So, do you know why we fought the Revolutionary War to break the chains of England’s king? Do you know why we don’t pay fealty to have our citizenship and our rights to anyone? Any other form of government that does require purchasing the rights and privileges afforded by the national Constitution or by some purchase keeps those rights and privileges from being threatened or taken? What form of governments have we seen that use the citizens and their efforts to serve the interests of corporations and businesses over the rights of the civic community, over the rights of the citizens and over the rights and needs of the country?
The Senators and Representatives who voted for the bailout of the banks and Wall Street firms and those that are voting to require every American to purchase insurance for the profits of the massive insurance companies, are serving a form of government that is not American, not Constitutional and not based in a free market competitive economic form of capitalism. They are not a government of the people, by the people nor serving the people’s interests. They are serving the corporate interests at the expense of the people and serving a form of government more closely aligned with something else and not America. It is treason. It is illegal. It is unconstitutional. It is in defiance of their oaths of office. It breaks the laws of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. It is an abomination that is evil and corrupt. There is profit in it for them personally and no accountability.
The checks and balances of our country do not any longer exist. The positive attributes governing our citizen’s rights, responsibilities and freedoms granted by the Constitution are being taken away without one concern or question by those elected to protect them. It is why our forefathers spilled their blood and the blood of their families to take away the chains of oppression from the King of England and fought for our freedoms.
It is the same thing. It is an aristocracy deciding for us all that our rights are to be subjected to those of tyrants. Insurance companies, banks, Wall Street firms and other corporate structures without conscience are tyrants. Their profits at our expense using our taxpayer dollars and resources while denying our rights and destroying our greater good have resulted in some of the greatest horrors of mankind against the people.
And now, today they will take more power over our rights and freedoms by legally requiring every citizen to pay of their earnings to the profits of the insurance companies while giving nothing in return. It is an abomination to the memory of every soldier who has fought for democracy, freedom and the rights of the American people under our Constitution and Bill of Rights. They died for our freedoms. What has any one of our legislators done for that freedom?
What have they done to insure our rights under the Constitution and Bill of Rights? Or, in fact – what are they doing today in continuing their years upon years as legislators of destroying the Constitution of the United States and every Constitutional guarantee written into it and written into the US Code of laws.
For when laws are no longer just and represent no more than injustice, suffering and oppression to the people they were intended to serve, then these laws and the legislators who made them are no longer the representatives of the people and those laws are no longer the rule of law but of evil and oppression and dictatorship, sovereignty and tyranny.
That is the America that it has become both at the hand of previous years of administrative wrongs, legislative wrongs and the current continuation of those wrongs which serve corporate interests over those of the people of the United States. Bad policy is not an excuse for bad government and the United States and most of its states have proven they are bad government actively enacting bad policy, unjust laws, and unjust practices; using corrupt methods, unconstitutional legislation and evil, self-serving goals; and are acting as representatives of an elite class of money hungry self-serving corporate interests at the expense of the people and the rights of the people. It is no longer the United States of America that my family’s blood was spilled to protect and to serve.
It is no longer the form of government and of the law that my forefathers fought and died to create and to preserve and to protect. It is no longer the United States of America – only the insurance companies are served, only the bankers are served, only the hedge funds are served, only the money men of Wall Street are served, only the big corporate conglomerates are served, only the political class and their families are served. It is no more the Constitutionally confined and defined country of the United States of America. The elite class have broken the law with contempt and disregard for its principles, foundation and point of fact.
There is no way that good will ever come of this – it is enslavement of the American people once more to another king and no one seems to understand why we fought against that in the first place and why it is important to stop the legislators from selling our rights and our futures down the river to suit their personal interests of pleasing their large insurance company and corporate campaign sponsors today.
– cricketdiane, 03-21-10
I am very sorry that President Obama was misled by the insurance companies, health care industry lobbyists and pharmaceutical companies he invited to the table instead of us. I’m sorry that Speaker Pelosi wasn’t hired to be a dishwasher instead of a power hungry legislator and I am sorry that she has been able to do the damage to our Constitutional rights and to our nation’s safety and international standing that she has. I’m sorry that none of them have been able to fix anything that was already broken when they got there and I am very sorry that in my lifetime, they have let the nightmares be created in Congress that have subjected the American people to these horrors for all of these years in so many different areas of life. I’m sorry they are educated well and yet know no better whether in the halls of Congress or in the desks of Wall Street and Harvard business school professors and Kennedy school of government policy makers’ minds.
That’s what happens when no difference of opinion is tolerated or considered. That’s what happens when closed minded government propaganda and pr firms regulating reference and perception management take hold and determine what everyone thinks and what everyone is allowed to think and what everyone must think and how all must agree to think in the same ways about the things as they want the perceptions about them to be. This is the result of that process and it is the damages that are done when that happens. What is the next step in that process other than for people to wake up in alarm that the rights they once enjoyed and thought were safe are now gone?
– Oh yeah – and more people being covered by car insurance legally required of every citizen did not prevent the insurance companies, since their pool of resources was greater and more extensively covering their risks – from continuing to raise premiums while offering less, requiring greater deductibles and out of pocket costs, creating higher premium groups to line their pockets and generally making life, living and making a living in the United States more difficult and financially impossible for more Americans.
ANd yes, Congresswoman whoever just speaking on CNN with your patronizing crap – Americans are not afraid – they are ANGRY because of people like you in Congress making decisions without conscience, without reason and without regard for reality.
Who was it that allowed mortgages to be resold? Who was it who allowed credit default swaps to be created knowing that they have been used as legal currency, swapped, traded and counted as assets? Who allowed Wall Street to break the laws of the United States and then gave them our money to bail them out of their bad bets and bad business practices? Who allowed the banks to engage in conflicts of interests by operating their own internal hedge funds in the first place? Who was it that allowed banks and Wall Street firms to borrow 40 to 1 and 72 to 1 without hindrance? Who was it that brought the US economy to the brink of failure and has brought economies around the world into the disaster with them – who was there in Congress that did anything to prevent it before it happened? How many in Congress knew that what could go up would also go down and allowed the free trading of mortgage backed securities in the first place beyond the walls of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? Who was it that allowed the reselling of mortgages to interests outside of the United States and who was it that tolerated whatever the bankers and Wall Street firms wanted to do without reservation? Who was it who did that?
And, who was it that allowed insurance companies to exclude pre-existing conditions in the first place and to engage in practices of discrimination by charging women as much as 300% more for no other reason than their gender? And, who was it that allowed the insurance companies to charge premiums for 18 months before starting any coverage they were contracted to serve? Who allowed that? Who was it in Congress that had decided for the insurance companies every time a question arose? Who are they serving if not the insurance companies even now today? Why do people really even believe for one moment that the insurance premiums could possibly come down as a result of legally requiring everyone to buy health insurance when that removes all competition and entirely undermines the economic market processes that might possibly demand that they be competitive in what they offer and how they handle their customers? Why would people believe for one moment that the health care industry would be at all improved by this when so many of those organizations and industry providers are filthy, pervasively rampant with dangerous life-threatening errors and dissolute of any health care whatsoever? Why does anybody think or believe that health care costs would in any way be brought down by this bill when the truth is, once everybody is required to purchase health care insurance, there will be no reason for hospitals, doctors, pharmaceuticals and other health care industry providers to lower the costs in any way shape or form? – it will get paid by whatever measure they want to price it.
The U.S. Senate Finance Committee released a 334-page report Saturday showing a link between the Type 2 diabetes drug Avandia and thousands of heart attacks.
Mr. President –
the health care reform bill does not reform health care. It doesn’t make it illegal to charge $1000 for two aspirins to a captive audience who is being treated in a hospital. It doesn’t fix the multitude of drugs and poor practices and errors that are leading to deaths and sicknesses at the hands of the health industry and pharmaceutical companies.
It doesn’t extend health insurance to those numbers of people that you are describing – it simply requires by law that they take their already limited resources to purchase health insurance. There are no opportunities for true competition to bring down the prices of health insurance once everyone in America is required to have it. They can continue charging whatever they want.
The insurance companies will continue to drive up the price of every single thing that is made available at hospitals by continuing to pay a higher price for services and goods in the health care industry than a truly competitive market would allow. The cost of going to an emergency room is not set by what the real costs are, nor by the marketplace – they are set by what the insurance companies are willing to pay out and therefore, every service rises to accommodate that price to everyone.
This health insurance bill debate has stopped legislation that both House and Senate had agreed to pass, that would have increased the safety of our food supply – but in the name of health, it was put off even after being agreed upon because the “health care bill” had to take our Congressional time, efforts and resources. What is wrong with that picture?
And, there is still nothing that hinders, stops or changes the fact that over 100,000 people a year are harmed or killed by medical industry errors through misdiagnosis, stupidity, incompetence, wrong drugs, wrong doses, wrong procedures, bad practices, and dangerous secondary infections from hospital and medical centers that breed them.
It does nothing to provide the higher quality of health in this country that is being claimed. The only thing it does do, is to insure the health of the health insurance industry who will, after this – have a legal, private tax required of every American man, woman and child, every business, every small business and entrepreneur, every business startup and every family, organization, non-profit and charity.
What is the thinking that the Democratic Party is using and where did it originate? Isn’t it possible to actually do something that works so that people would have reasonable costs at hospitals and doctors and other health industry providers which would become a safe place to go when sick and would restore health to those they serve?
Thousands, maybe tens of thousands of the drugs which the FDA has allowed on the market, have caused horrific life-changing, life-threatening, and permanently maiming affects along with literally hundreds of thousands of deaths over the last fifty years – but nothing is done to correct it and you want us to believe that our health is important to you?
Thousands, in fact, hundreds of thousands of deaths in the United States are being directly caused by the errors in hospitals, by mistakes made by doctors and nurses, by bad diagnoses, by pharmaceutical choices that are wrong or are chosen incorrectly, by health industry errors, and numerous other incompetent, ignorant “professional” choices by health care industry providers. Yet, Mr. President and Speaker Pelosi, you want me to believe that despite the fact you are not going to fix any of that and you have waylaid fixing the safety of our food system which yields thousands of deaths every year across America, that you are “fixing” health care with this health care bill.
I watched Nancy Pelosi when she was asked on a CNN interview about 75% of Americans being against this bill and she was simply away from the stove – nobody home – lights not on and nobody coming back. She sounded like a tape recording when she answered without directing any part of her answer to any recognition of the numbers she had just been told by the reporter / news anchor interviewing her. Where do these tape recordings that have so well versed our leaders that they can’t think for themselves – originally get put into their heads? How dare they take this opportunity to waste our time in Washington.
If they wanted to fix the health care in America. They would do it. If they wanted people to have children that don’t weigh 200 pounds, they wouldn’t be giving them drugs for some alleged psychiatric illness from the age of two to eighteen that permanently changes their metabolism and puts weight on them.
The governments of states, districts and counties wouldn’t have schools that look like prisons without windows, with sick building air supply systems, with horrendous petro-chemical based cleaners used throughout the buildings, and with no physical education, recess or other physical activities allowed to students each day.
The after school sports programs and community sports programs wouldn’t cost families a small fortune for their children to be involved and students wouldn’t be required to sit still for 8 – 10 hours a day, including bus rides to and from school that force our children to breathe the most carcinogenic stew known to man.
The buildings where people work wouldn’t be allowed to be built at the lowest possible standard and the communities where we live, wouldn’t be allowed to sidestep the EPA requirements that would protect citizens from particulate matter and chemicals that are being distributed in the air, soil, and water across the entire community.
It is a fact that everywhere concrete and cement is being processed, that huge piles of materials are stored outside where the wind blows fine particles across every home and school in the area, and that is only one example.
There hasn’t been anything done to stop or require many needed changes in how businesses and industries are still polluting the neighborhoods around them in many, many cases and that is what indication that the government or the state cares about the health of the citizens they were elected to serve?
Mr. President, Mr. Governor, Mr. County Commissioner, Mr. or Ms. Speaker – do you really expect me to think you have the best interest of my country, my family, myself and my children in the forefront of your minds as you push this health care bill? There is no health in this bill.
There is no good that will come of requiring me and my children to buy health insurance every year of the rest of our lives. How does that give us anything except another bill to pay out of incomes that can’t sustain what is required just to survive now? How will that make it more likely that if and when we have to go to a hospital that we will survive the experience at all, let alone, that we will come out of the experience with restored health?
What part of this makes any sense? I’ve seen what it takes to receive any coverage from the systems designed to help the poor and it takes application processes that I don’t see how anyone with a job of any kind could afford to do. It requires paperwork and proof and time and resources to get through the entire process successfully, including taking time off work, producing the same papertrail required of accountants with Ph.D.s in business accounting, childcare or someone to meet the children from the school bus while getting the applications and appointments done, gas to get to the offices for their required appointments, proof of every last shred of evidence that you and your children and family members are legal citizens and are poor and how poor, along with being willing at any moment’s notice to provide proof that your proof is available for review and to show up for that review at any moment’s notice (without your children in tow).
These are only a few of the requirements that people will endure to get any help with the health insurance subsidy suggested in the health care bill, Mr. President. But it won’t take anything besides missing a health insurance premium payment to end up in jail for not paying it, fined and wages garnished – maybe even to lose our children to the state, once the states take your bill and twist it to their own views of what it means.
Once states and state department of human resources people get ahold of it, they will likely determine that parents of children who miss payments on their health care insurance are not worthy to be parents and take those children under the same arbitrary guidelines they are using now which have yielded consistently bad judgments in the health and welfare of children where these agencies have been making decisions. Since nothing is being done to correct that either, am I really supposed to believe that any of our government officials give a damn about the American people or about me or about my family or even, about my community?
Where is the real health care that proves it has corrected the errors that it has been making? Where is the real health care that uses common sense and knowledgeable expertise to provide decent, positive results that people can survive successfully and with better lives than what they had before its impact?
Where is the safe medical system with conscientious application of current knowledge which includes taking in the information about bad pharmaceuticals, errors, mistakes and misdiagnoses, and corrects for in light of them? Where is the caring health professionals that are empathic rather than cold, heartless animatrons patronizing those they serve? Where is the better changes that are promised on costs and quality of care? Where are those?
– cricketdiane, 03-08-10
(And, why did you, as government leaders, ever let insurance companies charge many times more for premiums and policies to women than for men, in the first place? If you had ever cared, that wouldn’t have been allowed and the rest of the things I described wouldn’t have ever been tolerated.)
Health Care Bill – does not “extend” health care to anybody – it does not “extend” health insurance to Americans – it requires they buy health insurance at the expense of their financial survival and threatens young families, poor families, and the working poor, will put small business and startups out of business before getting a strong financial foundation and destroys the integrity of our Constitution by imposing a privately owned tax on every American for being alive
Mr. President, if you were fixing the mess left by the years of Republican administrations, that would help. To be engaged in something else is wasting time and resources, making it obvious that neither the Republican Party nor the Democratic Party has any interest in the American people or our future. It also makes it obvious that none of you are listening to the American people.
A recent study by Healthgrades found that an average of 195,000 hospital deaths in each of the years 2000, 2001 and 2002 in the U.S. were due to potentially preventable medical errors. Researchers examined 37 million patient records and applied the mortality and economic impact models developed by Dr. Chunliu Zhan and Dr. Marlene R. Miller in a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in October 2003. The Zhan and Miller study supported the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) 1999 report conclusion, which found that medical errors caused up to 98,000 deaths annually and should be considered a national epidemic. Some researchers questioned the accuracy of the 1999 IOM study, reporting both significant subjectivity in determining which deaths were “avoidable” or due to medical error and an erroneous assumption that 100% of patients would have survived if optimal care had been provided. A 2001 study in JAMA estimated that only 1 in 10,000 patients admitted to the hospital would have lived for 3 months or more had “optimal” care been provided.
A 2006 follow-up to the 1999 Institute of Medicine study found that medication errors are among the most common medical mistakes, harming at least 1.5 million people every year. According to the study, 400,000 preventable drug-related injuries occur each year in hospitals, 800,000 in long-term care settings, and roughly 530,000 among Medicare recipients in outpatient clinics. The report stated that these are likely to be conservative estimates. In 2000 alone, the extra medical costs incurred by preventable drug related injuries approximated $887 million – and the study looked only at injuries sustained by Medicare recipients, a subset of clinic visitors. None of these figures take into account lost wages and productivity or other costs.
Some iatrogenic artifacts are clearly defined and easily recognized, such as a complication following a surgical procedure. Some are less obvious and can require significant investigation to identify, such as complex drug interactions. And, some conditions have been described for which it is unknown, unproven or even controversial whether they be iatrogenic or not; this has been encountered particularly with regard to various psychological and chronic pain conditions. Research in these areas is ongoing.
harmful emotional distress from the ascription of mental pathology nomenclature for transient personal problems
Causes and consequences
Medical error and negligence
Iatrogenic conditions do not necessarily result from medical errors, such as mistakes made in surgery, or the prescription or dispensing of the wrong therapy, such as a drug. In fact, intrinsic and sometimes adverse effects of a medical treatment are iatrogenic; for example, radiation therapy or chemotherapy, due to the needed aggressiveness of the therapeutic agents, frequent effects are hair loss, anemia, vomiting, nausea, brain damage etc. The loss of functions resulting from the required removal of a diseased organ is also considered iatrogenesis, e.g., iatrogenic diabetes brought on by removal of all or part of the pancreas.
In other situations, actual negligence or faulty procedures are involved, such as when drug prescriptions are handwritten by the pharmacotherapist. It has been proven that poor handwriting can lead a pharmacist to dispense the wrong drug, worsening a patient’s condition.
A very common iatrogenic effect is caused by drug interaction, i.e., when pharmacotherapists fail to check for all medications a patient is taking and prescribe new ones which interact agonistically or antagonistically (potentiate or decrease the intended therapeutic effect). Significant morbidity and mortality is caused because of this. Adverse reactions, such as allergic reactions to drugs, even when unexpected by pharmacotherapists, are also classified as iatrogenic.
The evolution of antibiotic resistance in bacteria is iatrogenic as well.Finland M (1979). “Emergence of antibiotic resistance in hospitals, 1935-1975”. Rev. Infect. Dis.1 (1): 4–22. PMID45521. Bacteria strains resistant to antibiotics have evolved in response to the overprescription of antibiotic drugs.
Certain drugs are toxic in their own right in therapeutic doses because of their mechanism of action. Alkylating antineoplastic agents, for example, cause DNA damage, which is more harmful to cancer cells than regular cells. However, alkylation causes severe side effects and is actually carcinogenic in its own right, potentially leading to the development of secondary tumors. Similarly arsenic-based medications like melarsoprol for trypanosomiasis cause arsenic poisoning.
A related term is nosocomial, which refers to an iatrogenic illness due to or acquired during hospital care, such as an infection. Sometimes, hospital staff can be unwitting transmitters of nosocomial infections (in one of such instances, many hospitals have forbidden physicians to wear long ties, because they transmitted bacteria from bed to bed when the doctor swept the tie over the patients when bending over them). The most common iatrogenic illness in this realm, however, are nosocomial infections caused by unclean or inadequately sterilized hypodermic needles, surgical instruments, and the use of ungloved hands to perform medical or dental procedures. For example, a number of hepatitis B and C infections caused by dentists and surgeons on their patients have been documented. One of the most horrid cases of massive death caused in recent times by iatrogenic infection has been reported on several bush hospitals in Zaire and Sudan, where the intensive reuse of poorly sterilized syringes and needles by nurses spread the Ebola virus, probably causing hundreds of deaths.
Medical treatment does not only have an effect on the mind and body of patients but also on their wallet. Meessen et al. used the term “Iatrogenic poverty” to describe impoverishment induced by medical care. Impoverishment is described for households exposed to catastrophic health expenditure or to hardship financing. Every year, worldwide, over 100,000 households fall into poverty due to health care expenses. Especially in countries in economic transition, the willingness to pay for health care is increasing and the supply side does not stay behind and develops very fast. But, the regulatory and protective capacity in those countries is often lagging behind. Patients easily fall in a vicious circle of illness, ineffective therapies, consumption of savings, indebtedness, sale of productive assets and eventually poverty.
Incidence and importance
Iatrogenesis is a major phenomenon, and a severe risk to patients. A study carried out in 1981 more than one-third of illnesses of patients in a university hospital were iatrogenic, nearly one in ten were considered major, and in 2% of the patients, the iatrogenic disorder ended in death. Complications were most strongly associated with exposure to drugs and medications. In another study, the main factors leading to problems were inadequate patient evaluation, lack of monitoring and follow-up, and failure to perform necessary tests.
In the United State alone, recorded deaths per year (2000):
7,000—medication errors in hospitals
20,000—other errors in hospitals
80,000—infections in hospitals
106,000—non-error, negative effects of drugs
Based on these figures, 225,000 deaths per year constitutes the third leading cause of death in the United States, after deaths from heart disease and cancer. Also, there is a wide margin between these numbers of deaths and the next leading cause of death (cerebrovascular disease).
This totals 225,000 deaths per year from iatrogenic causes. In interpreting these numbers, note the following:
most data were derived from studies in hospitalized patients.
the estimates are for deaths only and do not include negative effects that are associated with disability or discomfort.
the estimates of death due to error are lower than those in the IOM report. If higher estimates are used, the deaths due to iatrogenic causes would range from 230,000 to 284,000.
Cost of food-borne illnesses is deemed much higher than earlier estimates
A report sponsored by the Produce Safety Project at Georgetown University puts the health-related price tag at $152 billion a year. That’s more than four times an earlier USDA estimate.
March 03, 2010|By Andrew Zajac and P.J. Huffstutter
Reporting from Los Angeles and Washington — It turns out that tainted food can not only make people sick, but it can also cost them a bundle in the process.
A new consumer research report released Wednesday has found that the health-related costs of food-borne illnesses total $152 billion a year, including the costs of medical bills, lost wages and lost productivity. That total is more than four times that of earlier estimates calculated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
[ etc. ]
A food safety bill that would increase inspections, fund research and force the industry to beef up its record-keeping cleared the House of Representatives last summer. A similar measure unanimously cleared a U.S. Senate committee in November. But momentum for the bill has stalled, as Congress remains embroiled in a fight over healthcare.
U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), a key backer of the House bill, called the figure documented by the report “shockingly high.” DeLauro said she hoped “that the sobering numbers of this report will compel the Senate to act immediately.”
On Tuesday, Senate sources said there was still no firm date for a vote on the bill.
In most cases the body is able to permanently recover after a short period of acute discomfort and illness. However, foodborne illness can result in permanent health problems or even death, especially for people at high risk, including babies, young children, pregnant women (and their fetuses), elderly people, sick people and others with weak immune systems.
Foodborne illness due to campylobacter, yersinia, salmonella or shigella infection is a major cause of reactive arthritis, which typically occurs 1–3 weeks after diarrheal illness. Similarly, people with liver disease are especially susceptible to infections from Vibrio vulnificus, which can be found in oysters or crabs.
Just go and look at how many people died horrible, suffering deaths because of peanut butter – mostly school children, toddlers, elderly, hospital patients that were recuperating from something else, and mental health institution / mental hospital patients, nursing home and elderly community center patients and senior day care center / assisted living elderly clients, childcare and after school program students / children that we would not let anyone harm. They were killed by peanut butter made in the USA – and by hamburger on other occasions that had the same bacteria as eating dirt or raw excrement.
But, the food safety bill has been held up to bring everyone’s efforts and attention to the health insurance question to force every American to purchase health insurance and support their financial health? Are they nuts?
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – Quick View
Charles Drummond, MD, Tullahoma, TN. Violation: Pattern of continued or repeated ignorance, negligence or incompetence in the course of medical practice …
health.state.tn.us/Boards/PDFs/March_2005.pdf – Similar
Dr. Harlan isn’t incompetent,” . Dr. Charles Harlan, the former medical examiner in Nashville, Tenn., testifies before the Tennessee Board of Medical …
The Tennessee State Board of Medical Examiners sent monthly disciplinary … Disciplinary Actions Taken for Substandard Care, Incompetence or Negligence … http://www.citizen.org/hrg/qdsite/STATES/tennessee.htm
My Note – That is not the only state where this has been happening and it has taken thousands of complaints without anything being done before finally something or, in fact, anything gets done . . .
More extensive information about this – from another post I made awhile back –
Between pharmaceutical companies and the mental health industry, food poisoning and faulty products, the Republican run government in the United States have killed more US citizens that our enemies have –
How Big Pharma Distorts Science to Get FDA Approval for Dangerous Drugs
By Martha Rosenberg, AlterNet. Posted April 20, 2009.
How does Big Pharma keep getting dangerous drugs approved? Through the best articles and spokesmen money can buy.
In February the Justice Department charged Forest Laboratories with illegally marketing antidepressants Celexa and Lexapro to younger patients and burying a study that showed suicidal side effects in children. But the very next month the FDA approved Lexapro for depression in adolescents 12 to 17.
In March the Justice Department charged AstraZeneca with knowing and hiding the diabetes side effects of Seroquel. But this month the FDA considers expanding the antipsychotic’s approvals to depression and anxiety.
And in January, Eli Lilly pled guilty to promoting its antipsychotic Zyprexa for unapproved and dangerous uses in a $1.4 billion settlement. But in March the FDA approved Lilly’s Zyprexa/Prozac combo, Symbyax, for treatment resistant depression (TRD). What do you get when you cross Zyprexa with Prozac? Someone who gains 100 pounds and feels great about it
TRD is such a new pharma invention that Googling it brings up Toyota Racing Development and Teacher Recruitment Days. But it will soon move prescriptions like GAD (general anxiety disorder), MDD (major depressive disorder) ADD (attention deficit disorder) RLS (restless legs syndrome) GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) and PMDD (Premenstrual dysphoric disorder) — and for the same reasons.
How do dangerous drugs keep getting approved? Through the best articles and spokesmen money can buy.
Forest paid Massachusetts General Hospital researcher Jeffrey Bostic $750,000 to chat up Celexa and Lexapro, according to US District Court in Boston filings. AstraZeneca paid University of Minnesota researcher Charles Schulz $112,000 to push Seroquel, according to US District Court in Orlando filings. And a decade of pain studies conducted by Baystate Medical Center’s Scott S. Reuben on Vioxx, Lyrica, Celebrex and Effexor were completely fabricated–including the patients say published reports.
And speaking of made up, Coast IRB, an institutional review board which oversees some 300 clinical trials and 3,000 researchers, agreed last year to approve a human trial for Adhesiabloc, a surgical gel that the Government Accountability Office completely made up in a sting operation. Oops.
And let’s not forget Joseph your-child-is-bipolar Biederman, a Harvard physician who, according to the New York Times, assured benefactor Johnson & Johnson his studies would have favorable results for the drug Risperdal in advance of doing them. (Why leave things up to science?)
And Charles Paxil Nemeroff, MD who was forced to step down in December as psychiatry chairman at Emory University thanks to unreported GlaxoSmithKline income of up to $800,000.
And the pharma funded studies continue
Last May a pro Lexapro article, Escitalopram and Problem-Solving Therapy for Prevention of Poststroke Depression, ran in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, with no mention of financial ties author Robert G. Robinson has to Forest.
Why was, a researcher with a history of being funded by SSRI makers…given a forum in the national media to tell the general public that anyone who has had a stroke, whether or not they have been diagnosed with depression, should start a prophylactic regimen of Lexapro…even though non-medical approaches perform just as well, wrote Jonathan Leo, PhD, Associate Professor of Neuroanatomy at Lincoln Memorial University in the British Medical Journal in March.
And then there’s AstraZeneca.
AstraZeneca’s best selling Seroquel — it made $4.5 billion last year while only approved for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder — is linked to high blood sugar, weight gain, diabetes, cholesterol and triglycerides abnormalities, sudden cardiac death, suicide, neuroleptic malignant syndrome and the tardive dyskinesia it is supposed to prevent.
But its safety was established by a different kind of chemistry.
Research director for Seroquel, Wayne MacFadden, was having affairs with two women responsible for Seroquel studies, according to court documents: one was a researcher at the Institute of Psychiatry in London and another a ghostwriter at Waltham, MA-based medical communications firm Parexel. In fact the studies upon which the FDA approved Seroquel for bipolar disorder– called Bolder I and II — were written by a ghostwriter.
Worse, sitting on the FDA’s Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee at the time was Jorge Armenteros, MD, a paid AstraZeneca speaker according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Today he heads the committee.
The facts in the Zyprexa case are heartbreaking. The victim, Philip Ebel, suffered from crushing headaches, for which he tried no fewer than 47 different treatments. His doctor in Texas, in consultation with a neurologist from a headache clinic in Michigan, finally prescribed Zyprexa — an anti-psychotic prescribed off-label for headaches. Ebel took Zyprexa for four months before killing himself in 2002.
His doctor testified at a deposition that he was aware of Zyprexa’s side effects, including an increased risk of suicide, and that he told Ebel about them. The 5th Circuit, in agreement with the lower court, ruled that because Ebel and his doctor were aware of the risks, Lilly’s alleged failure to warn could not be a producing cause of Ebel’s death.
(there have been several posts I have made on this subject, I will see if I can find them. As much as it seems to do little good, I feel better believing that it can and will sooner or later. I hope it is sooner. – cricketdiane)