Monday, March 22, 2010

UPDATE - AstraZeneca - Seroquel the anti-psychotic turned anti-depressant, how lies and misleading marketing work

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AstraZeneca - Seroquel the powerful tranquilizer anti-psychotic being advertised as an anti-depressant. How lies and misleading marketing work.

A hat tip goes out to pharmagossip for bringing this above ad to my attention. So now after misleading a jury in a New Jersey court room: this is how a so called responsible corporation "AZ" acts as they again purposely market and hide dangerous side effects associated with the drug Seroquel.

It's appears Big Pharma never learn when greed/profit are always their ultimate master; as here we go again with AZ using the same misleading lies and marketing tactics in Canada.

I have to wonder out loud when our Government, the DOJ, and the FDA will wake up and smell all this extreme marketing bullshit AZ constantly throws at consumers and doctors.

Bipolar depression doesn't consume you folks. AstraZeneca consumes you, they want to consume your bank account, and your personal health until death do you part.



Update/Addition: Some might be thinking to themselves that I'm being to harsh on these pharmaceutical corporate criminals here on this site even though Pharma Corporations have bought/purchased conflict of interest influence directly through many trumped up advocacy groups/organizations (direct Pharma marketing fronts such as with NAMI), being one of the largest lobbying spenders in federal and state capitals (including a wide open door to the Obama White House with untold millions in cash for policy deals), and how they have basically hooked/addicted university's and doctors on their steady flow of cash which in all cases tarnish and brings into the question the ethical and moral underpinnings in each of the proceeding entities mentioned here.

So your life and health have been virtually sold to the highest bidder so to speak.

My question is how many people have to be permanently disabled or killed before we start holding each link in this chain of blatant criminal inhumanity responsible for their unquenchable greed and evil self serving ways.

This is an interesting article over at Pharmalot worth reading related to the topic of Pharmaceutical corporate shenanigans within medicine and it's results upon public perception.
Psychiatrists And Pharma: Undue Influence?

You can also read about how anti-psychotics are being marketed to our armed forces with the devastating consequences that are created in their personal lives, diminish their effectiveness in war zone situations, and in the end may damage our national security. Why Are So Many Soldiers On Antipsychotics?

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The comment section on this topic has been buzzing with such good information, that I have decided to add some of those comments to the front page here.

mike howard said...

One only has to look at Dr. Charles Schulz from the University of Minnesota and see how profitable pimping for AstraZeneca and seroquel is. It's never about researching for a cause/cure for mental illness, it's solely about just "treating" the symptoms and keeping the patient barely functioning as to keep the drug/cash flowing. Until America wakes up and realizes they have duped by the so-called psychiatric society things will just go on the same way. With psychiatric research its come down to "we don't care how the patient is doing, just how many have you enrolled. "First do no harm" went out the window long ago.


One only has to look at Dr. Charles Schulz at the University of Minnesota. He has the legend in his own mind mentality as far as pimping for AstraZeneca and falsifying Seroquel trial data. It's never about researching for a cause/cure for any psychiatric disease, it's more profitable to just keep people alive and "treat" the symptoms.

March 26, 2010 3:47 AM

Delete

Blogger Stephany said...

Well, here he is:

http://www.psychiatry.umn.edu/faculty/schulz/home.html

Founder and Director, Schizophrenia Program, MCV, 1980-83
Medical Director, Schizophrenia Module, University of Pittsburgh, 1983-86
Schizophrenia Research Branch, NIMH, 1986-89
Professor and Chair, Department of Psychiatry, Case Western Reserve University, 1989-99

Responsibilities/Activities in this Residency:
Head of Department of Psychiatry
Course director, Resident didactics
Lecturer, Resident didactics
Research supervisor

Research/Scholarly Interests:
Schizophrenia
Borderline personality disorder
Psychiatric illnesses in adolescents

--
http://www.ahrp.org/cms/content/view/548/70/

"By early 2000, Seroquel had been on the market for three years. Psychiatrist Charles Schulz MD--who received hundreds of thousands of dollars as a paid consultant to AstraZeneca and Eli Lilly--presented a report at the APA meeting that he said was based on his analysis of 1,800 patients in four separate trials. His conclusion: patients on Seroquel were more likely to show marked improvement...that Seroquel was significantly superior to other drugs.

However, the company's analysis of the data contradicted his pronouncements. Minnesota press reports describe internal emails by AstraZeneca officials, such as John Tumas, warning on March 23, 2000, after an internal company analysis of the raw data that:

"The data don't look good...What seems to be the case is that we were highlighting the only good stuff... It is clear that a claim of superiority for Seroquel over Haloperidol (Haldol) could not be generated using these data...In fact, I don't think we can even get a paper out of this."

Nevertheless, when Dr. Schulz presented his report, AstraZeneca issued a news release headlined "An analysis suggests Seroquel (R) has greater efficacy than Haloperidol." It quoted Schulz saying: "I hope that our findings help physicians better understand the dramatic benefits of newer medications like Seroquel.''

Glen Spielmans, an assistant professor of psychology at Metropolitan State University, who has reviewed the documents smelled something fishy: "These two things, they don't go together. Either the (company) analysis was wrong or Schulz's presentation was wrong."

Looks like another AZ pimp, like Reinstein and the rest of them, these people DESERVE PRISON TIME.

March 26, 2010 8:28 AM

Delete

Blogger Stephany said...

The above links to that doctor as well as this one could seriously be a post, but here it is:

http://www.twincities.com/ci_9292549

Patient dies in drug trial in the doctor's care

"He was then transferred to the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview.

Weiss said discussions about research started right away at the hospital. Markingson was placed in Fairview's Station 12, a new unit at the time created to treat psychotic patients and screen them for research. Olson and Dr. Charles Schulz, head of the U's psychiatry department, helped launch the unit in part to enhance the hospital's startup schizophrenia program and meet the U's mandate to bring in more research dollars."

"A judge agreed Nov. 20 with Olson's new recommendation, requiring Markingson to follow the doctor's treatment plan. The next day, Markingson signed a consent form to be part of a national anti-psychotic drug study, Comparison of Atypicals for First Episode, or CAFE.

Weiss didn't understand. How could her son be deemed incapable of making decisions one day and then consent to a drug study the next?

The study, funded by drugmaker AstraZeneca and spread among 26 institutions, compared the effectiveness of three commonly used anti-psychotic drugs — Seroquel, Zyprexa and Risperdal."

"Full participation required Markingson to take one anti-psychotic drug for up to a year and to appear at the U for checkups. Markingson received AstraZeneca's Seroquel. As Subject 13, Markingson was worth $15,000 to the U, with some of that going to Olson's salary and the psychiatry department. Switching or adding medications could have disqualified Markingson and halted payments to Olson and the department from AstraZeneca."

"The state ombudsman raised concerns after Markingson's suicide, including the method of ensuring that patients were taking their pills and the ethics of one doctor both recruiting and treating a patient. The report also questioned whether Markingson was truly eligible for the study, because he wasn't diagnosed with schizophrenia until several weeks after he had enrolled."

---

We know how "informed consent" works in these places, what a tragic nightmare.

Update: April 14, 2010

This story never seems to end, just like AstraZeneca's criminal greed mongering never ends.

Here is a eye opening list of "Doctor Death's" gravy train payoffs from AZ to perpetrate dangerous lies as a spokes person and distribution icon for AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals


Photo of Doctor Death

All 20 pages of them!

The back story of Doctor Death's and AstraZeneca's pay to poison scheme- @ pharmagossip Back story here.





Sunday, March 7, 2010

Pharma targets Veterans with antipsychotic cocktails for PTSD


Pharma targets Veterans with anti-psychotic cocktails for PTSD

I really don't have much more to say, since this article speaks volumes. What it does highlight with disturbing clarity, is how far Big Pharma will go to market their product to make money. If you happened to read my last post, you should be able to find the correlation between easy questionable DSM diagnostics and the over drugging of citizens out of pure greed and profiteering.
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alternet.org_veterans_being_given_deadly_cocktails_to_treat_ptsd

By Martha Rosenberg

Are Veterans Being Given Deadly Cocktails to Treat PTSD?

A potentially deadly drug manufactured by pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has been linked to the deaths of soldiers returning from war. Yet the FDA continues to approve it.
March 6, 2010


Sgt. Eric Layne's death was not pretty.

A few months after starting a drug regimen combining the antidepressant Paxil, the mood stabilizer Klonopin and a controversial anti-psychotic drug manufactured by pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, Seroquel, the Iraq war veteran was "suffering from incontinence, severe depression [and] continuous headaches," according to his widow, Janette Layne.

Soon he had tremors. " … [H]is breathing was labored [and] he had developed sleep apnea," Layne said.

Janette Layne, who served in the National Guard during Operation Iraqi Freedom along with her husband, told the story of his decline last year, at official FDA hearings on new approvals for Seroquel. On the last day of his life, she testified, Eric stayed in the bathroom nearly all night battling acute urinary retention (an inability to urinate). He died while his family slept.

Sgt. Layne had just returned from a seven-week inpatient program at the VA Medical Center in Cincinnati where he was being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A video shot during that time, played by his wife at the FDA hearings, shows a dangerously sedated figure barely able to talk.

Sgt. Layne was not the first veteran to die after being prescribed medical cocktails including Seroquel for PTSD.

In the last two years, Pfc. Derek Johnson, 22, of Hurricane, West Virginia; Cpl. Andrew White, 23, of Cross Lanes, West Virginia; Cpl. Chad Oligschlaeger, 21, of Roundrock, Texas; Cpl. Nicholas Endicott, 24, of Pecks Mill, West Virginia; and Spc. Ken Jacobs, 21, of Walworth, New York have all died suddenly while taking Seroquel cocktails.

Death certificates and other records collected by veteran family members show that more than 100 similar deaths have occurred among Iraq and Afghanistan combat vets and other military personnel, many of whom took PTSD cocktails that included Seroquel and other antipsychotics, antidepressants, mood stabilizers, sleep inducers and pain and seizure medications.

Since the 2008 publication of "The Battle Within," the Denver Post's expose of a "pharmaco-battlefield" in Iraq, in which troops were found to be routinely propped up on antidepressants, the Department of Defense has sought to curb the deployment of troops with mental health problems to combat zones. The DOD has also stepped up monitoring of soldiers who have been medicated, according to the Hartford Courant, and with good reason: 34 percent of the 935 active-duty soldiers who made suicide attempts in 2007 were on psychoactive drugs.

But the U.S. Army's Warrior Care and Transition Office reports that soldiers are dying after coming home, many in Warrior Transition Units that were established in 2007 to prepare wounded soldiers for a return to duty or civilian life. According to the Army Times, between June 2007 and October 2008, 68 such veteran deaths were recorded -- nine were ruled suicides, six are pending investigation and six were from "combined lethal drug toxicity." Thirty-five were termed "natural causes."

The mysterious deaths -- and an alarming track record -- have cast renewed scrutiny on Seroquel. Although it has not been approved for treatment of PTSD, Pentagon purchases of Seroquel nearly doubled between 2003 and 2007. Elspeth Ritchie, medical director of the Army's Strategic Communications Office told the Denver Post the drug is "increasingly utilized as an adjunct for PTSD."

The Seroquel Scandals

It would be hard to find a drug with a wider fraud footprint than Seroquel -- at least one that's still on the market.

One of its first backers, Richard Borison, former chief of psychiatry at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center, lost his medical license, was fined $4.26 million and went to prison for a swindle involving Seroquel's original clinical studies.

AstraZeneca's U.S medical director for Seroquel, Dr. Wayne MacFadden, had sexual affairs with two different women doing research on Seroquel, a study investigator at London's Institute of Psychiatry and a Seroquel ghostwriter at the marketing firm, Parexel. According to court documents, MacFadden even joked about the conflicts of interest with one paramour.

Last year, the Chicago Tribune and ProPublica reported that Chicago psychiatrist Michael Reinstein, who wrote 41,000 prescriptions for Seroquel, received $500,000 from AstraZenenca. Meanwhile, a report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune discredited influential studies by AstraZeneca-funded Charles Schulz, MD, chief of psychiatry at the University of Minnesota.

Seroquel was even promoted by the disgraced former chief of psychiatry at Emory University School of Medicine, Charles Nemeroff, who was accused by congressional investigators of failing to report $1 million in pharmacological income -- in AstraZeneca-funded continuing medical education courses.

And until a Philadelphia Inquirer expose last year, Florida child psychiatrist Jorge Armenteros, a paid AstraZeneca speaker, was chairman of the FDA Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee responsible for recommending Seroquel approvals.

In a trial that began in New Jersey last month, AstraZeneca is defending itself in one of 26,000 lawsuits, denying that Seroquel caused diabetes in Vietnam veteran Ted Baker, who was prescribed Seroquel for PTSD. Last year, London-based AstraZeneca agreed to pay $520 million last year to settle suits pertaining to clinical trials and illegal Seroquel marketing.

Yet, instead of reconsidering a drug linked to an alarming number of deaths and marred by at least eight corruption scandals in 13 years -- Seroquel was even prescribed to a 4-year-old Massachusetts girl, Rebecca Riley, before her death -- the FDA continues to issue approvals for new uses for Seroquel.

Seroquel was first approved to treat schizophrenia in 1997. The FDA subsequently expanded its use, approving it for "acute manic episodes associated with Bipolar I Disorder" in 2004, "major depressive episodes associated with Bipolar Disorder" in 2006 and "maintenance treatment for Bipolar I Disorder" in 2009.

Last April, the FDA opened the door to prescribing Seroquel to people who have not even been diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, approving Seroquel as "an additional therapy in patients suffering from depression who do not respond adequately to their current medications."

Not that Seroquel needed a boost; its $4.9 billion in sales in 2009 signals usage far beyond the 1 percent of the population with schizophrenia and the 2.5 percent with bipolar disorder. North Carolina's Medicaid spends $29.4 million per year on Seroquel -- more than any other drug, according to the Charlotte News and Observer.

Most recently, in December, Seroquel was quietly approved for children between the ages of 10 and 17 who are diagnosed with bipolar mania and children between 13 and 17 with schizophrenia. It was a stealth end-of-the-year decision, announced not by the FDA itself but by AstraZeneca. (The change was reflected in an entry on Seroquel's FDA approval page that notes "Patient Population Altered.")

'When six people die from peanut butter we shut the factories down'

With veteran deaths in the news, family members hope the unsolved mysteries surrounding Seroquel-linked deaths of soldiers could finally force AstraZeneca to take responsibility for its product.

Stan and Shirley White lost two sons to war. Robert White, a staff sergeant, was killed in Afghanistan in 2005, when his Humvee was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. But the death of Robert's younger brother Andrew, who survived Iraq only to succumb to a different battle, is in some ways "harder to accept" says his father.

Like Eric Layne, Andrew was taking Seroquel, Klonopin, Paxil and prescription painkillers for PTSD after returning home from his Iraq tour. Like Layne, he deteriorated physically and mentally on the prescribed cocktail until experiencing a sudden, inexplicable death.

"When six people die from peanut butter we shut the factories down, but at least 87 military men have died in the past six years on Seroquel and similar drugs and no alarm sounds," Stan White told AlterNet.

When White informed his representatives, Sen. Jay Rockefeller and Rep. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, of Andrew's unexplained death, they were helpful, as was Tammy Duckworth, the VA's Assistant Secretary of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs. But packets White distributed to news organizations, Congress and the White House were acknowledged only by First Lady Michelle Obama, who forwarded hers to the VA, and Sen. Daniel Akaka of Hawaii, who chairs the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs. In letters to White, both remarked that therapy, not just drugs, should be part of PSTD treatment.

A 2008 investigation by the VA's Office of Inspector General into the deaths of Andrew White and Eric Layne was inconclusive, finding "no apparent signal to indicate increased mortality for patients taking the combination of Quetiapine, Paroxetine, and Clonazepam when compared with patients taking other similar combinations of psychotropic medications."

"The direct impact of non-prescribed medications in these patient deaths cannot be determined," investigators concluded.

SSGT (Ret) Tom Vande Burgt's Army National Guard company was stationed outside Baghdad at the same time that Eric and Janette Layne were serving, in 2004 and 2005, but his story has a happier ending.

Like White and Layne, he was prescribed a PTSD cocktail that included Seroquel, along with Klonopin and the antidepressant Celexa, but as tremors, sleep apnea and enuresis (bedwetting) developed, his wife, Diane, questioned the high dosage, off-label use of a bipolar drug like Seroquel. After her husband was taken off his meds abruptly and it was discovered there were no records of the drugs being sent to him (or the doses) by a VA primary care doctor -- mistakes that "could have cost him his life," according to Diane -- the Vande Burgts filed a complaint with the VA Office of the Inspector General. It, however, found no wrongdoing, concluding the treatment was within the VA's "standard of care."

Under the care of a private psychiatrist, Vande Burgt's cocktail only grew, but eventually he went off the drugs with the help of his doctor, and his sleep apnea, urinary problems, tremors, weight gain, depression, mood swings, lethargy and paranoia subsided.

The way Vande Burgt describes it, Seroquel "drugs vets up" to such a degree that they "don't dream at all."

"It wipes out the hypervigilance factor," he told AlterNet via e-mail. "But as soon as the meds are decreased, the hypervigilance and anger and trust issues come raging back, worse than before."

Now the Vande Burgts, who live in Charleston, West Virginia, coordinate a PTSD support group and a Web site that emphasize nondrug solutions and the need for soldiers and veterans to have an advocate present during care for PTSD and traumatic brain injury to ensure clear communication between doctors and patient. Tom also uses the services of Give an Hour, a program in which local therapists donate one hour of therapy a week to veterans, soldiers and families dealing with PTSD.

"There is no cure for PTSD, especially in a magic pill," the Vande Burgts told AlterNet. "Good old-fashioned talk therapy and support groups are tried and true … all the others are just quick fixes that add to the problem, not addressing the root of the problem."

AstraZeneca: Too Big to Regulate?

Seroquel's ability to cause cardiac arrest and sudden death is well-known.

A search of the U.S. National Library of Medicine database yields 20 articles linking "Seroquel" and "sudden death," 24 linking "Seroquel" and "QT prolongation" (a heart disturbance that can led to death), 55 linking "Seroquel" and "toxicity," as well as such terms as "cardiac arrest" and "death."

A 2005 article in the Journal of Forensic Sciences says Seroquel was detected in 13 postmortem cases and the cause of death in three, observing that "little information exists regarding therapeutic, toxic, and lethal concentrations."

A 2003 article in CNS Drugs reports, "some patients have died while taking therapeutic doses," of atypical antipsychotics like Seroquel and that "toxicity may be increased by coingestion of other agents."

"The second-generation antipsychotics were termed 'atypical' based on misconceptions of enhanced safety and efficacy," Dr. Grace Jackson, a former Navy and Veterans Administration psychiatrist and author of Drug-Induced Dementia and Rethinking Psychiatric Drugs, told AlterNet in an interview. ("Atypical" antipsychotics supposedly function differently from "typical" antipsychotics and are thought to cause fewer side effects.)

"In 2002 and 2003, according to a VA study published in 2007, 20 to 30 percent of demented veterans [veterans with brain conditions including organic and psychiatric psychosis] died within the first 12 months of beginning treatment with an antipsychotic," said Jackson. "When you combine antipsychotics with antidepressants, benzodiazepines and antiepileptics -- especially in Iraq/Afghanistan veterans who have likely sustained traumatic brain injuries -- you have potential lethality from sleep apnea, endocrine anomalies and opioid intoxication."

Seroquel's record of causing sudden cardiac death was on the docket at last year's FDA hearings, which Stan and Shirley White and Janette Layne attended.

According to Dr. Wayne Ray, who testified before the FDA's Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee, one study involving 93,300 users of antipsychotic drugs -- half of whom were on atypical antipsychotics -- showed that such users were at no less than double the risk of a "sudden, fatal, pulseless condition, or collapse … consistent with a ventricular tachyarrhythmia occurring in the absence of a known, non-cardiac cause."

Ray, professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, published the findings in an article titled "Atypical antipsychotic drugs and the risk of sudden cardiac death," in the New England Journal of Medicine last year.

Unwilling to let Seroquel's approval prospects sink just because it's dangerous, the FDA's Marc Stone, a medical reviewer, donned his AstraZeneca hat at the hearing. In a presentation rebutting Ray's testimony, he asked how the death certificates in these cases were accurate when "paramedics are more likely to identify some deaths as sudden cardiac deaths?"

"Smoking as an important risk factor for sudden cardiac death is unlikely to appear in the Medicaid claims data used in this study," Stone continued, and, "How do we know smoking wasn't a factor in the deaths -- or that antipsychotic users aren't less likely to 'communicate symptoms of cardiac disease to medical personnel?'" He also pointed out that "Mental illness severe enough to require antipsychotic drugs … may also increase the chances of someone being homeless or living alone with little social contact," apparently forgetting that the purpose of the FDA hearings was to approve Seroquel for non-mentally ill people with anxiety and depression.

Elsewhere, Seroquel for PTSD gets good reviews.

"These data are encouraging for adjunctive treatment with a second-generation [atypical] antipsychotic in patients who have partially responded to an SSRI or an SNRI [antidepressants]," says the American Psychiatric Association's March 2009 Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Acute Stress Disorder and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Matthew J. Friedman, one of its four authors, is executive director of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD -- and an AstraZeneca consultant.

"Quetiapine improves sleep disturbances in combat veterans with PTSD," wrote Mark Hamner in a 2005 Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology article. Hamner is medical director of the PTSD clinical team at the Ralph H. Johnson Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Charleston, SC -- and an AstraZeneca consultant.

"Atypical antipsychotics also have an emerging place in PTSD pharmacology, particularly for symptoms of paranoia, intense hypervigilance, arousal, extreme agitation, dissociation, psychotic-type flashbacks, and brief psychotic reactions," writes Cynthia M. A. Geppert in a 2009 Psychiatric Times article. She is chief of consultation psychiatry and ethics at the New Mexico Veterans Affairs Health Care System -- and recipient of three AstraZeneca grants.

Meanwhile, critics and activists ask: What protections are afforded to veterans enrolled in Seroquel studies -- some combining Seroquel with other drugs -- that AstraZeneca-funded doctors conduct at VA medical centers?

Many say that Big Pharma, embedded in academic institutions, medical schools, military medicine, government entitlement programs and the FDA itself is too big to regulate, like Wall Street firms. But others say the incarceration of VA Chief of Psychiatry Richard Borison in 1998 is proof the system works. (Of course, he will be out soon.)
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An update in a related Seroquel matter - drugrecalllawyerblog.com



Posted On: March 10, 2010 by John J. Cord

Seroquel Trial Update

The New Jersey Superior Court Case (Middlesex County) of Baker v. AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP is now focusing on the drug manufacturer’s advertising strategy. The plaintiff in that case is alleging that he should have been better warned about the risks for weight gain and developing diabetes.

On the plaintiff’s side is Dr. Wayne Geller, a former AstraZeneca employee—a global safety officer—who testified that the company rebuffed his efforts to strengthen internal documents describing the weight gain issue. He testified that “I found out there were people from the commercial side” who opposed the changes. This is another indication of marketing trumping. AstraZeneca is defending the case, noting that it adequately warned about the risk of diabetes, and that Seroquel doesn’t cause diabetes, anyway. They rely on several studies that showed favorable data, but other reports show average weight gain for users on Seroquel is 27 pounds.

Related to the issue is AstraZeneca’s announcement that it is ending research and development of psychiatric medications at the U.S. headquarters. There is no indication how much of the research will be done elsewhere, or whether that specific research will just be ended, altogether.

And finally, AstraZeneca has taken a hit in the U.K., where the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority decided that AstraZeneca unethically failed to accurately describe the side effects of Seroquel in a British Journal of Psychiatry advertisement in 2004. The ad favorably compared weight gain in Seroquel users to those of other antipsychotic drugs. The company contends that intended readers of the magazine would know that Seroquel caused weight gain.

DSM-V - what was normal today, will be diagnosed crazy tomorrow

This photo demonstrates what the DSM-V and Psychiatry have in store for your head
starting 2013



DSM-V - what was normal today, will be diagnosed crazy tomorrow

Mainstream media tends to stay away from articles that might offend their cash cow masters in Big Pharma advertising land; so when they do step to the plate swinging every so often I like to highlight those events. So this article in the LA Times discussing how the newest addition of the voodoo DSM is just another dangerous intrusion upon our society and you with more false made up diseases that big pharma are just salivating over. You may think you are doing OK and don't have a disease as your sitting in your seat reading this, but just wait for DSM-V and you too will be stamped certifiably crazy along with 99.9% of the population on this planet.

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psychiatrys-latest-dsm-goes-too-far

Psychiatry's latest DSM goes too far in creating new mental disorders

* Allen Frances, Los Angeles Times
* Posted March 7, 2010 at midnight

As chairman of the task force that created the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), which came out in 1994, I learned from painful experience how small changes in the definition of mental disorders can create huge, unintended consequences.

Our panel tried hard to be conservative and careful but inadvertently contributed to three false "epidemics" - attention deficit disorder, autism and childhood bipolar disorder. Clearly, our net was cast too wide and captured many "patients" who might have been far better off never entering the mental health system.

The first draft of the next edition of the DSM, posted for comment with much fanfare last month, is filled with suggestions that would multiply our mistakes and extend the reach of psychiatry dramatically deeper into the ever-shrinking domain of the normal. This wholesale medical imperialization of normality could potentially create tens of millions of innocent bystanders who would be mislabeled as having a mental disorder. The pharmaceutical industry would have a field day - despite the lack of solid evidence of any effective treatments for these newly proposed diagnoses.

The manual, prepared by the American Psychiatric Association, is psychiatry's only official way of deciding who has a "mental disorder" and who is "normal." The quotes are necessary because this distinction is very hard to make at the fuzzy boundary between the two. If requirements for diagnosing a mental disorder are too stringent, some who need help will be left out; but if they are too loose, normal people will receive unnecessary, expensive and sometimes quite harmful treatment.

Where the DSM-versus-normality boundary is drawn also influences insurance coverage, eligibility for disability and services, and legal status - to say nothing of stigma and the individual's sense of personal control and responsibility.

What are some of the most egregious invasions of normality suggested for DSM-V? "Binge eating disorder" is defined as one eating binge per week for three months. (Full disclosure: I, along with more than 6% of the population, would qualify.) "Minor neurocognitive disorder" would capture many people with no more than the expected memory problems of aging. Grieving after the loss of a loved one could frequently be misread as "major depression." "Mixed anxiety depression" is defined by commonplace symptoms difficult to distinguish from the emotional pains of everyday life.

The recklessly expansive suggestions go on and on. "Attention deficit disorder" would become much more prevalent in adults, encouraging the already rampant use of stimulants for performance enhancement. The "psychosis risk syndrome" would use the presence of strange thinking to predict who would later have a full-blown psychotic episode. But the prediction would be wrong at least three or four times for every time it is correct-and many misidentified teenagers would receive medications that can cause enormous weight gain, diabetes and shortened life expectancy.

A new category for temper problems could wind up capturing kids with normal tantrums. "Autistic spectrum disorder" probably would expand to encompass every eccentricity. Binge drinkers would be labeled addicts and "behavioral addiction" would be recognized. (If we have "pathological gambling," can addiction to the Internet be far behind?)

The sexual disorders section is particularly adventurous. "Hypersexuality disorder" would bring great comfort to philanderers wishing to hide the motivation for their exploits behind a psychiatric excuse. "Paraphilic coercive disorder" introduces the novel and dangerous idea that rapists merit a diagnosis of mental disorder if they get special sexual excitement from raping.

Defining the elusive line between mental disorder and normality is not simply a scientific question that can be left in the hands of the experts. The scientific literature is usually limited, never easy to generalize to the real world and always subject to differing interpretations.

Experts have an almost universal tendency to expand their own favorite disorders: Not, as alleged, because of conflicts of interest-for example, to help drug companies, create new customers or increase research funding-but rather from a genuine desire to avoid missing suitable patients who might benefit. Unfortunately, this therapeutic zeal creates an enormous blind spot to the great risks that come with overdiagnosis and unnecessary treatment.

This is a societal issue that transcends psychiatry. It is not too late to save normality from DSM-V if the greater public interest is factored into the necessary risk/benefit analyses.

Allen Frances is professor emeritus and former chairman of the department of psychiatry at Duke University. He wrote this for the Los Angeles Times. (c) 2010, Los Angeles Times. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

you can click on this photo below to enlarge and read

If we as a people were not so enlightened and completely free from persecution for are emotions and feelings, we might fear a regurgitated and finely polished form of eugenics was heading directly toward us once again

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