The Bitter Pill

The Official Blog of UNITE – uniteforlife.org

Relentless and Tragic Marketing: Psychiatric Drugs from Before the Cradle to the Grave

by John Breeding, PhD and Amy Philo

Working with others, we strive to alleviate distress and to support and enhance the personal growth, transformation, individuation, self-determination, and clear and expanded awareness of individuals. Necessity dictates that we also spend a lot of time challenging aspects of the mental health profession that do the opposite—creating more distress, suppressing growth and transformation, violating self-determination, and dulling and blinding awareness. We call it psychiatric oppression, the systematic, institutionalized mistreatment of those judged as “mentally ill.” This essay focuses especially on the ever expanding encroachment of psychiatric oppression to more and more of the population, and to individuals who are less and less in need of actual help. This encroachment takes the form of mass marketing for psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry. One key aspect of oppression theory is the claim to virtue. For psychiatric oppression that claim is the notion that mentally ill people need their treatment; its growing extension is the concept of prevention, that potentially mentally ill people need treatment as well!

The Regressive Progression: Treatment to Prevention

“An ounce of prevention is a pound of cure.” Like all great aphorisms, this one, often associated with Ben Franklin, holds wisdom and is partly true, based on assumption. In this case, one must assume the role of victim of unnecessary malady that necessitates a cure…and that there is a felt connection or empathic relatedness to the one who suffers malady. Where these assumptions are not met, the aphorism is false. To wit, for the giant corporation of Halliburton and its government and military operations group, or for the mercenary army of Blackwater, going to war is worth a great deal more than diplomacy.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: "prevention", 'ADHD', adverse drug reactions, Amy Philo, anitdepressants and pregnancy, antidepressant side effects, antidepressants, antidepressants during pregnancy, antidepressants during pregnancy studies, antipsychotics, baby, Baby Matthew, big brother, big pharma, bigpharmavictim, Birth Defects, birth defects caused by antidepressant, child endangerment, choking, Christian Delahunty, Christiane Schultz, Collusion, congenital heart defects, Congress, Coon Rapids, courts, dead babies, drugging children, Drugging Vets, ECT, Effexor, Effexor in pregnancy, Elderly, electroshock, eugenics, FDA, FDA Warnings, forced 'treatment', Freedom Commission on Mental Health, heart defects, Indiana, Isaac Philo, Melanie Stokes, Mercy Hospital, mothers act, paxil birth defects, Paxil in pregnancy, pharmacology, Postpartum Support International, PPD, Pregnancy, psychiatric hospital, schizophrenia, screening, SSRI, suicide, Supreme Court, The Future of The United States, toxicity deaths, Zoloft, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Brown Victory Brings Hope of Stalling MOTHERS Act in Health Care Bill

“I have no interest in sugarcoating what happened in Massachusetts,” said Sen. Robert Menendez, the head of the Senate Democrats’ campaign committee. “There is a lot of anxiety in the country right now. Americans are understandably impatient.”

Menendez says Americans have high anxiety and are impatient? Oh geez Louise… Speaking of sugarcoating… I recall using that word in reference to Menendez and the MOTHERS Act pushers a few more than 10 times.

In epic upset, GOP’s Brown wins Mass. Senate race

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_massachusetts_senate

By GLEN JOHNSON and LIZ SIDOTI, Associated Press Writers Glen Johnson And Liz Sidoti, Associated Press Writers 17 mins ago

BOSTON – In an epic upset in liberal Massachusetts, Republican Scott Brown rode a wave of voter anger to win the U.S. Senate seat held by the late Edward M. Kennedy for nearly half a century, leaving President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul in doubt and marring the end of his first year in office.

The loss by the once-favored Democrat Martha Coakley in the Democratic stronghold was a stunning embarrassment for the White House after Obama rushed to Boston on Sunday to try to save the foundering candidate. Her defeat on Tuesday signaled big political problems for the president’s party this fall when House, Senate and gubernatorial candidates are on the ballot nationwide.

“I have no interest in sugarcoating what happened in Massachusetts,” said Sen. Robert Menendez, the head of the Senate Democrats’ campaign committee. “There is a lot of anxiety in the country right now. Americans are understandably impatient.”

Brown will become the 41st Republican in the 100-member Senate, which could allow the GOP to block the president’s health care legislation and the rest of his agenda. Democrats needed Coakley to win for a 60th vote to thwart Republican filibusters.

The Republican will finish Kennedy’s unexpired term, facing re-election in 2012.

Brown led by 52 per cent to 47 percent with all but 3 percent of precincts counted.

One day shy of the first anniversary of Obama’s swearing-in, the election played out amid a backdrop of animosity and resentment from voters over persistently high unemployment, Wall Street bailouts, exploding federal budget deficits and partisan wrangling over health care.

For weeks considered a long shot, Brown seized on voter discontent to overtake Coakley in the campaign’s final stretch. His candidacy energized Republicans, including backers of the “tea party” protest movement, while attracting disappointed Democrats and independents uneasy with where they felt the nation was heading.

A cornerstone of Brown’s campaign was his promise to vote against the health care plan.

Though the president wasn’t on the ballot, he was on many voters’ minds.

“I voted for Obama because I wanted change. … I thought he’d bring it to us, but I just don’t like the direction that he’s heading,” said John Triolo, 38, a registered independent who voted in Fitchburg.

He said his frustrations, including what he considered the too-quick pace of health care legislation, led him to vote for Brown.

Coakley called Brown conceding the race, and Obama talked to both Brown and Coakley, congratulating them on the race.

The Democrat said the president told her: “We can’t win them all.”

Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin said he would notify the U.S. Senate on Wednesday that Brown had been elected. Originally, he had said he might take over two weeks to certify the results of the special election, giving Democrats a window in which to try to rush through final passage of Obama’s health care plan.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., promised to seat Brown “as soon as the proper paperwork has been received.”

Brown will be the first Republican senator from Massachusetts in 30 years.

Even before the first results were announced, administration officials were privately accusing Coakley of a poorly run campaign and playing down the notion that Obama or a toxic political landscape had much to do with the outcome.

Coakley’s supporters, in turn, blamed that very environment, saying her lead dropped significantly after the Senate passed health care reform shortly before Christmas and after the Christmas Day attempted airliner bombing that Obama himself said showed a failure of his administration.

Days before the polls closed, Democrats were fingerpointing and laying blame.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, head of the House Democrats’ campaign effort, said Coakley’s loss won’t deter his colleagues from continuing to blame the previous administration.

“President George W. Bush and House Republicans drove our economy into a ditch and tried to run away from the accident,” he said. “President Obama and congressional Democrats have been focused repairing the damage to our economy.”

At Boston’s Park Plaza Hotel, giddy Republicans cheered, chanted “USA” and waved the “tea party” version of the American flag.

Even before Brown won, the grass-roots network fueled by antiestablishment frustrations, sought credit for the victory, much like the liberal MoveOn.org did in the 2006 midterm elections when Democrats rose to power.

GOP chairman Michael Steele said Brown’s “message of lower taxes, smaller government and fiscal responsibility clearly resonated with independent-minded voters in Massachusetts who were looking for a solution to decades of failed Democrat leadership.”

Wall Street watched the election closely. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 116 points, and analysts attributed the increase to hopes the election would make it harder for Obama to make his changes to health care. That eased investor concerns that profits at companies such as insurers and drug makers would suffer.

Across Massachusetts, voters who had been bombarded with phone calls and dizzied with nonstop campaign commercials for Coakley and Brown gave a fitting turnout despite intermittent snow and rain statewide.

Galvin, who discounted sporadic reports of voter irregularities throughout the day, predicted turnout ranging from 1.6 million to 2.2 million, 40 percent to 55 percent of registered voters. The Dec. 8 primary had a scant turnout of about 20 percent.

Voters considered national issues including health care and the federal budget deficits.

Fears about spending drove Karla Bunch, 49, to vote for Brown. “It’s time for the country, for the taxpayers, to take back their money,” she said. And Elizabeth Reddin, 65, voted for Brown because she said she was turned off by the Democrat’s negative advertisements, saying: “The Coakley stuff was disgusting.”

___

Liz Sidoti reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Beth Fouhy, Bob Salsberg, Steve LeBlanc, Karen Testa, Kevin Vineys and Stephanie Reitz also contributed to this report.

Filed under: anitdepressants and pregnancy, antidepressant side effects, antidepressants, antidepressants during pregnancy, Baby Matthew, Barack Obama, big brother, big pharma, bigpharmavictim, Birth Defects, Christian Delahunty, Christiane Schultz, congenital heart defects, Congress, dead babies, ECT, Effexor, Effexor in pregnancy, Harry Reid, Health Care debate, heart defects, Indiana, Manie, Melanie Stokes, mothers act, Pregnancy, prescription medication and pregnancy, The Future of The United States, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Infowars: Government, Big Pharma Push Bill to Drug America’s Mothers

http://www.infowars.com/government-big-pharma-push-bill-to-drug-americas-mothers/

Government, Big Pharma Push Bill to Drug America’s Mothers

Kurt Nimmo
Infowars
April 14, 2009

It’s called the Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act and if passed it will turn countless women into lifelong customers for Big Pharma. It was killed in the Senate last year but it was reintroduced in January of this year. Democrat Senator Robert Menendez from New Jersey, home to a large number of drug companies, and Democrat Richard Durbin are the main sponsors of the bill in the Senate (S. 1375).

featured stories   Government, Big Pharma Push Bill to Drug Americas Mothers
John Farmer
Former actress and supermodel Brooke Shields supports the government and Big Pharma effort to convince women they need to be on dangerous psychotropic drugs.

In a March 30, 2009 speech on the House floor, the original sponsor of the bill, Illinois Democrat Bobby Rush claimed that “60 to 80 percent of new mothers experience symptoms of postpartum depression while the more serious condition, postpartum psychosis, affects up to 20 percent of women who have recently given birth.” In response to a House vote to pass the legislation on the same day, Rush said: “H. R. 20 will finally put significant money and attention into research, screening, treatment and education for mothers suffering from this disease.”

The bill was moved to the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee on March 30 where it will be “marked up” in the near future. The legislation is backed by the U.S. Senate H.E.L.P. committee, chaired by Senator Edward Kennedy, and supported by president Obama.

Evelyn Pringle, a columnist for Scoop Independent News, writes that the “true goal of the promoters of this Act is to transform women of child bearing age into life-long consumers of psychiatric treatment by screening women for a whole list of ‘mood’ and ‘anxiety’ disorders and not simply postpartum depression.” In short, the medical industry and Big Pharma want to deem pregnancy a mental illness and prescribe dangerous psychotropic drugs.

“The Mothers Act has the net affect of reclassifying the natural process of pregnancy and birth as a mental disorder that requires the use of unproven and extremely dangerous psychotropic medications (which can also easily harm the child). The bill was obviously written by the Big Pharma lobby and its passage into law would be considered laughable except that it is actually happening,” writes Byron Richards for NewsWithViews.

The act would mandate health care professionals indoctrinate pregnant women into mental health treatment “options” (prescribe dangerous drugs) for mild depression-like symptoms experienced during or following pregnancy.

“It is my understanding that the process of birth, the intimate bonding of mother and child, and the placing of significant responsibility on the father is all part of a healthy culture and the backbone of the fabric that makes strong families and consequently our great nation. I fail to see why we need laws that force health care professionals to emphasize the idea that the process is some type of mental illness affecting 80% of all women – what a bogus pile of crap,” Richards wrote last month.

The following members of Congress are on Kennedy’s H.E.L.P. committee:

Lisa Murkowski, AK (R) 202-224-6665
John McCain, (AZ) (R) 202-224-2235
Christopher Dodd (CT) (D) 202-224-2823
Johnny Isakson (GA) (R) 202-224-3643
Tom Harkin (IA) (D) 202-224-3254
Pat Roberts (KS) (R) 202-224-4774
Edward Kennedy (MA) (D) 202-224-4543
Barbara Mikulski (MD) (D) 202-224-4654
Richard Burr (NC) (R) 202-224-3154
Kay Hagan (NC) (D) 202-224-6342
Gregg Judd (NH) (R) 202-224-3324
Jeff Bingaman (NM) (D) 202-224-5521
Sherrod Brown (OH) (D) 202-224-2315
Tom Coburn (OK) (R) 202-224-5754
Jeff Merkley (OR) (D) 202-224-3753
Bob Casey (PA) (D) 202-224 6324
Jack Reed (RI) (D) 202-224-4642
Alexander Lamar (TN) (R) 202-224-4944
Orrin Hatch (UT) (R) 202-224-5251
Bernard Sanders (VT) (I) 202-224-5141
Patty Murray (WA) (D) 202-224-2621
Michael Enzi (WY) (R) 202-224-3424

Call and let them know pregnancy is not a mental illness and America’s mothers are not to be considered lifelong “customers” for Big Pharma.

Filed under: big brother, mothers act, , , , , , , ,

MOTHERS Act and DBSA – pHARMa Front Group – Who cares about money?

FRONT GROUP FINANCIAL INFORMATION: DBSA

This research was conducted by Evelyn Pringle… I hope you can note the inserted comments from her and look below to read my comments, which I’ll leave off the article portion and put in the comment box.

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

2005 Annual Report

http://www.dbsalliance.org/pdfs/05annualreport.pdf

Sue Bergeson, President, DBSA

ALLIANCE LEAGUE ($500,000 AND ABOVE)

Wyeth Pharmaceuticals

LEADERSHIP CIRCLE ($150,000-$499,999)

Abbott Laboratories
AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
Cyberonics, Inc.
Eli Lilly and Company Foundation
Pfizer Inc


FOUNDERS CLUB ($10,000-149,999)

Forest Laboratories
GlaxoSmithKline
Janssen Pharmaceutica Products
Neuronetics, Inc.
Shire Pharmaceuticals Group


ADVOCATE COUNCIL ($5,000-9,999)

Dr. and Mrs. Edward M. Scolnick


PLATINUM ($1,000-4,999)

Merck & Co. Inc.
Lori L. Altshuler, M.D.
Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D.
A. John Rush, M.D.
Mr. Robert C. Schwartz


GOLD ($500-999)

Dr. and Mrs. Mark S. Bauer
Gregory Simon, M.D.


SILVER ($150-499)

Johnson and Johnson
Joseph Biederman, M.D.

Linda L. Carpenter, M.D.
Dr. Ron C. Melzer
National Association of Boards of Pharmacy
Charles O’Brien, M.D.


MATCHING GIFT COMPANIES

GlaxoSmithKline
Merck & Co. Inc
Pfizer Foundation

EMPLOYEE GIVING

Abbott Laboratories

======================

2006

Drug company money to Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance in 2006

(Evelyn’s note:

The 2006 Annual Report for the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance shows that AstraZeneca gave the group more than $500,000 in 2006. Companies that gave between $150,000 and $499,000 included Abbott Laboratories, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. Forest Laboratories, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen, Pfizer, and Shire Pharmaceuticals each gave between $10,000 and $149,000.)

2006 Annual Report

http://www.dbsalliance.org/pdfs/2006AnnualReport.pdf

=======================

2007

Depression and Bipolar Alliance

Annual Report

http://www.dbsalliance.org/site/DocServer/FINAL_AnnualReport07.pdf?docID=2761

This list reflects donations received through December 31, 2007.

LEADERSHIP CIRCLE ($150,000-$499,999)

AstraZeneca
Pfizer Inc
Wyeth Pharmaceuticals

FOUNDERS CLUB ($10,000-149,999)

Abbott Laboratories
Cyberonics, Inc.
Elli Lilly and Company
Forest Laboratories
GlaxoSmithKline
National Association of State
Mental Health Program Directors
Organon, Inc.
Otsuka American Pharmaceutical, Inc

PLATINUM ($1,000-4,999)

Abbott Laboratories Employee Giving Campaign

GOLD ($500-999)

Lori L Altshuler, MD
David Dunner, MD
Kay Redfield Jamison, PhD
A. J. Rush, MD
Martha Sajatovic, MD
Gregory Simon, MD, MPH
TAP
Dr. James Walker

SILVER ($150-499)

Dr. and Mrs. Paul Berkowitz
Joseph Biederman, MD
Dr. Judith A. A. Cook
Dr. and Mrs. Alan Harris
Dr. Roger W. Helfrich
Nada l. Stotland, MD

CONTRIBUTORS TO THE REBECCA LYNN CUTLER LEGACY OF LIFE FOUNDATION

Abbott Laboratories
AstraZeneca
Eli Lilly and Company
Janssen
Organon, Inc.
Pfizer Inc
Wyeth Pharmaceuticals

EMPLOYEE GIVING COMPANIES

Abbott Laboratories
Eli Lilly and Company
GlaxoSmithKline
Merck Partnership for Giving
Pfizer Foundation

2007 at a Glance: How We Met Our Mission

(Among other things listed are):

Promoted Melanie Blocker-Stokes Postpartum Depression Research & Care Act at invitation of Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.)

Promoted MOTHER’s Act at invitation of Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)

Launched consumer smoking cessation initiative, funded by Robert Wood Johnson
Foundation’s Smoking Cessation Leadership Center

First-ever DBSA Hope Award for lifetime achievement presented to Frederick K.
Goodwin, MD, & Kay Redfield Jamison, PhD

Active in development & promotion of “Depression Is Real” PSA campaign

=======

DBSA 2007 Fall Newsletter “Outreach”

The issue states: “DBSA gratefully acknowledges its Leadership Circle, Organizations that contributed a minimum of $150,000 during 2007.”

ABBOTT LABORATORIES
ASTRAZENECA PHARMACEUTICALS
PFIZER INC
WYETH PHARMACEUTICALS

http://www.dbsalliance.org/pdfs/outreach/Outreach_Fall2007.pdf

Under “Our 2007 Legislative Milestones” it lists:

DBSA was honored to be asked personally by Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Representative Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) to help introduce the postpartum legislation in Illinois.

=========

DBSA Spring 2008 Newsletter “Outreach”

The issue states: “DBSA gratefully acknowledges its Leadership Circle, Organizations that contributed a minimum of $150,000 during 2007.”

ABBOTT LABORATORIES
ASTRAZENECA PHARMACEUTICALS
PFIZER INC
WYETH PHARMACEUTICALS

http://www.dbsalliance.org/pdfs/outreach/Outreach_2008Spring.pdf

It also publishes the following message which explains where some of the drug money went:

Speaking Out for New Moms

Six years ago, after giving birth to her first child, a successful 41-year-old sales manager plunged to her death from a Chicago hotel’s 12th floor as firefighters pleaded with her. Melanie Blocker-Stokes took her own life, despite medical help and the support of family and friends.

Melanie’s tragedy soon prompted legislation in both the U.S. House and Senate. If passed, the Melanie-Blocker Stokes Postpartum Depression and Research Act and the MOTHER’s Act will help the families and women afflicted by postpartum depression (PPD) through lifesaving educational programs and screening services.

In January, DBSA sent an Advocacy Alert asking you to write your legislators in support of these PPD bills. Thousands of you sent letters to Congress through our Legislative Action Center (LAC). As time went on, instead of contacting individual legislators, you began to ask specific congressional committees (like the House Committee on Energy and Commerce), to support a vote rather than just a bill.

Unfortunately, rumors and lies began circulating on the Web, as outspoken opponents began asking people not to support these bills. While they called themselves “experts,” none of them had any expertise in mental health or any PPD-related field. They claimed the legislation was just a conspiracy by big pharmaceutical companies to push new moms to take unnecessary medication.

Tell that to the more than 800,000 women who will develop a diagnosable postpartum mood disorder this year! To debunk these myths, on April 8, DBSA sent you another alert marked “Urgent.” Your response has been nothing less than amazing-unprecedented, Web experts tell us! Just nine hours after our alert, you’d sent 1,200 letters to legislators.

In the next two days, you sent 6,300 more. After one month, you’d sent over 15,000 letters speaking out against the PPD rumors! And, for the first time, other groups are proactively joining us.

Organizations and blog sites like Postpartum Support International (PSI), Postpartum Progress, Moms Speak Up, Becoming Me, Beyond Blue and EmpowerHer are linking their readers to our LAC so that even more letters reach Congress.

Did you know that as few as five letters can make a difference in how your legislator votes? Even if you’ve already sent a letter supporting PPD legislation, please send another.

Help us reach the 20,000 mark for letters supporting PPD legislation! Write Congress today at http://www.DBSAlliance.org/Advocacy.

================

Some of the drug money funneled through the DBSA is apparently being spent the same way this year by utilizing the postpartum front groups operating on the internet.

==========

Note from Evelyn:

On March 10, 2009, Katherine Stone’s headline on the Postpartum Progress Blog read:

“It’s Petition Signing Time!  Get Out Your Virtual Pen & Support Women with PPD”

Her blog reports “that Susan Stone over at Perinatal Pro is alerting everyone to the new petition created by the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance to support the Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act.  She states that last year’s petition generated more than 24,000 signatures.  The petition has been reintroduced this year to try and get this legislation passed once again.”

The blog carries a live link to an advocacy alert page where “you can scroll down, enter your zip code and generate letters of support in a matter of seconds for the Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act that will be sent to your local Congresspeople and Senators.”

Ms Stone further advises: “I just sent my letters.  I know you’re thinking “but I already did that last year.”  Well that was then and this is now.  Do it again.”

Filed under: "prevention", Amy Philo, antidepressants, antipsychotics, big brother, Birth Defects, child endangerment, Christian Delahunty, Congress, dead babies, drugging children, ECT, Effexor in pregnancy, Elizabeth Torlakson, eugenics, experimentation, Harry Reid, Indiana, Isaac Philo, Manie, Melanie Stokes, mothers act, Paxil in pregnancy, pharma payments to doctors, pharmacology, PPD, Pregnancy, profit,

MOTHERS Act Promotes Pregnancy as Cottage Industry by Evelyn Pringle

Mothers Act Promotes Pregnancy as Cottage Industry

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0812/S00107.htm

Women of childbearing years represent the most lucrative market for the makers of psychiatric drugs. The knowledge that infants were being born with birth defects and suffering a withdrawal syndrome when these drugs were used during pregnancy was hidden for decades. Knowledge of these terrible risks would have caused a major drop in sales to this customer base.

Ever since the warnings about birth defects started trickling out a few years ago, the drug companies apparently have been plotting to find ways to reverse their negative impact. But the most sinister plot ever developed is a bill moving for approval in the US Senate right now called the “Melanie Blocker-Stokes Mother’s Act,” to set up the screening of all pregnant women for mental illness.

The bill is promoted under the ruse of screening for postpartum depression. But a true picture of the target population of this massive drug pushing scheme is evident in the propaganda submitted to support the passage of the original bill in the US House of Representatives and the programs already in place in various states.

The legislation was first introduced in the House in January 2007 by Illinois Democrat Bobby Rush. Under “Background and Need for Legislation,” House Report 110-375 states in part:

 

“Depression is twice as common in women as it is in men, with its peak incidence during the primary reproductive years–ages 25 to 45. Because women are more likely to experience depression during these years, they are especially vulnerable to developing depression during pregnancy and after childbirth.”

In February 2007, the “Postpartum Mood Disorders Prevention Act,” was introduced in Illinois. The orchestrated attempts to pass this bill included planting reports in the media with claims that pregnant women are at risk for a whole list of mental disorders. For instance, on March 1, 2007 an article in the Naperville Sun stated:

 

“New moms face increased risks for not only postpartum depression, but also bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety and other disorders, according to one of the largest studies of psychiatric illness after childbirth.”

The websites set up by the industry-backed front groups supporting the Mother’s Act have links to programs that claim new mothers need to be screened for “postpartum” depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, psychosis, anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, and eating disorders.

When extending the drug-net to all pregnant women, the groups omit the term “postpartum” and claim women need to be screened for “perinatal” (which means both before and following birth) disorders. In December 2007, Illinois enacted “The Perinatal Mental Health Disorders Prevention and Treatment Act,” with the stated purpose “to increase awareness and to promote early detection and treatment of perinatal depression.”

But here again, the mention of “depression” only is deceiving because the websites of hospitals in Illinois show they are screening for the entire gamut of disorders mentioned above. Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove offers “Perinatal Depression Support Services.”

“Any woman who is thinking about becoming pregnant, is pregnant, or had a baby within the past year can be affected by depression or other mood disorders,” their website says.

“Mental health screening under the guise of identifying individuals who are impaired from some supposed mental disturbance is typically simply another front for pharmaceutical marketing,” according to Dr Bose Revenel, co-author with psychologist John Rosemond of the new book, “The Diseasing of America’s Children.”

“Most are funded or the initiative is provided via pharmaceutical companies and medications are typically promoted as a supposed ‘solution,’” he says.

“The problem here is that, among other things, the drugs promoted have been shown to have potentially serious side effects and their effectiveness compared to placebo only trivial,” Dr Revenel reports.

“Furthermore,” he says, “the campaign ignores safe and potentially effective interventions such as dietary and nutritional changes and supplements as well as cognitive therapy – all of which are completely free of potential adverse effects, with effectiveness that rivals or exceeds that of the drugs.”

“If the screening only picked up women likely to benefit from treatment, then maybe it would be justified,” says Dr David Healy, a leading expert on psychiatric drugs from the UK and author of “The Creation of Psychopharmacology.”

“But screening will pick up a quarter or a third or more of all pregnant women and will lead to many of these being treated who do not need treatment,” he warns. “Over 25% of women might be diagnosed where very few of those are likely to need treatment.”

Although no psychotropic drug has FDA approval for use during pregnancy, the recommended treatment for all these so-called “disorders” consists of the newest most expensive antidepressants, antipsychotics, and anticonvulsants. The common practice is to prescribe three or four different drugs at a time for years on end.

The antipsychotics that will benefit as a result of the Mother’s Act include Seroquel by AstraZeneca, Risperdal marketed by Janssen, a division of Johnson & Johnson, Geodon by Pfizer, Abilify from Bristol-Myers Squibb, Novartis’ Clozaril, and Eli Lilly’s Zyprexa.

Lilly also sells two antidepressants, Prozac and Cymbalta, and Symbyax, a combination of Zyprexa and Prozac. The other SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) and SNRI (selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor) antidepressants include GlaxoSmithKline’s Paxil and Wellbutrin, Pfizer’s Zoloft, Celexa and Lexapro from Forest Labs, Luvox by Solvay, and Wyeth’s Effexor.

Pregnancy as a cottage industry

New Jersey Democrat Robert Menendez is the lead sponsor of the Mother’s Act in the Senate. New Jersey is home to a long list of drug companies. The bill was first introduced in May 2007, but was stuck in committee until Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid introduced an $11 billion omnibus package called “Advancing America’s Priorities Act.” Senator Reid tried to get the Act passed on July 22, 2008 by slipping it in the omnibus, but failed.

The Act is supported by a drug-funded coalition bent on turning pregnancy into a cottage industry. On September 25, 2008, Susan Dowd Stone, a member of “Postpartum Support International (PSI),” self-described as the “bill’s lead organizational sponsor,” issued a Legislation Update, obviously to pump out propaganda through the internet.

“Hundreds of thousands of women across the country suffer at the hands of postpartum depression every year, and they deserve better than the ideological games being played with legislation intended to bring them relief,” Senator Menendez declares in the Update.

“This is a cause I am committed to seeing through, and I will continue to stand up on behalf of mothers suffering from this condition until the blockade is cleared,” he vows.

“We will again await its inevitable passage at the next Congressional session when reason may more strongly prevail,” Ms Stone writes in the Update.

A gal named Katherine Stone runs the “Postpartum Progress” blog, described as the “most widely-read blog in the United States on these illnesses.” She serves on PSI’s board of directors as the public relations outreach chairwoman.

Her blog provides links to the “Top Women’s PPMD Treatment Programs & Specialists.” Dr Shari Lusskin is listed as a “top” specialist. She is an advisory council member for PSI. On her website under “Pregnancy-related Mood Disorders,” the standard talking point about “pregnancy related mood disorders” being prevalent is restated as follows:

 

“Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Eating Disorders may also develop or worsen during pregnancy and postpartum. Women with Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, or Schizoaffective Disorder are particularly vulnerable during pregnancy and postpartum.”

A May 28, 2005 presentation brochure shows Dr Lusskin is a paid speaker for Glaxo, AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Wyeth.

The postpartum blogs are also used to sell books written by the “experts” and promote drug company funded conferences. For instance, on May 13, 2008, Postpartum Progress put out an ad for a June 25, 2008 conference at the University of Minnesota, titled, “Motherhood, Mood Disorders & Anxiety: Before & After Pregnancy.” The listed sponsors included AstraZeneca and the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI), the most notorious industry backed front group on the planet.

Eli Lilly is logically the top giver to NAMI and many other front groups because it has the most drugs to peddle. Several class action lawsuits currently filed against Lilly specifically allege that Lilly funneled money to NAMI to aid in the off-label marketing of Zyprexa.

Between 2003 and 2005, Lilly donated $3 million to NAMI, according to the May 28, 2006 Philadelphia Inquirer. Lilly’s disclosure records show NAMI groups received more than $700,000 from the company in the first quarter of 2008. NAMI’s 2007 Annual Report lists Abbott Labs, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers, Eli Lilly, Forest Labs, Glaxo, Janssen, Pfizer, Wyeth and Solvay as “Corporate Partners.”

The NAMI website reports that the “National Depression Screening Day” and the “Stop a Suicide Today” campaign are endorsed by the American Psychiatric Association and are conducted in partnership with the American Association of Suicidology, Suicide Prevention Action Network USA, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Suicide Prevention Resource Center, and Mental Health America.

In 2006, the pharmaceutical industry accounted for about 30% of the American Psychiatric Association’s $62.5 million in financing, according to the July 12, 2008 New York Times. Lilly’s first quarter grant report for 2007 shows Lilly provided the APA with two grants worth over $412,000. The Suicide Prevention Action Network received $10,000 from Lilly in the first quarter of 2007.

Mental Health America’s annual report shows the group received over $1 million from Bristol-Myers, Lilly and Wyeth in 2006. Janssen and Pfizer gave between $500,000 and $1,000,000, and AstraZeneca and Forest Labs donated between $100,000 and $499,000. Glaxo gave the group between $50,000 and $100,000 in 2006.

Other funding sources listed on the MHA website include three treatment centers for eating disorders with links to their websites. The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders estimates that the average cost of private inpatient treatment is $30,000 or more a month, according to an April 27, 2006 report by Women’s enews.

On May 21, 2008, the president of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (“DBSA”), Sue Bergeson, posted a message on Bipolarconnect.com, saying Illinois Senator Dick Durbin’s office had called to say they were having “a hard time making headway” with the Mother’s Act. She informed readers that “more than 800,000 women will develop a diagnosable postpartum mood disorder this year! And this number doesn’t include the 7.5% of women who will develop major depression during pregnancy.”

At the end of the article, Ms Bergeson provided a link and urged people to take “30 seconds” to send a letter to their Senators.

The 2006 Annual Report of DBSA shows AstraZeneca gave the group more than $500,000 in 2006. Companies that donated between $150,000 and $499,000 include Abbott, Bristol-Myers and Wyeth. Forest Labs, Glaxo, Janssen, Pfizer, and Shire Pharmaceuticals each gave between $10,000 and $149,000. Lilly is listed in the section titled, “Matching Gift Companies,” in the report.

Battle lines drawn

A number of influential advocacy groups have come out against the Act including the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology; Alliance for Human Research Protection; International Coalition For Drug Awareness; Law Project for Psychiatric Rights, Mindfreedom International, AbleChild, and the National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy.

The website, UniteForLife.org is run by Amy Philo, the Texas mother at the forefront of the “Unite for Life” campaign against the Act. Amy’s story provides a poster perfect example of what will happen to hundreds of thousands of women all over the county if the bill is passed.

Amy was labeled mentally ill and told she needed to be on drugs by a nurse making a home visit simply because she got very upset after watching her first-born infant almost choke to death a few days after he was born.

When she followed the nurse’s advice and went to the doctor, the Ob-Gyn would not even take two minutes to listen to Amy talk about what had happened or allow her to explain why she was experiencing such over-whelming fear and anxiety.

Instead of viewing this young mother’s reaction to the near-death of her infant as a normal response, the doctor told her she had a panic attack and sent her home with samples packets of the antidepressant, Zoloft, to prevent postpartum depression, apparently expecting her to get over her traumatic experience by taking a pill.

There were no warning labels on the samples and the doctor did not alert Amy to any of the potential side effects. “He told me Zoloft was perfectly safe for me and the baby and it would make my baby happy too,” she recalls.

Within three days, the Zoloft pushed Amy into a state where she started having thoughts of first killing her baby and later of killing her husband, her mother, herself and even her pets. When Amy confessed to having these thoughts, instead of recognizing the side effects of Zoloft and stopping the drug, the medical professionals upped the dose, locked her up in a mental ward away from her baby, and tried to add Zyprexa, to the mix.

They never told Amy why they wanted her to take Zyprexa, but the sheet they gave her said it was for schizophrenia, she recalls. Amy refused to take it because she wanted to nurse and was afraid the drug would harm the baby.

She finally lied her way out of the hospital by claiming she no longer had the bizarre thoughts because she wanted to be with her baby and family. But in reality, Amy battled the obsession with suicide and homicide for months waiting for Zoloft to work.

“The constant ideas of homicide were followed by thoughts of suicide to protect my son from me,” she says. “I never had thoughts like this in my life before I took Zoloft.”

They also tried to get Amy to take the sleeping pill, Ambien, the anti-anxiety drug, Klonopin, and Celexa, another antidepressant, even though she was nursing. “I always just said no to those,” Amy says.

The Ob-Gyn told Amy that she might have to remain on Zoloft for life and without the drug she was not in control enough to have more children. The pediatrician told her, “what’s really scary is that PPD seems to get worse each time and you have a 90% chance of getting it after your next baby,” she recalls.

She finally quit taking the Zoloft against medical advice and the obsessive thoughts of homicide and suicide stopped and never returned. Amy and her husband have since had a second child with no problem whatsoever without the Zoloft.

She recently obtained copies of her medical records, which show she was labeled with obsessive-compulsive disorder and major depression. Those stigmatizing labels will remain in her records forever with no acknowledgment that Zoloft caused the ordeal.

“Antidepressant-induced mania commonly results in a false diagnosis of a new disorder leading to stigmatization and a possible lifetime of unnecessary, harmful treatment with drugs,” says Dr Peter Breggin, author of the new book, “Medication Madness,” and the man often referred to as the “conscience of psychiatry.”

Drug companies have a big financial incentive to promote these drugs. According to DrugStore.com, a 30-day supply of 20 mg Zyprexa costs $725.93. A 30-day supply of 100 mg Zoloft is $104.84. Klonopin costs $65.93 for 30-days of 2 mg tablets. The price of a 30-day supply of 10 mg Ambien is $145.99, and 20 mg Celexa costs $96.99 for 30-days. Amy’s two-day stay in the mental ward cost her family’s insurance company about $8,000 and an $800 co-payment for Amy and her husband.

The assertion that all these sick women are going without treatment is absurd. More prescriptions are written for psychiatric drugs every year in this country than for antibiotics or diabetes medications. On June 30, 2008, CNN Money reported that, for the “sixth year in a row,” antidepressants were the number one class of drugs prescribed in the US in 2007. CNN cited a report by the pharmacy benefit manager, Medco Health Solutions, that said 16% of women ages 20-44 take antidepressants.

In 2007, the branded atypical antipsychotics generated $15.9 billion in manufacturer sales in the seven major global markets, with $12.3 billion of those sales in the US, according to an April 2008 report by Sandra Chow on the Decision Resources website.

Thousands of infants harmed

In a September 18, 2008 letter to members of Congress urging them to vote against the Mother’s Act, Unite For Life reported that the estimated number of antidepressant-caused infant deaths and injuries over the past four years, based on data from the FDA’s MedWatch, were: 4,360 babies born with serious or life-threatening birth defects; 4,160 babies born with potentially fatal heart defects or heart disease; 2,900 spontaneous abortions; and 3,000 premature births.

The so-called experts supporting the Mother’s Act constantly minimize the risks. However, a study titled, “Acute Neonatal Effects of Cocaine Exposure During Pregnancy,” in the September 2005 Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine describes adverse effects for cocaine exposed babies eerily similar to those in babies born to mothers taking antidepressants:

 

“Several central and autonomic nervous system findings, which included hypertonia, jitteriness or tremors, high-pitched cry, difficulty arousing, irritability, excessive suck, and hyperalertness, were noted more frequently on the initial physical examination in the cocaine-exposed cohort. During the hospitalization, the diagnoses of seizures and autonomic instability were more frequently noted in cocaine-exposed infants.”

The warnings and precautions section on current labeling for SSRIs and SNRIs contains the following statement:

 

Neonates exposed “late in the third trimester have developed complications requiring prolonged hospitalization, respiratory support, and tube feeding. … Reported clinical findings have included respiratory distress, cyanosis, apnea, seizures, temperature instability, feeding difficulty, vomiting, hypoglycemia, hypotonia, hypertonia, hyperreflexia, tremor, jitteriness, irritability, and constant crying. These features are consistent with either a direct toxic effect of SSRIs and SNRIs or, possibly, a drug discontinuation syndrome.”

Besides the agony endured by these infants and their families, the additional medical costs are enormous. In 2005, commercial insurers paid an average of $4,247 per day for babies in neonatal intensive care, according to Thomson Healthcare. Direct health care costs for a premature baby average $41,610 or 15 times higher than the $2,830 for a healthy, full-term delivery, a March of Dimes May 2007 report on Preterm Birth estimates.

Advocates of the Mother’s Act claim mental illness poses a greater risk to the mother than drug use to fetus. “The problem with this claim is that there is no consideration for the immense stress a mother has to endure when her baby is sick due to this drug use,” says Kate Gillespie, an attorney who handles birth defect litigation at the Los Angeles based Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman law firm.

“Not to mention the far greater stress that is created by having to constantly deal with life and death health issues, like severe heart defects and respiratory problems, such as persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn, caused by SSRI medication,” she notes.

Baum Hedlund is currently representing over 200 families whose babies were born with birth defects ranging from congenital heart defects to PPHN after the mothers used SSRIs.

 

*************Evelyn Pringle
epringle05@yahoo.com

(Evelyn Pringle is a columnist for Scoop Independent News and an investigative journalist focused on exposing corruption in government and corporate America)

(Written as part of the SSRI Litigation Round-Up, Sponsored by Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman’s Pharmaceutical Litigation Department www.baumhedlundlaw.com)

Filed under: Amy Philo, antidepressants, antipsychotics, Baum Hedlund, big brother, Birth Defects, choking, Congress, involuntary hospitalization, Isaac Philo, mothers act, ,

Amy Philo’s Story in Organic Lifestyle Magazine

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Amy Philo Tells OLM Her Story

Filed under: Amy Philo, antidepressants, Barack Obama, big brother, Birth Defects, child endangerment, choking, Congress, experimentation, forced 'treatment', involuntary hospitalization, Isaac Philo, Melanie Stokes, mothers act, Pregnancy, vomiting, Zoloft, , , , , ,

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