Monday, May 23, 2011

America is swallowing a deadly poison pill marketed & provided by the Pharmaceutical Industry and Psychiatry


America's Most Poisonous Pill

America is swallowing a deadly poison pill marketed & provided by the Pharmaceutical Industry and Psychiatry

From thefix.com comes this must read article outlining the corporate and medical abuses now being orchestrated by the pharmaceutical industry and Psychiatry upon America & the World. I encourage you read the whole article at the link thefix.com and further yet read this book upon it's release.

This is not new breaking news for those that have been following this tragedy for the past few decades; but this is a well written and informative article you'll want to pass along to family, friends, and colleagues

Christopher Byron is a prize-winning investigative journalist and
New York Times best-selling author. This article is excerpted from his forthcoming book, Mind Drugs, Inc.: How Big Pharma and Modern Psychiatry Have Corrupted Washington and Destroyed Mental Health in America.

Klonopin has been striking down more than just troubled celebrities, however. In 2008, reports began to surface of soldiers returning from Iraq with post-traumatic stress disorder who were dying in their sleep, the victims of a psych-med cocktail of Klonopin, Paxil (an antidepressant), and Seroquel (an antipsychotic) that is routinely prescribed by VA hospitals.

Hospital emergency room visits for benzodiazepine abuse now dwarf—by a more than a three-to-one margin—those for any illegal street drug.

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union reportedly used temazepam (another benzodiazepine drug) extensively to keep political dissidents in a drugged-out state in government-run psychiatric hospitals. Both the CIA and the KGB are also said to have also used the sleeping pill in prisoner interrogations and in research into mind-control, brainwashing and social engineering.

Why has all this happened? In large measure you can thank the 47,000 members of the American psychiatric profession for this dreadful state of affairs. Neither the pharmaceutical industry nor the psychiatric profession would be anywhere near as lucrative as they are today without their mutual support system. Together they have created a marketing juggernaut that over the last 20 years has spawned a seemingly nonstop gusher of profits that is only now beginning to slow—and probably only temporarily.

The scholarly journals of the psychiatric profession were filled with early warnings, beginning almost 50 years ago, from those who could see where the encroaching influence of the drug companies was destined to lead the profession. Now, even the medical journals themselves have been corrupted by the hidden hand of Big Pharma. In 2008, the New York Times reported that a survey of the six top medical journals showed that on average almost 8% of the bylined articles published in their pages were ghostwritten by freelance writers, then published under the names of cooperating doctors and researchers to give the pro-drug messages contained in the articles the appearance of impartiality. The scheme is bankrolled, of course, by the company that makes the drug.

Consider Dr. Joseph Biederman, the world-renowned Harvard University psychiatrist and father of modern psychopharmacology for children, who, it now turns out, has been taking secret “consulting fees” from drug companies for years. Biederman is widely credited with legitimizing the concept of “bipolar disorder” as a chemical imbalance in the brain that can be corrected with psychiatric drugs. But documents uncovered by Senate investigators probing ties between the psychiatric profession and the drug industry, which have resulted in an explosion in medically approved uses for psychiatric drugs for children, show that Biederman received more than $1.6 million in undisclosed payments since 2000 from the pharmaceutical companies manufacturing the drugs he was encouraging parents to give to their children if they appeared to be “bipolar.”

It's obvious that this system incentivizes doctors financially to keep prescribing drugs in order to keep patients returning for med-checks. But Big Pharma offers a whole host of additional income opportunities. Last year, ProPublica, the Pulitzer Prize–winning public-interest investigative website, did an extensive report on the financial compensation drug companies shower on physicians. Well-titled “Dollars for Docs,” this series included a database of more than 17,000 doctors who accepted “speaker fees” and other money from eight drug companies in 2009 and 2010 totaling $320 million.

That accounting is only the tip of the iceberg, however, as most pharmaceutical companies have refused to disclose their physician payments. Not surprisingly, most doctors interviewed by ProPublica denied that their medical decisions and prescribing habits were influenced by drug company payments. The new healthcare reform bill calls for greater transparency, requiring all drug-makers to disclose all fees paid to all doctors by 2014. Until then, you can type your doctor’s name into the database to find out if he or she is on the pharma take, and for how much.

Friday, May 13, 2011

POGO calls out GSK Paxil Study 329 & conflicted doctors behind the charade


POGO calls out GSK Paxil Study 329 & the conflicted doctors behind this charade

In my last post I highlighted the call for the retraction of GSK Paxil study 329 & censoring the so called KOL doctors behind this criminal, unethical, & immoral medical charade perpetrated for profit by the pharmaceutical industry.

Now Paul Thacker & Pogo have joined the chorus of those demanding answers, accountability, and change: http://bit.ly/jpvqCT

Author of Ghostwritten Study Runs for Parliament in Canada
2984733674_fbe7d1823c_m[1] By Paul Thacker May 12, 2011

The night before I spoke last week at the University of Toronto conference on corporate funded ghostwriting in medicine, the university held a dinner at a French bistro for the conference speakers. It was election night in Canada and everyone at the table was buzzing about Dr. Stan Kutcher, a psychiatry professor at Dalhousie University who was running for Parliament.

Under legal threat from Dr. Kutcher, The Coast, a small Canadian newspaper, retracted and then apologized for a story that investigated a study Dr. Kutcher published on Paxil. Known as “Study 329,” this clinical trial was funded by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and concluded that Paxil is "generally well tolerated and effective for major depression in adolescents."

Unfortunately for Dr. Kutcher, GSK was sued in the United States for hiding evidence of the link between Paxil and suicide. Numerous internal emails and documents are public and Study 329 now pops up in most discussion whenever experts talk about corruption in medical research.

Warning to readers: hold your nose. Study 329 really stinks.

If you’re new to the issue, corporate funded ghostwriting involves a pharmaceutical company that hires a PR firm to write medical studies. The PR firm then presents the manuscript to academic physicians to sign their names on as authors. Sometimes, the authors make only minor changes. The professors get credit for a publication to add to their CVs, and the pharma company gets a study that is “authored” by physicians who are leading researchers in their field and appear to be independent.

The practice of ghostwriting drives up the costs of healthcare, because these studies trick doctors into prescribing drugs that may be more costly, and sometimes less safe. These studies can also be used to seek approval by the FDA and payment from federal healthcare programs.

An early draft of study 329In the case of Study 329, GlaxoSmithKline used the study as a tool to market Paxil for use on children, until both the FDA and its British counterpart warned doctors to stop prescribing Paxil to children because it could cause them to commit suicide.

Last November, POGO sent a letter to National Institutes of Health (NIH) asking why taxpayers were funding researchers involved in Study 329 when it was ghostwritten and flawed.

Anyways, the retracted article in The Coast detailed some of Study 329’s problems and quoted Alison Bass, a former medical writer at The Boston Globe. Ms. Bass wrote an extensively referenced book titled Side Effects on the scandals and corruption involved in Study 329. The book was widely reviewed by media such as The New York Review of Books and The Canadian Medical Association Journal.

But her book isn’t the only detailed account of ethically questionable behavior in Study 329.

In January 2007, the BBC ran an investigative report on Study 329, calling it "one of the biggest medical scandals of recent times." The BBC released several internal company documents purporting that GlaxoSmithKline knew that Study 329 was flawed years before the results were published. The BBC also quoted Fiona Godlee, editor of the British Medical Journal, who called Study 329 a “problem” in scientific research.

The list of studies and experts critiquing Study 329 goes on and on.

I vote for Paxil!

So with such an extensive public record on corruption in Study 329 (just use Google, for goodness sake!) how did Dr. Kutcher characterize Study 329?

“I don’t think that study caused any particular controversy,” he said. “There certainly is a group of people who would like to cause a controversy around it, but science is nasty, brutish and long.”

Nasty and brutish? No doubt. Especially, when all those documents and reports on Study 329 are splashed across the Internet.

Still, The Coast apparently ran afoul of Canadian law by publishing a negative story so close to the time of an election. After The Coast retracted and apologized, Dr. Kutcher dashed off a press release.

“It comes as a great surprise that The Coast is confusing opinion with science,” he wrote. Dr. Kutcher then crowed, “[T]his is something we are more accustomed to hear from the American right wing than the Canadian left wing.”

Yep. Right. Uh-huh.

Intrigued, I called the contact person listed at the bottom of the press release, Layton Dorey. When I asked if he had looked into the problems with Study 329, he said that I should contact Dr. Kutcher at his university.

“Did you see the BBC documentary on Study 329?” I asked.

Long pause…more pause…finally… “I’m not in a position to discuss that,” Mr. Layton said.

We then agreed that I would email him questions. He never responded.

I also sent questions to Dr. Kutcher. I then called to confirm that he had received them.

Yesterday morning, Dr. Kutcher’s attorney sent a terse email, writing that Dr. Kutcher would not be commenting further on The Coast article. I extended another offer for Dr. Kutcher to respond to questions about Study 329.

Nothing.

For the edification of readers, Canadian voters, and parents whose children were prescribed Paxil, we have provided those questions below. Feel free to provide any answers you feel are pertinent in the comment section of POGO’s blog.

Questions for Stan Kutcher regarding press release and Study 329

Dr. Kutcher,

I need to ask you some questions regarding the press release on Tom Bosquet's [sic] article and the comments by author and former Boston Globe medical reporter, Alison Bass. I am an investigator at the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) in Washington. I'm working on a deadline for this, so I need your responses by tomorrow 5 p.m. EST.

In case this is the wrong email, or if you are out of town, I am copying the head of your department to ensure you get them before the deadline.

1. In the press release, you note that Alison Bass is "a writer who is among those most frequently cited by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights." What exactly are you implying with this statement?

2. Do you have any information that Alison Bass is a Scientologist and/or is a supporter of Scientology's public campaign against the field of psychiatry?

3. Alison Bass wrote a book alleging corruption in Study 329 titled Side Effects. The book received positive reviews in, among other places, The New Journal of Medicine, The New York Review of Books, The Boston Globe, and the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Were there errors in this book, and if so, could you please explain?

3. Your press release also states: "Dr. Kutcher intends to launch a defamation suit against the publication as a result of its inflammatory innuendo and the potential to damage his personal, professional and political reputation." Does you plan a defamation lawsuit against Alison Bass for the book Side Effects?

4. In January 2007, the BBC ran an investigative report on Study 329, calling it "one of the biggest medical scandals of recent times." Do you feel that the BBC, like The Coast, is guilty of "inflammatory innuendo"? If not, why not? Please be as expansive as you wish, in your response.

5. Dr. Fiona Godlee, editor of the British Medical Journal, told the BBC that Study 329 is an example of a "problem" in scientific research. “[W]e have to work very hard not only to uncover cases such as this but to work out how to prevent things like this happening in the future,” she said. How do you respond to Dr. Godlee's charges against your study?

6. Jon Jureidini, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Adelaide, and Leemon McHenry, lecturer in philosophy at California State University Northridge, published a study in 2008 that examined Study 329 and charged that the authors selectively reported results that favored GlaxoSmithKline. They have called for Study 329 to be retracted. How do you respond to their charges?

7. Drs. Jeffrey Lacasse and Jonathan Leo published a study in PLOS Medicine last year charging that Study 329 was ghostwritten by a company paid by GlaxoSmithKline and misrepresented data. How do you respond to their charges and do you plan to write a letter to PLOS Medicine to set the record straight?

8. Last November, POGO sent a letter to the National Institutes of Health charging that Study 329 was ghostwritten and "clearly flawed." We attached several document to our letter to support the claims of ghostwriting. Do you have documents to counter our claims? If so, will you make them part of the public record?

9. Are you required to disclose your financial conflicts to your university as is required here in the United States? If so, what was your financial relationship with GlaxoSmithKline at the time of Study 329's publication? How much money have you received from pharmaceutical companies in the last two years?

10. Within two years of Study 329's publication that found efficacy for Paxil in adolescents, the United Kingdom government warned British physicians to not prescribe Paxil for children due to fears of potential suicide. In May 2004, our own FDA issued a similar warning. Why do you think these two regulatory bodies came to dramatically different conclusions from your own published research?

Thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it. Again, I need a response to our questions by tomorrow at 5 pm EST. If you have any other questions, please feel free to give me a call.

Sincerely,

Paul

Paul Thacker is a POGO Investigator.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Retract GSK Paxil Study 329 Now.... Hold unscrupulous and conflicted Doctors accountable


Retract GSK Paxil Study 329 Now.... Hold unscrupulous and conflicted Doctors accountable

1 Boring Old Man Blog has sounded the alarm bell; those that stand for ethical research, "DO NO HARM" instead of "Make More Money", those that stand against conflicts of interest, Bad Medicine, and Criminal Big Pharma Controlled Health Care Have heard the call & are now coming together with a multitude of ringing steeples in communities everywhere demanding not just substantive change, but accountability from those that have lied & deceived us from their scandalous medical ivory towers of profit & ego focused medicine.

1 Boring Old Man Blog

retract study 329…
and
retract study 329 – further thoughts…

It has been ten years since study 329 was published. Martin Keller has stepped down as Chairman. Mina Dulcan is no longer editor of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. GSK has paid out a lot of money in fines and admitted that the study was negative or worse. Every SSRI bottle has a warning about suicidal thoughts in adolescents on SSRIs. Jon Jureidini, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Adelaide, and Leemon McHenry, lecturer in philosophy at California State University, continue to push for a retraction [Of sophists and spin-doctors: industry-sponsored ghostwriting and the crisis of academic medicine, Conflicted medical journals and the failure of trust, Key opinion leaders and paediatric antidepressant overprescribing, Industry-sponsored ghostwriting in clinical trial reporting: a case study]. This story is well-summarized in the British Medical Journal by Melanie Newman [The rules of retraction].

Study 329 is still on the books, still saying, "Paroxetine is generally well tolerated and effective for major depression in adolescents." It’s a testimonial to the worst of times, and it needs to be retracted for the same reason that the statues and monuments of despots are destroyed when their regimes finally fall…

&

There is no question that Study 329 and the reporting paper [Efficacy of Paroxetine in the Treatment of Adolescent Major Depression: A Randomized, Controlled Trial] is a paradigm for selective reporting, pharmaceutical industry’s interference in medical science, and a direct disavowal of the Hippocratic Oath. In addition, it reaches an indefensible conclusion – "Paroxetine is generally well tolerated and effective for major depression in adolescents." The question is, "Why hasn’t it been retracted?"

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I encourage you to read the many fine post & writings on his blog; it will undoubtedly open your mind & burden your heart.

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A psychiatrist calls for Paxil study 329 retraction: many co-authors at CABF Scientific Advisory Council & in Dollars for Docs database

"Study 329 is still on the books, still saying, "Paroxetine is generally well tolerated and effective for major depression in adolescents." It’s a testimonial to the worst of times, and it needs to be retracted for the same reason that the statues and monuments of despots are destroyed when their regimes finally fall.." he wrote.

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Stan Kutcher, Stan Kutcher, Stan Kutcher… postscript « seroxat secrets…Blog

Sad to say poor Stan didn’t get elected in the recent poll in Halifax, Canada. He failed by an impressively large margin.

Still, I’m sure he’ll be back at some point and perhaps by then we will have seen Study 329 retracted… it is still on the books, still saying, “Paroxetine is generally well tolerated and effective for major depression in adolescents.

It’s a testimonial to the worst of times, and it needs to be retracted for the same reason that the statues and monuments of despots are destroyed when their regimes finally fall”.

So says a retired physchiatrist, 1 Boring Old Man, in this article.

I have to agree that it’s high time Study 329 was retracted – and Marty Keller and Stan and the rest of the doctors that put their names to it were put under the spotlight and called to account for their actions.

I know it’ll never happen, but I can’t shake the feeling that Keller and Kutcher played their parts (together with GlaxoSmithkline) in what amounted to a physical assault on me. The study said Seroxat didn’t work, but rather than admit the fact, all parties lied and cheated in order to shore up the profile of what I can only describe as a harmful chemical that should never have been allowed to be prescribed so widely.

The bottom line for Keller, Kutcher et al was the money Glaxo paid them to lie about the efficacy and safety of Paxil/Seroxat.

The bottom line for Glaxo was (and still is) the billions in profit it makes each year.

Who picks up the pieces? – I do, every day – and so do all the other patients that were harmed by what Keller, Kutcher and Glaxo all knew to be a dangerous drug that didn’t actually work.

Read more in Alison’s Bass’ book Side Effects - the complete story of Study 329

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It is past time to say enough is enough....make your voice heard from the town square to the Representative halls of Washington DC...corruption & greed adversely effecting the health of America can NO LONGER BE TOLERATED...


A retraction of study 329 would be a nice beginning. Yet, what actually needs to happen to bring any form of effective change at this juncture; is a huge asterisk being placed by the name of each KOL involved on everything they have been associated with since 329 (which would include hundreds of studies & journal articles).

You can’t stop a runaway locomotive by simply throwing this single study on the tracks. The pharmaceutical machine will roll on by like someone placed a penny on the tracks for entertainment. These (criminals) doctors knew exactly what they were doing; it’s past time for substantial consequences to be distributed among them.

The analogy: You can’t kill the Greek mythological creature Typhon (Big Pharma) and Echidna (psychiatry) and their multitude of off spring by severing a single head. For we know that simply removing one head from these ravenous beast will not slow their rampage, or refrain them from inevitably devouring us all under the pretext of genotype and bio-markers…in essence society is being found guilty of mental disease until proven innocence or otherwise....all for profit


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