The Bitter Pill

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Blood Money: J&J Buys Positive Risperdal Pediatric “Studies”

J&J gave money in return for positive drug studies, court documents say

Johnson & Johnson gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to a research center run by an influential child psychiatrist explicitly to generate data to help expand sales of the company’s antipsychotic drug Risperdal in children, according to court documents.The documents shed new light on Johnson & Johnson’s close relationship with Joseph Biederman, a Harvard University psychiatrist at the center of a controversy involving the dramatic increase in antipsychotic drugs, including Risperdal, prescribed for children, often for unapproved uses.

Johnson & Johnson spent at least $700,000 to fund the Johnson & Johnson Center for Pediatric Psychopathology at Massachusetts General Hospital. The purpose of the center, according to an internal company e-mail contained in the court documents, was to “generate and disseminate data supporting the use” of Risperdal in children and adolescents.

Risperdal is used to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

The e-mails were from 2001 and 2002, long before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Risperdal for use in children in 2006. Physicians are allowed to prescribe drugs for unapproved uses or patients, but drugmakers are barred from marketing drugs for such off-label uses and can face civil charges and steep fines.

Officials at Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary in Titusville, N.J., that makes Risperdal, said they funded the center “to conduct rigorous clinical trials to clarify appropriate use and dosing of Risperdal in children.”

The company said it promoted its products “only for their FDA-approved indications.”

Biederman did not return a phone call.

The documents were provided by plaintiff lawyers pursuing a class-action suit against Johnson & Johnson, contending that such a powerful drug should not have been widely recommended for children.

The court papers show Johnson & Johnson:

Budgeted $6.4 million to hold “educational summits” and sponsor advisory panels in part to counter negative media reports on the research, diagnosis and treatment of children with mental illness;

Was actively involved in drafting research that Biederman was to present at a medical conference and asked him how to deal with unfavorable research results suggesting that a placebo worked as well as Risperdal;

Discussed clinical trials for drugs as “growth opportunities” and tied trial proposals to sales potential.

Biederman is a Harvard researcher and psychiatrist whose work has fueled a rapid rise in diagnoses of bipolar disorder in children. His studies, often on small numbers of children and funded by drug companies, have expanded the use of what are known as atypical antipsychotics in children.

Children are believed to be much more vulnerable to the side effects of these drugs, which include weight gain, breast milk production in both sexes, facial tics and muscle tremors.

Last Tuesday, a panel of federal drug experts said antipsychotic medicines were overused in children and urged the Food and Drug Administration to do more to warn doctors of their risks.

Besides Risperdal, atypical antipsychotics include Zyprexa, made by Eli Lilly & Co.; Seroquel, made by AstraZeneca P.L.C. and others.

The documents, which resulted from discovery efforts in the lawsuits, portray Biederman as using his influence to get money out of Johnson & Johnson.

In an e-mail from November 1999, for example, Johnson & Johnson marketing executive John Bruins warned his bosses to quickly issue a $3,000 check to Biederman to pay for a lecture.

“Dr. Biederman is not someone to jerk around,” Bruins wrote. “He is a very proud national figure in child psych and has a very short fuse.”

Bruins also suggested that Biederman had taken business away from Johnson & Johnson after the company turned down the doctor’s request for a $280,000 research grant. “I have never seen someone so angry,” Bruins wrote. “Since that time, our business became non-existant (sic) within his area of control.”

In the court documents, e-mails from Johnson & Johnson executives said Biederman had asked the company to fund a pediatric research institute at Massachusetts General Hospital, resulting in a donation of at least $700,000 in 2002. Biederman is listed as the chief of the Johnson & Johnson Center for Pediatric Psychopathology.

Biederman is the subject of investigations by Harvard and by Sen. Charles Grassley (R., Iowa) for failing to disclose to Harvard at least $1.4 million in funds from Johnson & Johnson and other companies. Laws require researchers to disclose such relationships to their employers, to protect the integrity of medical research.

Massachusetts General said yesterday in a statement that it planned to investigate the allegations raised in the court documents.

Harvard said it was not connected to Massachusetts General Hospital or to the pediatric institute there. A university spokesman said he could not comment on Harvard’s review.

Biederman first told Grassley he had received $3,500 from Johnson & Johnson, but the company told the senator’s office the figure was $58,169 in 2001.

 


Contact staff writer Miriam Hill at 215-854-5520 or hillmb@phillynews.com. 

Filed under: Charles Grassley, Congress, MGH, , , ,

Where do our elected officials stand on psychiatric coercion and torture?

I have been trying to contact Governor Pawlenty and both Senators from Minnesota regarding the Ray Sandford case. I would like to know where they stand on this issue. 

How much electroshock does it take before the patient is “cured?” How ignorant do you have to be to believe that weekly ECT sessions which cause seizures are actually good for a “patient?”

When detainees are held without due process, subjected to harsh conditions, pain, physical and psychological damage we call it torture and the legal and political world makes sure that these prisoners are given the full attention of various government officials, courts, and the media.

When new mothers or other law-abiding citizens are escorted to hospitals by police, locked away, or given “treatments” that risk their lives or those of their unborn or newborn babies our elected officials do nothing.

The best response I have gotten so far was from Amy Klobuchar’s office – where I was told if someone from Sandford’s family could fill out a release a case worker would initiate an investigation. On the contrary, when I called Governor Pawlenty’s office I was first put through to voice mail. I left a message and called back to ask whether anyone would be checking the messages and if so, who. The receptionist simply said I will put you through to voice mail. I called back and she disconnected the call. So, I called from my cell phone and asked again if anyone could talk to me about what is happening to constituents and she hung up on me. Again I called back and the call was disconnected.

So, I called Norm Coleman’s office and left a statement but I was told that since there is no federal agency involved that there was nothing he could do. I am just wondering if anyone in the government cares about the citizens.

Where do Minnesota officials stand on involuntary electroshock? If Sandford was “well enough” to have a reprieve last week from forced ECT, then why is he not well enough this week? How many induced seizures does it take to kill someone? Will Pawlenty, Coleman, or Klobuchar sit back and wait to find out?

A criminal on death row receives more concern and advocacy from government officials than an innocent psychiatric patient. Perhaps we should hook up babies to ECT to prevent mental problems. If we can do it to adults on the recommendation of a “doctor” then why not kids too? Sounds like an easy market and a good way for Mercy Hospital and others to rake in some more dough.

Filed under: forced 'treatment',

Psychiatric care’s peril and profits

By Christina Jewett and Robin Fields, ProPublica Staff Writers 
November 23, 2008

Filed under: antidepressants, antipsychotics, forced 'treatment',

Goodwin Goes Down, Save Sandford Campaign, and Much More

What an appropriate piece of news to learn about this weekend, and the timing is amazing. Gardiner Harris of The New York Times reported this weekend that Frederick Goodwin, a [racist - according to other reports] psychiatrist who hosts “The Infinite Mind” on NPR, is going down, big time. He’s just the latest in a series of bought doctors recently exposed, who have been extremely influential in psychiatry and the national movement towards increased drugging. Here’s some background about the eugenicist efforts that Goodwin and others have been involved in as recently as the 90s: “Beware The Violence Initiative Project.” 

Here is the NYT article, which states that NPR is canceling their satellite broadcast of “The Infinite Mind” and that if they had known Goodwin took so much money from pharmaceutical companies, they never would have broadcast the show in the first place. So I have to say, ‘Good Job’ to NPR! Now this begs the question of how long it will take for media groups to start paying attention and pull a Grassley. When are they going to get suspicious and start investigating the corruption taking place within the “scientific” community?

Hats off to Gardiner Harris, Charles Grassley, and NPR. Job well done. 

So why do I say that the timing of this report is amazing? It’s just a general observation that it seems like the time is right for news like this to break… and here are a few reasons why…

I just returned from the NFWL (National Foundation of Women Legislators) Conference and it was amazing! 

So many people at this NFWL conference heard about Goodwin’s crash and burn career catastrophe and I can’t think of a better way to see these “doctors” exposed than in The New York Times, right before a Presidential transition, just as people are hoping to expand their mandatory mental health “treatment” programs and launch America into one giant Orwellian nightmare

I also got to meet so many interesting women legislators and leaders from all over the country, not to mention I finally got to meet Dr. Mary Ann Block and Dr. Julian Whitaker.

One story that was told during the conference was about a woman whose 6-year-old granddaughter told her mom when Hillary Clinton was running for President that that was wrong, because it’s illegal for her to run for that office. The mother asked why in the world the daughter would say such a thing, and the daughter replied that: “If a woman could be President, then there would have been a woman President by now.”

It’s kind of chilling, and yet kind of cute, just because there are so many things that come out of children’s mouths that just seem to have a hint of truth underneath the innocent incorrectness…

One thing that impressed me about the conference was the sincerity and dedication of all of these women to living their passion and making the world a better place. With all of the people I told about The MOTHERS Act, I was really kind of amazed how many were instantly sympathetic, supportive, concerned, or outraged. When you spend so much time seeing the hurt and death and force that is taking place it’s easy to forget how many people are out there who do care.

So to all those federal, state, or local women legislators out there who may be reading this blog or looking into The MOTHERS Act as we speak, I pray that you will take the message to heart that this is an issue you can really make a difference on. It is sad when we have to become defensive for our own rights, the protection of our lives and our babies, our freedom, informed consent, etc.

I’ve spent a lot of time lately thinking about the people who are still suffering because of psychiatric drugs, electroshock, etc. and about all those who have yet to be conceived who will never draw a breath because of these drugs. I want to leave you with a few links – food for thought. A lot of news continues to break all over the place concerning the financial relationships connecting psychiatrists, drug companies, “scientific” medical journals, government agencies, etc.

Don’t forget if you are a psychologist or otherwise involved with the American Psychological Association to read Dr. Zampardi’s letter concerning the ethics violations that demand a response from the candidates for APA president.

Check out Julie Edgington’s blog: http://www.bigpharmavictim.blogspot.com/

This is a MindFreedom Campaign to help Ray Sandford, who just so happens to be an involuntary outpatient victim of court ordered ECT or electroshock “therapy” at Mercy Hospital, in Coon Rapids, MN (this is the same hospital where I was an involuntary “patient” for two days in 2004 right after I became homicidal and suicidal on Zoloft).

MindFreedom is calling on the public to write or call Governor Pawlenty to ask for intervention. I would like to add that if anyone knows a good attorney or investigative journalist who can do something, please contact them. Also, don’t forget that we should call the two Minnesota Senators, Amy Klobuchar and Norm Coleman.

As for “Mercy Hospital” – this is the same hospital that locked me up in the psych ward away from my son when I was 9 days postpartum (3 days after starting on Zoloft to ‘prevent’ PPD after Isaac almost died from choking at 3 days old), where I was forced to continue taking Zoloft in order to get out – where I had to fake being better to get out, threaten to call the media and lawyers – where I was told I was just like Andrea Yates and all those other “Texas moms” who killed their children and would probably kill my baby if I didn’t do what they said I should do.

I gave Mercy Hospital a call last week to let them know what I think of their plan for Sandford’s “treatment” and to protest the fact that his doctor can give him one week’s reprieve from the “treatment” due to protests, but apparently the continued forced ECT is supposed to somehow logically remain therapeutic or in his best interest… The director of the ECT department refused to acknowledge Mr. Sandford is a patient due to confidentiality reasons, but she did tell me she was glad I was better. That is probably the only time in her career she has had the opportunity to say that to a former imprisoned patient.

Check out http://sayingnotovaccines.blogspot.com/

See also, “The USA is Living Beyond Its Means” with David Walker, former GAO head. He spoke at the NFWL Conference, just after Dr. Whitaker (who spoke about financial problems in the Medicaid and Medicare system), on the problems with our out-of-control financial system and government budget deficits.

Filed under: "prevention", Charles Grassley, Congress, The Future of The United States, , ,

APA Elections Require MOTHERS Act Response

Dear colleagues:

Reproduced below is an email to the New Jersey Psychological Association (NJPA) regarding 2 New Jersey candidates seeking election to be president of the American Psychological Association (APA) this year.

Michael G. Zampardi, Ph.D.

************************************************************************

Re: APA Elections/Mothers Act/ NJ Postpartum Depression Law
To: NJPA Listserv
From: Michael G. Zampardi, Ph.D.
Cc: Some NJPA members, Michael G. Zampardi, Ph.D.

Dear colleagues at the New Jersey Psychological Association (NJPA):

Reproduced below (and in a Word attachment above) is a letter that I have sent to Dr. Carol Goodheart and Dr. Robert McGrath, 2 New Jersey candidates to be president of the American Psychological Association (APA) this year.

3 main items must be addressed:

The Mothers Act, a proposed national law
The New Jersey Postpartum Depression Law
Torture in the military

All 3 of the above contain many serious legal and ethical violations.

It seems that guild interests may have overridden legal/ethical considerations.

If you wish to send your own letter, you can copy my letter and add your name in place of mine.

Michael G. Zampardi, Ph.D.

************************************************************************

Re: APA Elections/Mothers Act/ NJ Postpartum Depression Law
To: Carol Goodheart, Ed.D. and Robert McGrath, Ph.D.
From: Michael G. Zampardi, Ph.D.
Cc: Michael G. Zampardi, Ph.D.

Dear Dr. Goodheart and Dr. McGrath:

I am writing this because both of you are candidates from New Jersey seeking election to be president of the American Psychological Association (APA) this year.

I would like each of you to comment on what appear to be extremely serious legal and ethical violations contained in the proposed Mothers Act (on the national level) and contained in the current New Jersey Postpartum Depression (PPD) Law. Both pieces of legislation contain features that reflect failure to have full informed consent provisions, and were sadly blindly supported carte blanche by the New Jersey Psychological Association and by APA. These bills have dire, critical national implications both legally and ethically regarding womenʼs rights and freedom.

Another candidate for the APA presidency (i.e., Steven Reisner, Ph.D.) is extensively concerned with ethical issues and with concern that the APA has lost its moral compass regarding the issue of the APAʼs support of psychologists working in facilities that use torture.

Before I cast my vote for any candidate this year, I expect to be fully informed regarding their position on these three issues, and I sincerely hope that each of you from New Jersey make clear statements regarding these issues. My vote will not go to any candidate who does not comment on all three issues, and I urge my colleagues to do likewise. The APA should be concerned with more than just guild issues and the presidency is a start in that direction.

Michael G. Zampardi, Ph.D.

Filed under: mothers act, , , ,

Who’s America?

This one is by me (Julie)
I call this one Who’s America because sometimes I ask myself that question.

Filed under: America, artwork, bigpharmavictim, Flag, Flag paintings, Manie's parents, Paxil, stars and stripes

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