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Posts Tagged ‘Drug safety

Are Prozac and Other Psychiatric Drugs Causing the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America?

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AlterNet By Bruce E. Levine

An interview with investigative reporter Robert Whitaker, about the dramatic increase in mental illness disability and its surprising cause.

April 28, 2010

In 1987, prior to Prozac hitting the market and the current ubiquitous use of antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs, the U.S. mental illness disability rate was 1 in every 184 Americans, but by 2007 the mental illness disability rate had more than doubled to 1 in every 76 Americans. Robert Whitaker was curious as to what was causing this dramatic increase in mental illness disability. The answers are in his new book, Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America (Crown Publishers, April 2010).

Whitaker’s findings will create a problem for both Big Pharma and establishment psychiatry, but his credentials and his craftsmanship will make it difficult to marginalize him. Whitaker is the author of four books including Mad in America, about the mistreatment of the mentally ill. As a reporter for the Boston Globe, he won a George Polk Award for medical writing, a National Association of Science Writers Award for best magazine article, and was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize.

Bruce Levine: So mental illness disability rates have doubled since 1987 and increased six-fold since 1955. And at the same time, psychiatric drug use greatly increased in the 1950s and 1960s, then skyrocketed after 1988 when Prozac hit the market, so now antidepressant and antipsychotic drugs alone gross more than $25 billion annually in the U.S. But as you know, correlation isn’t causation. What makes you feel that the increase in psychiatric drug use is a big part of the reason for the increase in mental illness?

Robert Whitaker: The rise in the disability rate due to mental illness is simply the starting point for the book. The disability numbers don’t prove anything, but, given that this astonishing increase has occurred in lockstep with our society’s increased use of psychiatric medications, the numbers do raise an obvious question. Could our drug-based paradigm of care, for some unforeseen reason, be fueling the increase in disability rates? And in order to investigate that question, you need to look at two things. First, do psychiatric medications alter the long-term course of mental disorders for the better, or for the worse? Do they increase the likelihood that a person will be able to function well over the long-term, or do they increase the likelihood that a person will end up on disability?

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US Gov Medical Experiment Radically Departs from Medical “Best Practices”

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Wednesday, 03/17/10         Alliance for Human Research Protection

The US government is initiating several radical medical experiments that will ensure widespread, increased use of mostly toxic drugs whose adverse effects trigger chronic, debilitating illnesses.

The NY Times reports that an IMS Health report found that the giant pharmaceutical industry  annual growth of pharma sales in the US and Western Europe has slowed to the low single digits in the last 8 years. Last year, US drug sales rose by 5% to about $300 billion. “And even if Congress passes health care legislation, which, according to a recent Credit Suisse report, could increase drug sales by $10.7 billion, the impact on the growth rate would be minimal.”

The US government is initiating several radical medical experiments that will ensure widespread, increased use of mostly toxic drugs whose adverse effects trigger chronic, debilitating illnesses. In accordance with medically unsupportable, “test and treat” protocols,  Americans who are deemed “at risk” on the basis of admittedly flawed screening tests, would be prescribed highly toxic drugs that carry Black Box warnings. Black Box warning labels are issued for the most dangerous drugs that have been linked to permanent or fatal injury in patients at normal prescribed doses.

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Big Pharma trying to stop long-term safety studies of ADHD drugs (Ritalin, Concerta)

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TransWorldNews Stockholm, Sweden 3/04/2010

A confidential document, now made public by a Swedish court, tells how pharmaceutical companies (calling themselves the “Consortium”) are trying to stop long-term safety studies of ADHD drugs (Ritalin, Concerta)
The companies producing methylphenidate products (like Ritalin and Concerta) are normally competitors, marketing ADHD as a disease and the narcotic drugs as its solution. But when they are threatened with marketing restrictions they have a common interest. If more scientific long-term studies would be done showing the harmful effects of the drugs it could lead to withdrawal from the market of this class of drugs. Therefore Big Pharma has to stop all such studies not written and controlled by themselves. The only studies they support are those conducted by paid researchers like psychiatry professors Joseph Biederman, Timothy Wilens and Thomas Spencer, where the outcome is known already from the beginning.

The European Commission has 27 May 2009, after a long review by the European Medicines Agency (EMEA), decided to issue warnings about methylphenidate drugs. The Commission has also decided that a number of long-term studies of good quality should be done to investigate different harmful effects of these drugs.

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10 Common Medication Mistakes That Can Kill

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pills for profitOur health care system needs many improvements:

By Melanie Haiken, Caring.com

The numbers are simply staggering: Every year 1.5 million people are sickened or severely injured by medication mistakes, and 100,000 die. And yet all of those deaths are preventable. What’s the answer? We have to protect ourselves. Here are the ten medication mistakes experts say are most likely to kill or cause serious harm.

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Written by laudyms

September 17, 2009 at 10:34 am

The live attenuated Swine flu vaccine has dangerous side-effects and is genetically unstable

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influenza-virus-vaccine

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The live attenuated swine flu vaccine intended for millions of children has dangerous side effects and is genetically unstable, risking generation of new pandemic strains should mass vaccinations go ahead.
Prof. Joe Cummins and Dr. Mae-Wan Ho

The swine flu vaccines being prepared for release to combat the current pandemic will be fast tracked without the usual clinical trials to ensure their safety. Five different companies were contracted to produce vaccines worldwide – Baxter International, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis. Sanofi-Aventis and AstraZeneca – using a range of technologies from traditional chicken egg production to cell culture [1] ( Fast-tracked Swine Flu Vaccine under Fire , SiS 43).

Most of the vaccines will not contain live virus and will be delivered by injection. However AstraZeneca will produce a genetically engineered live attenuated vaccine through its global biologics unit, MedImmune, using cell culture or eggs [2]. The MedImmune vaccine will be used primarily for children, to be delivered as a nasal spray. The nasal spray vaccine against pandemic H1N1 influenza has been fast tracked for global distribution [3].

The live-attenuated vaccine appears more effective than the inactivated virus vaccine, but it resulted in significantly higher rates of severe adverse events. Furthermore, there is evidence that the live vaccine is highly genetically unstable in warm body cells and that has not been thoroughly evaluated in the children vaccinated .

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Written by laudyms

August 17, 2009 at 12:14 pm