“There is no rational science behind what they THINK is the cause of these symptoms. The medications that are being given to people are without exception introducing chemicals that are altering the brain in ways which can be very damaging….and I’ll go a step further and say that in the absence of a proven chemical imbalance for which the medications are quote “rebalancing” or “fixing”, the medications are in fact toxic”.
This post is dedicated to all those parents who have lost a child to prescription drugs. In particular to Mr. & Mrs. Neil Carlin of Oakville, Ontario who lost their daughter Sara to suicide induced by the prescription drug Paxil. They have since learned that Paxil should not be prescribed to young adults due to suicidal ideation. Had they (or their doctor) known this, they would not have allowed their daughter to take it. They have been trying to educate other parents regarding the dangers of Paxil ever since.
Below is an excerpt from a post written by Mr. Bob Finn, a medical journalist who has the knack of being able to ‘hit the nail right on the head’.
He states: “If I were to rate the corruptive tactics performed by big pharmaceutical companies, the intentional corruption of implementing fabricated and unreliable results of clinical trials by pharmaceutical companies by hired third parties who manipulate these trials they sponsor because of their power to control others involved in such trials that is largely absent of regulation would be at the top of the list, and likely the most damaging to the requirement of authenticity and, more importantly, assuring the safety of the public health, as I understand that this does in fact occur” (full article here).
Unfortunately for the Carlins and many other parents, these tactics have made it common practice for doctors all over the globe to read these findings, believe what they’ve read and prescribe according to the literature. This might be in the form of a report from a recognized medical journal or in literature from a pamphlet given to them by a pharmaceutical representative emphasizing the safety and efficacy of the medication being proposed to them. It seems that only when tragedy strikes, when parents realize the truth about the medication their child was taking, do we hear about it. How many other kids are suffering on these drugs? How many others have to die by their own hand before something concrete, something effective is done to stop the pretense that these drugs are safe and effective? Black box warnings are not enough. Subsequent “warning letters” to doctors are not enough.
Mr. Terrance Young, MP for Oakville Ontario, lost his fifteen-year old daughter Vanessa after taking the Johnson & Johnson prescription drug Cisapride (Prepulsid).
Young became a consumer advocate after this incident, and has been fighting for a more stringent and protective drug-monitoring system in Canada. He has since founded Drug Safety Canada to advocate for safe prescription drugs, and also initiated a hundred million dollar class action law suit against Johnson & Johnson and Health Canada in 2000.
Well, someone’s obviously not monitoring the situation OR maybe it’s a case of “the fox watching the henhouse” because if Health Canada were to get serious, THEY WOULD DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!!! Then perhaps Brennan McCartney would still be alive today.
Brennan McCartney of Bolton, Ontario, was 18 years old when he went to the doctor complaining of a chest cold. He was also in the middle of breaking up with his girlfriend. He was given a prescription for his chest cold. He also came home with a sample pack of Lundbeck’s Cipralex, also known as Lexapro.
4 days after starting Cipralex he began to show signs of agitation. He drove down to the local store where he bought some rope. He hanged himself in a local park.
Health Canada’s drug safety procedures lacking, says study
OTTAWA—Health Canada’s drug safety procedures leave a lot to be desired, says a new study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
Drug Safety and Health Canada: Going, Going… Gone? by Dr. Joel Lexchin says Health Canada’s priorities are skewed in favour of rapid approval of new drugs at the expense of the post-marketing pharmaco-surveillance system.
“In Canada 3-4% of drugs approved will eventually be withdrawn from the market because of safety issues and the number of people exposed to these drugs is increasing because of aggressive marketing tactics by the pharmaceutical industry,” says Dr. Lexchin.
According to the study, there are significant limitations to The Food and Drugs Act.information.”
“Health Canada cannot force a drug company to recall drugs deemed harmful from pharmacy shelves,” says Dr. Lexchin. WHY NOT????!!! When car manufacturers find something wrong with a car – those cars are recalled AT ONCE. If a toy manufacturer makes a defective toy, or a child dies in a certain type of crib – these products are recalled – AT ONCE! Usually with great fanfare and a ton of press. What’s the difference? Someone’s already been hurt, someone else is definitely going to BE hurt in the future – recall the damn drug!
He goes on to say “Nor can they directly compel a company to revise product labels to reflect new safety information”. Does this make any sense at all? Yes, yes it does my friends. Lobbyists for the pharmaceutical industry spend ludicrous amounts of money and hours and hours of their time making sure that these ridiculously insane regulations stay put.
Psychiatry and Pharma – to use an old cliche – a match made in heaven….. and just in case you don’t understand the meaning of this analogy, it’s “that is likely to be happy and successful because the two are very compatible with each other“.
Sad isn’t it?
Great post Lori. One small point, Sara’s doctor did know about the suicide link.
I didn’t know that. I find it hard to believe. Care to tell us why he prescribed the drug anyway?
Only the doc could answer that one Lori. Why would any doc prescribe Paxil to someone it is not recommended for? I’m guessing if he could answer for himself he would tout that the ‘benefits outweigh the risks’ – He’d be wrong.
Science is not perfect. Nor, does it claim to be. It is simply the data we have collected (so far) that support or do not support the null hypothesis. We, collectively, only know what we know at this point in time. Unfortunately, that means science is an ongoing learning methodology that is constantly revising what we accept as evidence based conclusions. This is why pharmaceutical companies, or any group that conducts trials and research, will make mistakes when attempting to develop treatments that may improve the lives of those afflicted.
What is missing in your account are the follow up questions to the assertion that there are no biological tests, nor effective treatments, for those suffering from a mental illness.
What is the risk/benefit to patients being prescribed a particular drug?
Are there some mental illnesses that are so debilitating that medication has proven to lessen the symptoms or alleviate suffering?
Are biological tests an appropriate way to assess one’s well being? Are there biological test results that correlate with particular diagnoses? i.e.: Protein plaques in Alzheimer’s, Lower dopamine with depression, Low prefrontal cortex activity and ADHD, etc.
Without digging a bit deeper you are missing out on the fascinating world of neuroscience.
I am all for developing treatments that may improve the lives of those afflicted. Science plays an important role in society, there is no doubt about that. But are scientists (not all – there are many ethical scientists out there) basing their conclusions on what they actually see or on the outcome they need to satisfy their masters?
There are currently no valid biological tests that show whether or not someone has ADHD. You may quote whomever you like on this one. It’s an out and out lie. This test does not exist. If this test does exists, why then is it not given when a diagnosis has been made? The current method of diagnosing ADHD is a checklist of symptoms.
I have met hundreds of parents whose children were ‘diagnosed’ with ADHD, among other things and not one of those children had been given a biological test.
It’s a matter of ethics sir. Integrity seems to go by the wayside when someone stands to make a large fortune dependent on the outcome of a study.
Certainly, greed has been known to foster dishonesty. This is why clinical trials are published in peer reviewed journals, results are expected to be replicated, variables eliminated, and double blind whenever possible. Again, not saying this is impervious to flawed outcomes, but it’s the best we’ve got so far. And, the contributions and achievements made with the scientific method far outweigh any dubious attempts made with an intent to sell a product. There are simply too many individuals involved with these studies to think that results can be consistently and systematically skewed in their favor. This is why you hear about the problems with certain drugs, because the results are examined by others in the field and flawed research is outed for what it is. Unfortunately, sometimes this happens after a drug has gone to market and has harmed people. Same thing happens with all products… Should we not make any more baby cribs because a few have been recalled for contributing to the death of an infant?
I’m not sure why you insist that an accurate diagnosis is dependent on a biological test. It would be like trying to diagnose a broken leg with a blood test. ADHD is a brain disorder, so any “biological test” would probably include an fMRI brain scan which are not routinely done because they are cost prohibitive.
Hello thecameradad (great handle by the way). Please take a gander at this – http://www.madinamerica.com/2012/06/black-hats-white-hats-and-financial-reckonings/ and let me know what you think.
What I know to be true is that having a major psychiatric illness can be a life or death situation. My brother nearly died after being found by paramedics. He was in the midst of a psychotic break and was found disrobed in a snow bank on a cold NYC night at 3:00 AM. I have seen this situation repeat itself to where I am convinced that his illness will eventually take his life. Atypical antipsychotics have shown to be effective for his symptoms, however, as part of his illness there exists a profound anasognosia (sp?), that blocks his ability to understand there is anything wrong with his thought patterns.
That being said, I am very familiar with the side effects of these powerfully psychotropic medications (diabetes, weight gain, tardive dyskenisia, and the list goes on). I am also very familiar with the lives that they have saved, sadly for my brother, this will most likely not be the case. This is what I mean by taking a risk/benefit equation into consideration when trying to understand why a clinician would purposefully prescribe something known to have horrendous side effects. This is why the mandatory vaccine debate is so fascinating… Because we know that inoculating children does sometimes cause life threatening problems, but the benefits to the group (and the individual) far outweigh the risks. Every time you get in your car you are putting your life and others’ lives in very real danger. But, we continue to do it. Why? Because the benefits outweigh the risks.
With regards to the link, I think these fines speak to the huge amount of oversight and regulation that corporations face on a day to day basis. If you’ve heard lately how a new drug is advertised in the media, you will be bombarded with how scary many of the side effects can be. This is not because the company wants to scare you away, but rather it is because they are mandated to disclose the information. All of this is evidence that our system is working. There are problems with the way the drug is marketed, then there are rules put in place to ensure accountability and reform. There is simply no logic in saying that because a corporation profits from their product that this means they are somehow dishonest. If they didn’t produce profits, they would not be around in the first place.
We do have a long way to go with the development of psychiatry. But, if you can accept that the vast majority of people involved with the science are attracted to the field because of a desire to understand our inner universe of the mind, and help alleviate the symptoms that some of our own brains produce, then I urge you to see the other side of neuroleptics and how they may be the best option for many facing a dire prognosis.