New Civilization News: Beware of Medical Treatment and Prescription Drugs    
  Beware of Medical Treatment and Prescription Drugs10 comments
picture18 Sep 2007 @ 17:55, by Gerald Vest

The mind provides us with a vital energy that is responsive to every moment. Developing awareness of this hidden resource is the gateway to real freedom and peace, a true refuge in a crowded and frustrating world. (Tarthang Tulku, Hidden Mind of Freedom)

I am going to introduce some more 'grist for the mill' on the relationship of the mental health industry and the drug corporations or Big Pharmas as they are called. I am also going to introduce the power of the Internet and forums to advance our goals. I will continue to identify the dangers that exist with these powerful corporations while they continue to influence and control their/our clients who wish to participate in our community mental health programs. The psychiatry industry, by virtue of their medical license, have the sanction to diagnose, label, and give every person/patient/client a number that represents a disorder in their DSM handbook.

Today, the NY Times introduced two articles related to the drug industry and their relationship with psychiatry. It is apparent to many of us that the public should be aware of psychiatry, this classification system and why we have such excessive costs of drugs and treatment. Also, the Insurance Corporations are also part of this coalition to control the private records, and to maintain the categorization patients for payment and for auditing purposes, as well.

Abstracted from NY Times article:

Billions of $'s given to doctors by drug companies to prescribe their drugs. How long will our politicians, professional organizations and communities allow this to happen?

Drug company representatives are a major presence. They sponsor Journal Club (where trainees learn to review new data and research), they pay for many of our weekly speakers and regularly offer free dinners for the residents and faculty. They enjoy free access to our mailboxes and regularly detail our trainees in their offices, hallways and in our little kitchen.

This is not uncommon. Meredith Rosenthal at the Harvard School of Public Health reported in The New England Journal of Medicine that the industry spends roughly $15.7 billion annually marketing medications, with $4.8 billion dedicated to detailing individual physicians, or roughly $6,000 to $11,000 a doctor a year.

Studies indicate that most physicians meet with pharmaceutical representatives four times a month.

Studies also reveal that most physicians erroneously believe the representatives do not influence prescribing habits.

When doctors and trainees meet with reps, they change their prescribing habits and are far more likely to prescribe the drugs described, even when they are more expensive or have no benefit over alternatives. They are also more willing to request illogical changes to hospital guidelines that govern which drugs can be prescribed.

Estimates suggest that roughly $1 billion was spent advertising antidepressants to health professionals in 2000.


COMMENTARY; Drug Companies Get Too Close for Med School's Comfort

Published: January 20, 2004
In an 2002 article, Dr. Peterson wrote: ''Despite the lack of evidence of a significant difference in efficacy between older and newer agents, clinicians perceive the newer agents to be more efficacious -- these findings are significant as they highlight the discrepancy between empirical evidence and clinical practices and suggest that other factors influence clinicians' medication choices in the treatment of depression.''

The effect is easy to see in our department. The antidepressants fluoxetine, known popularly as Prozac, and paroxetine, known as Paxil, are now generic and cost patients and insurers pennies a day. Newer, rival drugs including sertraline (Zoloft), escitalopram (Lexapro) and Venlafaxine (Effexor) are 5 to 20 times as expensive.

In the last seven years, I have watched our residents prescribe the newest medications almost exclusively.


Do view this short video on "the tragic consequences of drugging our children.


Note: Picture by Mike Connealy

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20 Sep 2007 @ 04:26 by a-d : Just want to
forward this link to you (and chat another day...I'm in the weeds as far as time goes right now!)

20 Sep 2007 @ 14:10 by jerryvest : Thanks Astrid...your link and short
video are really powerful and show the dangers of drugging our children. As a parent and grandparent, it is very painful to see that the drug industry and medicine will do anything for profit, even injure our children with these psychotropics.

Do keep me advised of other resources that you and others discover so that we can continue to advocate and inform others of these criminal acts.  

20 Sep 2007 @ 14:46 by a-d : Everybody!
SOS: click on this link: [ ] and tell what you saw & how "the News" affected you, eh? (whoooaaahhhh )  

21 Sep 2007 @ 13:18 by jerryvest : This is such a great documentary
on drugging our kids today that it should be shown in PTA meetings (if there is still such an organization) and every teacher would give pause to ever report a child to a psychiatrist once this video reaches them. I have posted this on all of my professional organizations, but few will respond.

Thanks for posting this, Astrid. {link:}  

5 Oct 2007 @ 13:15 by jerryvest : I have re-written much of this
article as I have identified or others have given me, some excellent resources to support our views related to the dangers of drugs, psychiatry and their classification system that is a hoax.  

9 Oct 2007 @ 12:45 by jerryvest : The state of Mass. is starting
to do a followup of children prescribed psychotropics. Why do children have to die before the health systems, especially the MH industry, review their policies and prescription meds give to them? It's all in the big Pharmas, psychology, psychiatry and social work recognizing and learning how to advance alternatives to this disease model.

Some psychiatrists have been concerned for years about the rise of psychiatric drug treatment of young children, largely because few preschoolers are old enough to show clear signs of mental illness and there are almost no studies on how the chemicals affect their developing brains. But until Riley's death from three drugs she was taking to treat bipolar disorder and hyperactivity, the state provided little oversight of doctors' prescribing practices.

"Riley's death "was a wake up call," said Dr. John Straus, vice president for medical affairs at the Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership, one of the organizations that manage mental health care for children in MassHealth. He said MassHealth managers want to make sure that doctors have good reason for prescribing psychiatric drugs to such young patients and that they are not relying solely on the parents or guardians for information about each child's condition. Riley's parents have been charged with deliberately giving her a fatal overdose.

Some psychiatrists have been concerned for years about the rise of psychiatric drug treatment of young children, largely because few preschoolers are old enough to show clear signs of mental illness and there are almost no studies on how the chemicals affect their developing brains. But until Riley's death from three drugs she was taking to treat bipolar disorder and hyperactivity, the state provided little oversight of doctors' prescribing practices."

Where are the other advocacy groups in our country? I don't see many responses by the mental health community except that they are fearful that they can't get funding if they don't follow and use this "DSM bible." How ethical are they? What responsibility do they have for their patients/clients? Who is their primary concern? I think you know, but you just won't come forward and stand up for the health and wellbeing of our kids and others being drugged with little if any oversight!!! {link:}  

9 Oct 2007 @ 23:38 by jerryvest : Our Social Work Profession was purchased
by the Pharmas without our leadership seeing that these corporations will do whatever it takes to make billions of dollars off of their psychotropics, even if it means that many children will die.

A friend and colleague sent me this letter by many concerned professionals/scientists located in schools of social work throughout the country. I just learned of this petition to NASW on their behalf or my name would be on it, for sure. For those of you interested in the response by our professional organization, also read the linked side notes. Seems to me that our Big Pharmas now own every mental health system and control the diagnosis and therapy employed. I'm not really surprised that there is no oversight to these drug pushers, they own almost every politician running for public office and every Administration.

I wish to thank my colleague for bringing this petition to my attention so that I can continue to work for our Common Good:

"Jerry, you all may be interested in reading (and perhaps signing onto) the open letter to National Association of Social Workers (NASW) regarding their participation in a "National Adherence Initiative for Schizophrenia.”


"On a different track, I spoke yesterday with a parent who has an 8 year old who was adopted at two from SE Asia. Last week, the childs pediatrician diagnosed the child as "bi-polar" and sent mom home with a prescription for Depakote with plans for a medical follow-up only in a month. Whats wrong with this picture?"

I would hope that our social workers would see the "whole picture--the whole person."


10 Oct 2007 @ 18:25 by jerryvest : More Drugs cause great harm....
By Jerry Vest on Wednesday, October 10, 2007 - 09:50 am: Edit Post

Thanks again for the NASW article showing how our profession has been sold to the Big Pharmas, Gary. In the NY-Times today an article shows how shoddy their research has been on another psychiatric drug that is widely used throughout the world. Lilly now "Adds Strong Warning Label to Zyprexa, a Schizophrenia Drug!"

Published: October 6, 2007
"Eli Lilly yesterday added strong warnings to the label of Zyprexa, its best-selling medicine for schizophrenia, citing the drug’s tendency to cause weight gain, high blood sugar, high cholesterol and other metabolic problems.

For the first time, Zyprexa’s label now acknowledges that the drug causes high blood sugar more than some other medicines for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, called atypical antipsychotics.

Lilly previously argued that Zyprexa had not been proved to cause high blood sugar at a more frequent rate than its competitors.

Concern about Zyprexa’s side effects has been increasing...."
Almost daily we are receiving reports on the lies and deceit by these criminal drug corporations as there is little, if any, investigation or oversight by government agencies and professional organizations.

I am still shocked that our NASW leadership group would join forces with them.

Do you have any thoughts about what strategies we can develop to address these issues. I don't think it is enough just to inform our colleagues about the scams and corruption of this industry. Initially, my thoughts were to encourage us to separate ourselves from psychology and psychiatry as they promote labeling and drug trafficing. Now with this latest petition by members of our profession, seems we are now in the same league and owned by the Drug Industry, as well.

Sad state of affairs, indeed.

Thanks for staying-in-touch, Gary.


11 Oct 2007 @ 18:36 by jerryvest : FDA Oversight - Believe it?????
Dear gerald,

Congress has given final approval to a bill that will significantly improve the drug review process at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and hold the FDA more accountable, protecting us from unsafe drugs. Thanks in part to your calls and letters, the law includes transparency language that will shine a light on the FDA drug approval process. By opening up the drug review process and documents to public scrutiny, the manipulation of research results becomes much more apparent and thus easier to counteract.

This legislative victory is crucial to public health and safety. Last year, when UCS surveyed nearly 1,000 FDA scientists, one in five reported that they had been asked by their supervisors to provide the public, the news media, and government officials "incomplete, inaccurate, or misleading information." When the unbiased research of qualified scientists was suppressed and distorted, flawed data led the FDA to approve drugs such as Vioxx, Avandia, and Ketek, which later proved to be harmful.

This bill requires that the views of drug reviewers are heard and not suppressed or ignored. In addition, the bill also protects scientists' right to publish their research, another way to safeguard the scientific integrity of FDA scientists and their work. Unfortunately the bill doesn't go far enough to restrict conflicts of interest on FDA advisory panels. Nonetheless, the new law will improve the FDA's drug review process and set the stage for similar reforms at other federal agencies.

Transparency is the cornerstone of scientific integrity—it's vital to the work of the FDA and all federal agencies to ensure that the work of scientists is not manipulated.

We will closely monitor the FDA’s performance, tracking whether the public gets full access to the information they need. And we will again rely on your support as we continue to push for similar reforms at other federal agencies where science has been politicized and scientists have been intimidated.

UCS surveys have revealed similar problems at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NASA, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. But as long as scientists and citizens continue to play an active role in the fight to ensure scientific integrity and transparency, I am confident we will prevail.

Thank you for your continued dedication to scientific integrity and all you do to help UCS work for a healthy environment and a safer world.


Michael Halpern
National Field Organizer
Scientific Integrity Program  

5 Dec 2007 @ 14:16 by jerryvest : This is a report that they are
developing a pill to get people to exercise. I can't believe that anyone would fall for this hoax, but people do trust the Big Pharmas for a quick fix.

Exercise pill hope for depression

Exercise boosts mind and body
The natural "high" produced by exercise could one day be available in a pill that targets a gene in our brains.
The Yale University experts say that experiments on mice could show why regular exercise can help people suffering from depression.

Writing in the journal Nature Medicine, they say it could lead to more effective drugs.

Mental Health charities in the UK already back exercise programmes as a way of lifting depression.

Mind has long recommended physical exercise as a way of improving mental wellbeing

Marcus Roberts

While the link between exercise and improved mood is well known, the reasons behind it are not fully understood.

The latest research focuses on an area of the brain called the hippocampus, which is already established as a target for antidepressant drugs.

The team developed a test to see which genes in this region were made more active during exercise, and highlighted one called VGF.

This gene is linked to a "growth factor" chemical involved in the development of nerve cells.

This fitted with their theory that, for depression to lift, changes in the actual structure and links between brain cells are needed, not just changes in the chemicals surrounding the cells.

The next step was to make a version of that chemical, and to test it on mice, where it showed an effect on their behaviour that roughly equated to antidepressant effects in humans.

The researchers believe that a drug based on VGF could offer "possibly even superior efficacy" to current antidepressants.

'Clinically effective'

Marcus Roberts, Head of Policy at Mind, said that, currently, the use of exercise as a treatment for mental health problems should be recommended by doctors.

"Mind has long recommended physical exercise as a way of improving mental wellbeing, and many people who experience mental distress have told us that exercise has hugely benefited their mental health.

"Our own research has shown that outdoor exercise can decrease feelings of depression and increase self-esteem by inspiring a sense of achievement - the evidence is growing that this should be treated as a clinically valid treatment."

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