydrochloride entering the environment, and the possible effects on wildlife.

Eli Lilly was the first to introduce fluoxetine hydrochloride under the trade name Prozac back in 1988.

Since then it has been found in measurable quantities in wateraways. Over FOUR tonnes of this drug, which is toxic to aquatic life at low concentrations was dispensed by psychiatrists and GPs last year in the United Kingdom. No one knows how much of that ended up in the waterways.

The prospect of such a toxic and dangerous drug entering the water system is truly frightening.

The Environment Agency has asked the companies involved in the manufacture of the noxious drugs to conduct tests to ascertain what quantities are reaching the waterways, and what effect on the aquatic life this is having.

This is akin to asking tobacco companies to monitor the health of cigarette smokers.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Big Pharma/Big Money

In 2004 US Big Pharma is estimated to have spent more than $4 BILLION on drug advertising with the media... buying influence with the public.

They also spent over $1 BILLION on ‘sponsoring’ medical training schools.... buying influence with the psychs and MDs.

We’re talking big money here. If they can spend over $5 BILLION a year just on marketing (never mind the $100,000,000- they spend each year buying influence with Members of Congress)... then how much profit are these guys raking in?

I run a business now, and I have run businesses for the last 40 years. Irrespective of the type of business I have usually spent around 6% of my gross on marketing in one form or another. This is a loose comparison, and maybe a poor one. I don’t know. But I am led to believe that it is about average for a commercial endeavour. Based on a similar paradigm that means that Big Pharma is grossing over $80 BILLION per year in the US alone.

Not that I mind companies making lots of money and lots of profit. I happen to think that it is a very noble and civilized thing... but not when it is made from products that pretend to be life saving, but in reality negatively affect the wellbeing of millions of people around the world. In this respect Big Pharma is even worse than the arms manufacturers.

Not all drugs are bad. Some drugs really are and have been life-saving. Anti-depressants are not in this catagory. Selling psycho-tropic drugs to anyone, let alone children is a crime against humanity. Big Pharma is guilty of crimes against humanity on a vast scale.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

The Drug Tide Recedes

In October 2004 the US government demanded that Big Pharma place bold labels on their anti-depressants warning of the risk of resultant depression and suicide.

According to new research up to one third of parents are now asking for their children to be taken off anti-depressants. Even more important are the unquantifiable number of children suffering from the normal angst of childhood who will now not be subjected to these mind bending drugs in the first place.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Big Pharma Handouts to Psychs

Since 2003 Big Pharma has accounted for more than half of the total funding for all courses run by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education in the US.

In 2003 Big Pharma gave $944 million to medical teaching organisations. Can you believe that? Almost a billion dollars!

The practice is causing great concern amongst the more ethically minded in the medical profession.

''I am skeptical that a company would give a lot of money just to be able to say 'We were nice to the Mass. General Hospital,' " said Dr. Arnold Relman, a Harvard Medical School professor, former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, and long-time critic of drug company involvement in education. ''It's much more likely that despite the rules and regulations they hope they will influence the programs and improve their sales."

According to The Boston Globe, Many of the psychiatrists who teach the courses are consultants for, or receive research funding from, pharmaceutical companies.

A spokesman for Cephalon, a small pharmaceutical company based in Pennsylvania and the Massachusetts Department of psychiatry’s biggest funder, said it is developing products for anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, so funding psychiatry courses fits into its overall strategy. ''We fully expect to be marketing drugs in the psychiatric market, so it helps having our name out there, and aligning ourselves with Mass. General is a positive,"

Psychs and Religion

A former Muslim who converted to Christianity is being held against his will in a "notorious" (are there any that aren't?) mental hospital in Cairo Egypt for refusing to give up his new Christian faith, news reports from Egypt said Friday, May 13.

Psychiatric Twit of the Week

This week's winner of the Severe Transcranial Disfuntion Award, otherwise known as "Psychiatric Twit of the Week" is Sandy McFarlane, head of the Department of Psychiatry, University of Adelaide and Director of Clinical Services, North Western Adelaide Mental Health Service Australia. See his story under "Psycho Babble". McFarlane now enters automatically into the Pyschiatric Twit of the Year award.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Psycho Babble

Australia
Adelaide Lawyer Eugene McGee drove down and killed a cyclist and then fled the scene in his car.

McGee had, with his brother, drunk 3 bottles of wine just prior to the accident. McGee is a prominent drink driving lawyer. A few minutes after he sped off he stopped his car and rang lawyer David Edwardson who is also a well known death by dangerous driving defence lawyer in Adelaide.

McGee was acquitted of killing the cyclist by dangerous driving. He was fined $3,100 for driving without due care and attention and not stopping after the crash and had his driver’s licence suspended for one year.

The barrister representing the cyclist’s widow said circumstances surrounding the psychiatrist, Professor Sandy McFarlane’s testimony on Mr McGee’s mental state after the accident needed further examination.

Psychiatrist McFarlane had testified, in all seriousness, that Eugene McGee had not driven away from the scene as a result of the consumption of alchol and his desire to avoid a breathalyser test during the two hours following the accident. Oh no, he had driven away because he was influenced by "Post Traumatic Stress Disorder" and was in a “dissociated state”.

This superb example of psycho babble puts Sandy McFarlane well in the running for "Psychiatric Twit of the Week".

Sexual Assault of Psychiatric Patients

Us District Judge Lyle Strom ruled on Wednesday 11th May 2005 that more than 1000 female patients at Nebraska’s three psychiatric run mental health hospitals could file a class action.

Abuse at the hospitals was rampant with as many as 100 women being actually raped and sexually assaulted between 2001 and 2004.

Psychiatrist Sues

Now here's a twist... a psych is suing someone. Rather like a man bites dog story.

A psych in Florida is suing the Orlando Sentinel newspaper. They ran an article pointing out that he was responsible for killing eleven people through his prescriptions.

Doctor Michael Gutman is complaining because he subsequently lost business. According to Gutman he did nothing wrong and his reputation has suffered.

And the suffering of the victims and their families? Not a word. The newspaper has said that it will aggresively defend itself.

I think that Doctor Michael Gutman is a solid contender for 'Psychiatric Twit of the Week'.

Methylphenidate Patches

Big Pharma cleverly got a major slice of the nicotine business by putting out patches which ensure that the wearers get an even worse habit because they are ingesting nicotine continuously. The pretence that it was to help people quit was extremely clever. Make no mistake, Big Pharma is not stupid.

Now, in line with that great marketing success, Shire Pharmaceuticals are on the verge of putting out Methylphenidate (Ritalin) patches. Ritalin currently wears out in a few hours. Methylphenidate patches will ensure that the addiction is far more profound. They are sure to retail for far more than the pills amongst school children and will boost profits considerably. Good move Shire Pharmaceuticals.

Watch out for Methylphenidate patches hitting a playground near you soon.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Mature Transcranial Disfuntion

Watch out for the spread of Adderall into the adult market. Marketing of the drugs to children has been very kind to the sort of shareholders who are prepared to invest in Big Pharma.

But now, the consequent huge surge in drug problems for children has caused the light to finally start to go on for the media.

Big Pharma will not just give up and walk away from the ADHD gravy train. The only option will be to create, market and promote a similar disease for adults. The normal routine in other words.

They probably won’t call it an attention disorder... that was good for children. Watch out for the emergence of something like: “Mature Transcranial Disfuntion”. It would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

How to Influence Congress

How does Big Pharma have so much influence over Congress?

How will they maintain that influence in the face of mounting pressures to explain why they have falsified and misrepresented ‘research’ results on the drugs that they peddle?

Maybe the following has something to do with it.

In last year’s election Big Pharma gave President Bush’s campaign $1,000,000-.
John Kerry received over $500,000-.
Around $17,000,000- was spent on candidates in the 2004 election in total.

Big Pharma has spent over $750,000,000- (yep, that's $750 million) in lobbying since 1998 (source USA Today April 26, 2005). I guess that might have influenced a member of Congress or two.

Big Pharma’s executive jets are regularly made available to fly members of Congress on their jaunts around the US. (how come that is legal?).

Wining and dining of members of Congress is a regular occurance.

It is not too hard to figure out that money talks... and Big Pharma talks loudly, and just possibly members of Congress have been listening greedily.

The Dumbing Down of Genius

By current psychiatric diagnostic methods historical ADHD sufferers included Winston Churchill, Beethoven, Einstein, Galileo and a host of other major contributors to our civilisation.

Luckily their parents didn’t realise that they had a ‘disorder’. Even luckier, there were no psychiatrists peddling psychotropic drugs at the time and no Big Pharma to arrange for the marketing and ‘positioning’ of the drugs.

We seem to be on a mission to dumb down the brightest. Extraordinary behaviour is assumed to be somehow wrong. Any behaviour outside of society norms is deemed to be a ‘disorder’. Genius is outside of societal norms, therefore genius will be drugged into submission.

Parenting was always the toughest, worst paid job in the world. Was and always will be. Drugging children with 'kiddy cocaine' rather than loving them and caring for them is not a solution. There is no solution other than love and patience. There is no short cut... certainly not a pharmaceutical one.

Don't Mention the Dead Children

Lorraine Bracco is an actress, and just to make sure that she doesn’t go hungry, she is also Pfizer’s warm and friendly face for the antidepressant drug Zoloft.

This month she will be speaking at the American Psychiatric Association’s annual gathering, no doubt extolling the fabulous benefits to be gained by swallowing psychotropic drugs. Probably she won’t be mentioning the dead children.

Who said Big Pharma and psychiatry are too close?

thestreet.com

A short extract from thestreet.com at the address below. Great internet journalism... go to the site and read the whole article.
http://www.thestreet.com/_googlen/stocks/melissadavid/10222483.html?cm_ven=GOOGLEN&cm_cat=FREE&cm_ite=NA

“In this second installment of a five-part series examining conflicts in the drug industry, TheStreet.com examines how big pharmaceutical companies -- heavy on marketing know-how but increasingly strapped for big-selling new drugs -- pressed the popular antidepressants into service in spite of lingering questions over their safety.

“The drug companies continue to stand behind their blockbuster antidepressants and market them to the masses. And they keep raking in billions of dollars in profits -- more than any other industry -- as a result of their success.

“But prestigious medical journals, including those that regularly publish research by the well-connected scientists, have called for ethical reforms. So have consumer watchdog groups. Industry critics insist that drugmakers exert too much influence over researchers, consumer groups and even the government agency charged with regulating them.”

Neurotechnology

The neurotechnological brigade (people who have the quaint belief that consciousness is a chemical/electrical sponge residing in the head) have come up with more material for their Barbie Doll view of the universe.

The Defence Advance Research Project Agency in the US is now funding neuroimaging techniques that try to interpret brain thoughts... and technologies (of course) that could potentially influence them.

But it gets even sillier... a technique has now been patented called brain fingerprinting. The company’s website claims that this technique can detect whether someone has been to a terrorist training camp. Of course it can.

I hear that the US spends more on its military budget than all other countries put together. I’m not surprised if they are funding rubbish like the above.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

FDA Disclaimers

I have just received an email from the FDA informing me of its website page devoted to warnings about the dangers of antidepressant drugs.
http://www.fda.gov/cder/drug/antidepressants/default.htm

In part: “Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asks manufacturers of all antidepressant drugs to include in their labeling a boxed warning and expanded warning statements that alert health care providers to an increased risk of suicidality (suicidal thinking and behavior) in children and adolescents being treated with these agents, and additional information about the results of pediatric studies.”

I sense that the FDA can smell the wind... and are slowly starting to distance themselves from the killing for profit schemes of Big Pharma and psychiatry. I think it might be wise if they break into a trot... that wind smells pretty bad.

Omega-3... and yet still more

In the absence of any further data on Flax oil I have personally come down on the side of pharmaceutical grade fish oil and have ordered my 3 bottles from a supplier in New Zealand.

I have two young children (8 and 6). They are bright and lovely and happy, but the evidence of the wide variety of physiological and psychological disorders caused by the absence of Omega-3 means that I shall be trying to get them to swallow fish oil. Goodness knows how! If it was a small amount I could encapsulate it, but 2 tablespoons! Anybody have any ideas on how to get a child to swallow 2 tablespoons of fish oil?

By the way, the best fish oil around seems to be from: me@marshallsontag.com

A Neurolgist's Perspective on Psychiatry

Dr Fred A. Baughman Jr., has been an adult and child neurologist in private practice for 35 years. Referring to psychiatry he says:

"They made a list of the most common symptoms of emotional discomfiture of children; those which bother teachers and parents most, and in a stroke that could not be more devoid of science or Hippocratic motive--termed them a 'disease.'

Twenty five years of research, not deserving of the term 'research.,' has failed to validate ADD/ADHD as a disease. Tragically--the "epidemic" having grown from 500 thousand in 1985 to between 5 and 7 million today--this remains the state of the 'science' of ADHD."

Check out Dr Baughman’s site (http://www.kats-korner.com/health/ritalin.html) and read about the death of Stephanie Hall at the age of 12. The story is not for the faint-hearted, but unless more of us confront the real evil that exists in the world then nothing is going to change.

The unholy alliance of Big Pharma and psychiatry, operating by courtesy of the greased palm and under the blind eye of the Federal Drug Administration, has to change, and you and I have to play our part in ensuring that it does. If not, then one day it could be your child, or your child’s child, lying on a cold mortuary slab.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Fish Oil or Flax Oil?

I'm getting some heat with regard to which is the best oil from which to obtain Omega-3.

I recommended Flax Oil a few posts ago, but am assured by Marshall (http://www.fishoilblog.com/archives/2005/05/fish_oil_makes.html) that fish oil is best. I will continue to take advice on this issue.

Damn, I wish I could make some sort of sense of the instructions for 'linking' so that I could direct you to Marshall's site.

Killing Children for Profit

Candace Downing was from Laytonsville, Maryland, USA. She was a popular girl and a perennial honor student. She was a high achiever and worried about her exam results. She was taken to a psychiatrist.

The psychiatrist assured her parents that Candace’s worries could all be taken care of with psycho-tropic drugs. Candace’s parents believed the psychiatrist. In March 2003 Candace started taking Zoloft.

On January 10th 2004 Candace’s Mother walked in to her bedroom and found Candace hanging over the bed.

Candace left no note. How could a twelve year old girl articulate the madness induced by psycho-tropic drugs?

Three weeks later Candace's Mother Mathy sat sobbing at a hearing of the Food and Drug Administration. "An hour before, she was on her father's lap watching Animal Planet. This is what these drugs do to children."

Psychiatrist deregistered

Very busy up in Queensland this week. Another psychiatrist in the northern state of Australia has been deregistered for having sex with a patient.

Christopher John Alroe had been treating the woman for depression. Doubtless he was just trying to cheer her up. The tribunal found his behaviour to be “predatory” and “exploitive”.

Danger... psychiatry

On a more positive note... what should a parent do when their child is having behavioural problems? Definitely get the child checked out, and pronto, by a COMPETENT medical professional. Make sure that you are present at the consultation. Does the doctor appear knowledgable in the area of nutrition? Often the doctor's wife is likely to know more about nutrition than the doctor.

Definitely take the child to a COMPETENT nutritionist also... but do not neglect to see a conventional doctor. Gather a range of diagnoses from different quarters.

Know beforehand though that many studies from Japan the US and Europe show that health and behavioural problems in many cases stem from a deficiency of Omega-3. Disregard the opinion of any doctor or other health expert who does not seem aware of this fact.

Stay in good communication with your child. Let him or her know that the problem is almost certainly a dietery problem and that working together you can fix the problem. Your worry will be nothing as compared to their worry. Encourage them to participate in the solution as much as possible. If they are of an age when they can use the internet then looking up "Omega-3 behaviour" in Google would be very therapeutic.

Ensure that your child is given daily supplements of flax oil (Omega-3)... 2 tablespoons per day. A recent study in the UK showed startling improvements on children with learning and behavioural problems when given a small amount of Omega-3 each day.

Whatever you do... DO NOT PUT YOUR CHILD IN THE HANDS OF PSYCHIATRY.

PSYCHIATRY KILLS

Omega-3... more again

Studies by everyone except Big Pharma and their tame Psychiatrists show that modern behavioural problems (and a lot of other problems) are caused by a deficiency of Omega-3. Omega-3, one of the essential nutrients, is almost absent from the modern diet. A new report out yesterday by Dick Barton (nutritionalist) concludes that flax oil is even better than fish oil for providing the body with Omega-3. According to Dick Barton it is actually an imbalance of Omega-6 and Omega-3 that causes the problems. A copy of the report would probably be available to anybody who was interested from:
dickbarton@iol.ie

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Psychiatry-Same old Tricks

Psychiatrist Keith Muir liked his job. His job (as he saw it) was betraying the trust of his troubled patients and having sex with them.

In 1993 psychiatrist Keith Muir was struck off in New Jersey for having sex with his patients.

In 1995 he was struck off in New York State for having sex with his patients.

So Keith Muir moved to Queensland, Australia... and was promptly hired as the senior public hospital psychiatrist in far north Queensland.

In 1996 a ‘significant enquiry’ was begun into senior psychiatrist Keith Muir after, you guessed it, a complaint from a female. The ‘significant enquiry’ by the Health Rights Commission was headed by David Kerslake. It was concluded in 2000.

On May 6th 2005 Kerslake conceded that 4 1/2 years was a long time for an enquiry to investigate the complaints... especially when they produced no final report. David Kerslake said: "It does not automatically follow when looking into a major complaint that you do a report at the end of it."

David Kerslake assured the media that the next time that he failed to file a report it would be much faster.

There was no suggestion that the seedy activities of Keith Muir were being covered up by his fellow psychiatrists.

Pfizer and Zoloft

Pfizer has been taken to task by the Food and Drug Administration for misleadingly advertising the drug Zoloft in The New York Times Magazine in Oct. 2004

What did Pfizer do that was so misleading?

It failed to mention that Zoloft, skillfully marketed as an anti-depressant, can cause side effects such as severe depression and suicide.

Pfizer declined to comment on the matter.

Psychiatric Twit of the Week

Alexa Srzich is the psychiatrist who flicks the switch for Shock Treatment in Auckland. He believes that the ‘treatment’ should be used more often.

He was quoted as saying: "I think it's probably under-utilised,"

The brain operates off millivolts (thousandths of a volt). Shock Treatment uses up to 460 volts. It is not hard to figure out that the ONLY result of passing up to 460 volts through the brain is brain damage.

Those who suffer through Shock Treatment have exactly the same symptoms as head trauma victims of traffic accidents. Brain damage is not the side effect of Shock Treatment, brain damage is the treatment.

I find it hard to buy the argument that some psychs are innocent of ill-intent, and genuinely don’t understand that they are causing brain damage with Shock Treatment, but just maybe it is true. In that spirit Alexa Srzich is our 'Psychiatric Twit of the Week'.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Ritalin Death

May 5th
Nathan DeWispelaere, 19, of Sparta, Livingston County (New York, US) shot his own Mother in the back of the head whilst on Ritalin. He didn’t know why he did it, except that he had decided to suicide and didn’t want to leave his Mother behind.

Nathan will serve a minimum of 15 years in prison. Neither the psychiatrist who put him on Ritalin, nor the drug company who manufactured the drug will do any time at all.... yet.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Children Should be Seen and Not Heard

Channel 7 in Australia have reported on a grief counsellor and rebel doctors who are blowing the whistle about the pushing of psychtropic drugs onto young children.

The use of anti-depressants on bereaved children with no history of depression was likened to legalised child abuse. Which it is of course.

Dr George Halasz is worried about a reliance on psychotropic drugs that at best only treats the symptoms whilst ignoring the cause.

Dr Jacques Duff has begun a search for new treatments for ADHD, favouring neurotherapy and dietary alternatives to drugs. (Ed note: He won’t have to look far... there is a lot of data already out there on the nutritional deficiencies behind behavioural problems.)

The program came to the same conclusions as anyone else who has studied the area in any depth. Psychotropic drugs are being given to children in alarming quantities (‘like candy”) by parents and schools who just want to shut the children up. Giving them a ‘keep quiet’ pill is so much easier than listening to the children... or helping them. It’s the ghastly and logical extension of the old Victorian axiom that children should be seen and not heard.

And actively promoting this evil, and making it all possible of course is Big Pharma with their compliant and complicit drug dealing psychiatrist stooges.

Models of Madness

"Models of Madness" is available from the University of Melbourne Bookshop or email jenny.mchendrie@macmillan.com.au

"Models of Madness"-The Review

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Volume 39 Issue 5 Page 428 - May 2005
doi:10.1111/j.1440-1614.2005.01599.x

Book reviews
Carolyn Quadrio

John Read, Loren Mosher, Richard Bentall, eds.: Brunner-Routledge, 2004ISBN 1583919066 pp. 400 UK19.99
This is mandatory reading for all psychiatrists. It shakes many of the shibboleths of psychiatry and does so with some sound science. Its purpose is to undermine the biogenetic paradigm of schizophrenia and this end is pursued relentlessly, beginning with a thorough critique of the original Kraeplinian formulation, moving through the twin studies and then the neuroanatomical and neurophysiological evidence.
Having undermined this foundation to the 'schizophrenia is a brain disease and it's in your genes and you need medication for life' approach, the editors then address the positive data for the psychosocial factors. Again a very convincing broadside is fired at received wisdoms, such as that prevalence is the same across cultures and supports the theory that schizophrenia is a medical condition. In particular I liked the parody of social drift theory 'schizophrenics don't become Irish'. The data on child abuse and its association with schizophrenia is thoroughly compiled in a convincing array.
The weakness of the thesis comes with the data on psychological remedies but although the editors don't grapple with this I think this deficit is explained by the thesis itself: If schizophrenia is not a valid diagnostic entity, then reviewing treatment outcomes could not yield useful information because there may be several different disturbances subsumed under that rubric. The authors do present good data to suggest that the three symptoms groups, delusions and hallucinations, thought disorder and negative symptoms have no particular association with each other, so treatment outcomes are unlikely to make sense unless these groups are dealt with separately. Indeed this is suggested by the fact that cognitive therapy makes delusions and hallucinations better but negative symptoms worse.
The editors undoubtedly have a selective bias in terms of the data they have critiqued but that is hardly new in this particular field and compared to the selective filter through which mainstream psychiatric research is promulgated, it is hardly an issue. For the 'schizophrenia is a brain disease' theorists and the 'it's in your genes, families are blameless and it has nothing to do with childhood experience' theorists: read this book and re-examine your tenets.
Read et al. have issued a serious challenge to psychiatry. Are we totally on the wrong track with both understanding and treating schizophrenia? Are we doing more to create mental disorder than to prevent it? Since we have shuffled off responsibility for almost everything except mental illness, this challenge to the medical model suggests that we may have sawn off the last branch on which we had any purchase.

Carolyn Quadrio

Dr John Read "Models of Madness"

"Models of Madness" is a collation and summary of research by Dr John Read, Loren Mosher and Richard Bentall. It is well worth buying and reading. It is a unique and objective insight into the world of 'mental illness' and comes as a breath of fresh air gusting through the doctrinaire and sometimes seedy and self-serving world of psychiatry. I will also post the review to the book by the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry

Models of Madness
Psychological, Social and Biological Approaches to Schizophrenia
Edited by
John Read
(Director, Clinical Psychology, Psychology Dept., The University of Auckland)
Loren Mosher
(Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, University of California at San Diego)
Richard Bentall
(Professor of Experimental Clinical Psychology, Manchester University)
Models of Madness summarises the research showing that hallucinations and delusions are understandable reactions to life events and circumstances rather than symptoms of a biologically-based illness or genetic predisposition.
23 international contributors, from a range of disciplines – and service users:
• critique the ‘medical model’ of madness
• examine the dominance of the ‘illness’ approach to understanding madness, from historical and economic perspectives
• document the adverse role of drug companies
• outline a range of research-based psychosocial treatment approaches
• identify the urgency and possibility of the prevention of psychosis
Models of Madness promotes a more humane and effective response to treating severely distressed people that will prove essential reading for all those who work in, use, manage or research mental health services.
Part I: The Illness Model of ‘Schizophrenia’.
‘Schizophrenia’ is Not an Illness - John Read, Loren Mosher, Richard Bentall.
A History of Madness - John Read. The Invention of ‘Schizophrenia’ - John Read.
Genetics, Eugenics and Mass Murder - John Read, Jeffrey Masson
Does ‘Schizophrenia’ Exist? Reliability and Validity - John Read.
Biological Psychiatry’s Lost Cause - John Read.
Schizophrenia and Heredity: Why the Emperor has No Genes - Jay Joseph,
Electroconvulsive Therapy - John Read.
Antipsychotic Medication: Myths And Facts - Colin Ross, John Read.
Drug Companies and Schizophrenia: Unbridled Capitalism Meets Madness - Loren Mosher, Richard Gosden, Sharon Beder.
Part II: Social and Psychological Approaches to Understanding Madness.
Public Opinion: Bad Things Happen and can Drive You Crazy - John Read, Nick Haslam.
Listening to the Voices We Hear: Clients’ Understandings of Psychosis - Jim Geekie.
Poverty, Ethnicity and Gender - John Read. Abandoning the Concept of Schizophrenia: The Cognitive Psychology of Hallucinations and Delusions - Richard Bentall.
Psychodynamic Psychotherapy of Schizophrenia: Its History and Development - Anne-Louise Silver, Brian Koehler, Bertram Karon. Childhood Trauma, Loss and Stress - John Read, Lisa Goodman, Tony Morrison, Colin Ross, Volkmar Aderhold. Unhappy Families - John Read, Fred Seymour, Loren Mosher.
Part III: Evidence-Based Psychosocial Interventions.
Preventing ‘Schizophrenia’: Creating the Conditions for Saner Societies - Emma Davies, Jim Burdett. User-Run Services - Judi Chamberlin. Cognitive Therapy for People with Psychosis - Anthony Morrison. Psychodynamic Psychotherapy for Schizophrenia: Empirical Support - William Gottdiener.
The Development of Early Intervention Services - Jan Olav Johannessen.
Family Therapy and Schizophrenia: Replacing Ideology with Openness - Volkmar Aderhold, Evelin Gottwalz. Non-Hospital, Non-Drug Intervention with First Episode Psychosis - Loren Mosher.

from: University of Melbourne Bookshop or email jenny.mchendrie@macmillan.com.au

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Omega-3... more

Behavious problems and learning disorders in children are mostly, if not solely, caused by dietary disorders. This is the clear conclusion of rigorous scientific research conducted by researchers from Oxford University's department of physiology led by Dr Alexandra Richardson, and published in this month’s American Journal of Pediatrics.
It was found that Omega-3 fatty acids, crucial for brain development and function are often missing from the processed foods of many children’s diets. Dr Anderson said: "Food affects behaviour. If you paid attention to diet, you could really make a difference."
The performance of under-achievers improved dramatically when fish oil was added to their diet. There was also a corresponding and significant improvement in behaviour and concentration.
The study consisted of 117 children ranging in age from 5 to 12. They were taken from 12 different schools. In a double blind experiment half were given fish oils and half were given a placebo in the form of olive oil.
Children on the omega-3 fatty acids made nine to 10 months' progress in their reading in three months, compared with the control group, who made the normal progress of three months. When the group on placebos was switched to active supplements, it too made similar leaps in progress.
This result will ripple through. It will take more than this to knock off the pschiatric drug industry overnight, there is too much money at stake. But the drug dispensing pyschs are starting to run out of grubby fingers to poke in the holes in the dam.

Ritalin-A School boy's Perspective

Ritalin--The New Solution To All Your Problems
By Jack Lepiarz
May 2, 2005
It seems that more and more, Ritalin is becoming the solution to every child's problems. Bad grades, poor behavior, whatever. Ritalin is being handed out as if it's candy. People embrace it like the Second Coming of Christ, but what exactly does Ritalin do? And is it really needed?
For starters, I'm not going to say that Ritalin doesn't work. In many cases it helps young children focus in classes that have no point anyway, but I'm getting ahead of myself. Suddenly they're able to succeed in math, history, whatever it may be. However, the side-effects of Ritalin, such as insomnia and depression, are most certainly things that ten-year-olds should not have to deal with. Why, why, why are you giving this to your children? Little kids don't need to deal with insomnia or depression or any of the other side-effects of Ritalin.
Ten-year-olds never concentrated on school. I remember being ten years old and hating school. No offense to my fifth grade teacher, who was a wonderful instructor, but at that age, school was the bane of my existence. No child at that age, or any other age for that matter, really enjoys school. Even in high school they'd rather be at home sleeping.
I myself am living proof of the uselessness of Ritalin. Early in my school career, arond first or second grade, several doctors and teachers advised that I be put on the drug. They cited that I was in detention nearly every, that I acted up in class, and that my grades were horrible. Thankfully, my parents refused. Now, let's compare that with the current Jack Lepiarz: I haven't been in detention in over five years, I'm consistently on the honor roll (high honor roll if I actually make an effort in my classes), and I rarely act up in class. I do not have Attention-Defecit-Disorder. The doctors and teachers my parents consulted were merely out of touch with what actually goes through a six-year-old's head.
If my example doesn't work for you, let's look at a slightly more historic figure assumed to be an idiot--Thomas Edison. Yes, the famous inventor was considered by most of his teachers to be a stupid idiot that couldn't focus. Why? Because he asked questions.
The children that allegedly have ADD are nothing more than normal first and second graders that hate math or history, or whatever. It's normal! We don't need to subject children to depression and insomnia just to make them succeed in first grade math. Giving them pills now will only make them think that they really need to take pills to be happy, successful adults.
Enter Prozac, Zoloft, Levitra, Viagra, Lipitor, and, of course, Ritalin.
Allowing children to focus on their own power and make an effort will build much more character (wow, I sound like someone's father) than giving them pills to take away their pain. Believe it or not, there was a time when people succeeded without a pill for every little problem.
------------
About the author: Jack Lepiarz is a student at Madison High School in Madison, New Jersey.
Email: Jackwuzhere42@aol.com

Monday, May 02, 2005

CCHR-Brentwood, New Hampshire

Members of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights took to the streets of Brentwood, New Hampshire in the U.S. yesterday to protest yet another death due to the anti-depressant drug Prozac.

Even the FDA has released an analysis showing that Prozac causes a 50% higher risk of suicidal behavious. The FDA as usual fails to mention the homicidal tendencies also associated with the drug... and have still failed to recommend the obvious, namely that anti-depressants should be banned outright.

CCHR were protesting after Richard Staszewski stabbed to death his own Mother after taking Prozac. The regularity of people slaughtering members of their own family demands that our government stop pandering Big Pharma and their psychiatric pushers.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

ECT-Brain Damage in New Zealand

John Read is an Auckland (capital of New Zealand) University psychology lecturer. He has studied shock treatment extensively and believes that ECT (electro convulsive therapy) should be banned outright.

He was questioned by the the media this week after community outrage caused by the discovery of the high number of pensioners being shocked in the Bay of Plenty area in the North of N.Z. (Ed note: pensioners are often very vulnerable and attractive targets for the psychs around the world because they are covered by easily accessible insurance)

He said that the practice of Shock Therapy was introduced in the 1930s. The theory was to induce brain damage, as some mentally ill people were considered better off with a low level of brain function.

Some in the medical profession had now "taken a step backwards" by trying to deny there were any long-term side-effects on the brain, he said.