The Bitter Pill

The Official Blog of UNITE – uniteforlife.org

Fish & Richardson, US DOJ Settle Medicaid Fraud and Abuse of Children Case Against Pennsylvania Psych Facility

From Vince Boehm:

Stefan Kruszewski is a Harrisburg, PA psychiatrist and a personal hero who was hired by the Bureau of Program Integrity in the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare.

He was fired in 2003 after he uncovered widespread abuse and fraud in the bureau. His efforts to clarify the causes of death in four children and one adult in the state’s care were blocked when he was denied postmortem or coroner’s reports and hospital records.

Some of the patients were taking as many as five antipsychotic medications at the same time-something Dr Kruszewski says is “hard to justify.” When he warned that off-label use of the drugs was potentially harmful to patients and could expose the state to liability he was told that “it’s none of your business”.

Kruszewski says, “I was terminated because I did my job. It turns out that drug companies and politicians were influencing the drugs prescribed for patients.”

Dr. Kruszewski sued for-profit Youth and Family Centered Services and its subsidiary Southwood Psychiatric Hospital (YFCS) in Pennsylvania for Medicaid fraud and abuse of children at its residential
treatment facility.

This suit was settled yesterday.

Vince
For immediate release:

Fish & Richardson and the U.S. Department of Justice Settle Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Case at Southwood Psychiatric Hospital in Pennsylvania

April 23, 2009 –

PROSPERITY, PA — (Marketwire) — 04/23/09 — Fish & Richardson announced today that it, along with the U.S. Department of Justice, settled a lawsuit that had alleged substantial Medicaid fraud and the abuse of children at for-profit residential treatment facilities operated by Youth and Family Centered Services and its subsidiary Southwood Psychiatric Hospital (YFCS) in Pennsylvania. Fish represented Dr. Stefan P. Kruszewski, a board certified psychiatrist who had discovered and exposed fraud and abuse, but was then fired from his position as a medical consultant for the Bureau of Program Integrity in Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Welfare. The United States government intervened to seek a resolution with regard to certain activities occurring in 2005. Under the settlement, YFCS, in addition to agreeing to pay a $150,000 fine to reimburse federal Medicaid funds, has agreed to implement comprehensive new treatment standards, an extensive compliance program, as well as increased government oversight of their programs. This settlement is the first resolution by the United States of a failure of care case involving Pennsylvania psychiatric residential treatment facilities.

YFCS runs three residential facilities in Pennsylvania for children aged 6 to 18 who have been deemed to require psychiatric care by the state. The government intervened in Dr. Kruszewski’s case to address a wide variety of serious quality of care concerns at these facilities, including woefully inadequate staffing and use of physical restraints which posed significant risks to the health and safety of the children housed in the YFCS facilities. As a result, YFCS allegedly submitted Medicaid reimbursement requests for inadequate or worthless treatment.

“This was a case of the exploitation of children for profit,” said Thomas Halkowski, a principal of Fish & Richardson in the firm’s Wilmington office, who, along with Thomas Melsheimer, a principal in Fish’s Dallas office, represented Dr. Kruszewski in the case. “Dr. Kruszewski should be commended for having the courage to come forward to protect this vulnerable group from further mistreatment. Because of his actions, we now have an agreement that provides a new standard of care to help safeguard the well being of those children in Pennsylvania who are housed in YFCS’s facilities. This agreement should also be a warning shot across the bow of other residential treatment facilities in Pennsylvania of the level of care they should be administering to Pennsylvania’s children.”

Because the Medicaid payments were administered through a joint federal/state Medicaid program, the U.S. government intervened in the case and became a party to the lawsuit and settlement agreement. The federal government has reserved the right to bring criminal charges and to exclude YFCS from Medicaid reimbursement programs in the future.

About the Attorneys

Thomas L. Halkowski is a Principal in the Wilmington, Delaware office of Fish & Richardson, where he focuses his practice on intellectual property and other complex litigation, including False Claims Act litigation. He was previously a Senior Trial Attorney for the United States Department of Justice. Tom Melsheimer is a Principal in and Managing Principal of Fish & Richardson’s Dallas office. His trial practice includes complex civil and criminal litigation in state and federal courts, emphasizing intellectual property, antitrust, and False Claims Act litigation. Mr. Melsheimer was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas from 1990 to 1993.

About Fish & Richardson

Fish & Richardson is a leading global law firm unlike any other law firm in the world. With 450 lawyers practicing intellectual property, litigation, and corporate law, Fish has redefined IP law for a market that values IP as a fundamental business asset. Fish was recently named one of the leading IP law firms in the U.S. by Managing Intellectual Property magazine (MIP, February 2009). The firm handles more patent litigation than any other law firm, both in federal district courts (IP Law360, January 2009) and the International Trade Commission (IP Law & Business, June 2008); and is the No. 1 patent firm for the world’s most innovative companies (IP Law & Business, November 2008).

Contact:
Amy Blumenthal
Blumenthal & Associates
(617) 879-1511

Filed under: forced 'treatment', foster care, Fraud, profit, , , , , , , ,

Julie Edgington Responds to Karen Kleiman

Here is my comment to Mothers act scooped again. I doubt if she will post it.

My name is Julie Edgington. My son Manie was born with a rare heart defect because I took Paxil during pregnancy. I am the creator of www.bigpharmavictim.blogspot.com

Your post and your site upset me greatly. I am shocked you would use a blog, which is supposed to help women with PPD, to voice your own personal opinion. You are clearly the one who is misinformed. How dare you be a big pharma rep and act as if you want to help women with PPD. By reading some of the stuff on your site I know who and what you really are. The way you describe PPD in your blog it sounds like you got it right out of an ad for an SSRI.  Way to use your years and years of training to help push pills.

If you cared at all for the women why would you stick up for the Mothers Act? Have you read it? Or are you just going by what is in the name and because the name sounds good it must be good. OR you have read it and thought if women have to be screened for PPD then that would mean more clients for you and for your book sales. Hmmmmm that is a thought now isn’t it.

I could talk all day but you probably will not listen because you were taught not to by big pharma. Why am I really mad about your post… I am mad because I have spent 2 years telling Manie’s Story just so people like you who use a false sense of compassion to get women to take more drugs. These drugs, which are no better then a placebo, to deal with the sadness you are telling them they have. Oh yeah lets not forget your added benefit of the extra book sales!

I tell Manie’s Story because big pharma is still pushing SSRIs on women of childbearing years knowing what could happen to their babies. Someone has to show people what the risk looks like. You may have heard this before “If the benefits out weigh the risk” There are no benefits to these drugs. They are quick to tell women how they are feeling and it is wrong to feel that way.

They want to put labels on these emotions so they can tell you how to treat it with their pills. Their quick fix in a bottle does nothing but make it worse and not just ruin one life, it ruins the lives of everyone around you. Ask Manie if the benefits out weighed the risk.

If it was your body and your unborn baby would you want someone telling you you HAVE to take something to feel better?

Post or don’t post this comment on your blog. I am sure you won’t. Like many others who want to act like they know everything you wouldn’t want to post something which would make people think for a second about what is really going on.

Julie

Filed under: antidepressants, Birth Defects, Julie Edgington, Manie, mothers act, PPD, Pregnancy, profit, ,

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,

URGENT: Contact The Senate Now To Stop The MOTHERS Act

http://www.uniteforlife.org/SayNoToTheMothersAct.pdf

http://www.uniteforlife.org/senatecontacts.pdf

URGENT: SENATOR HARRY REID IS ONCE AGAIN TRYING TO PASS A PACKAGE OF BILLS INCLUDING THE MOTHERS ACT.

Information:  Several weeks ago, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid packaged a number of bills together and tried to get the bills passed as one package (The “Coburn” Omnibus Bill).  While the package of bills included some legislation that was positive, it also included The MOTHERS Act. As a mother who was prescribed antidepressants days after giving birth (because my three-day-old son required emergency medical treatment for a life-threatening choking incident and I was very upset by the incident, medical professionals, including my OBGYN, chose to consider my worry about my newborn Postpartum Anxiety — instead of a normal reaction of any new mother concerned about her son), and who was subsequently forced to continue these drugs while involuntarily held in a psychiatric ward, I understand the implications of this screening and “treatment” legislation better than any of its advocates. On the drugs I became suicidal and had thoughts of extreme violence I had never before experienced in my life. 

Please take a moment to do the following to protect mothers who will not be as fortunate as I was in realizing it was the drugs making me psychotic. You can see a video of my son below with the facts about antidepressants. 

Sincerely,

Amy Philo

Founder, UNITE http://www.uniteforlife.org

Please take a moment to:

1)       Watch this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUiszFyIby4

2)       Print off the message below or click here to print a PDF of the letter.

3)       Sign your name and address to the letter.

4)       Look up your Senators’ fax numbers by clicking here.

5)       FAX YOUR SENATORS IMMEDIATELY. 

DON’T LET THE 110th CONGRESS BE RESPONSIBLE FOR INCREASING ANTIDEPRESSANT-RELATED BIRTH DEFECTS AND INFANT DEATHS. DO NOT PASS THE MOTHERS ACT AS PART OF AN OMNIBUS PACAKGE.

The MOTHERS Act is a highly controversial bill, considering the growing public awareness that antidepressants have serious and even deadly side effects. This bill, if passed, will assuredly increase the number of pregnant women and new mothers being put on antidepressant drugs. There are already too many pregnant women being put on antidepressants evidenced by the FDA’s adverse reaction reports (MedWatch) listed below. This bill will assuredly increase the number of pregnant women and new mothers being prescribed antidepressants documented by the U.S. FDA to cause suicidal ideation, mania, worsening depression and birth defects. FDA’s MedWatch System (Adverse Drug Reactions) Already Has Overwhelming Evidence of Spontaneous Abortions, Premature Babies and Birth Defects from SSRI Antidepressants:

Doctors, other health care providers, pharmacists, lawyers and consumers filed the following adverse drug reaction reports with the FDA’s MedWatch system during 2004-2007 concerning pregnant women taking antidepressants (the most common and recommended treatment for women diagnosed with postpartum depression). In all the reports below, antidepressants were cited as the primary suspected drug to have caused the adverse reaction in pregnant women:

  • 145 spontaneous abortions
  • 150 premature babies
  • 208 babies born with heart disease
  • 218 babies born with defects

The FDA states that only 1-10% of side effects are even reported to their MedWatch database. Using a median range of 5% being reported, the actual number of pregnant women experiencing adverse reactions to antidepressant drugs is estimated as follows:

  • 2,900 spontaneous abortions
  • 3,000 premature births
  • 4,160 babies born with heart disease
  • 4,360 babies born with birth defects

The “Melanie Blocker-Stokes Postpartum Depression Research and Care Act,” also known as “The MOTHERS Act” was named after Melanie Stokes, a new mother who was subjected to a cocktail of psychiatric drugs and electroshock after being diagnosed with post-partum depression. It was only after she had been administered drugs documented by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to cause suicidal ideation that she committed suicideThere is too much controversy over antidepressants to pass any legislation that could increase the administration of these drugs to pregnant women and new mothers. Do not allow the pharmaceutical interests to put new mothers and their unborn children at risk. Do not pass the MOTHERS Act.

 

Signed
________________________________  

(Printed Name)

________________________________

Address & Phone Number

________________________________                                                                                                                    

________________________________

________________________________
(e-mail address)

###

 

Sincerely,

Amy Philo
214-705-0169 home
817-793-8028 cell

 

URGENT! Sign the petition against the MOTHERS Act at http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/stop-the-dangerous-and-invasive-mothers-act
Visit www.uniteforlife.org

Links: http://uniteforlife.org/SayNoToTheMothersAct.pdf 

http://uniteforlife.org/senatecontacts.pdf

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUiszFyIby4&feature=user

Filed under: "prevention", antidepressants, child endangerment, Congress, dead babies, eugenics, experimentation, FDA, forced 'treatment', involuntary hospitalization, Isaac Philo, Julie Edgington, lawsuits, Manie, Melanie Stokes, MGH, mothers act, Paxil in pregnancy, PPD, Pregnancy, profit, Reid, shootings, The Future of The United States, toxicity deaths, Wellbutrin, Zoloft

Drug Companies – The New Sin Stocks

A personal note: several years ago when I told a close personal acquaintance about these drugs and what they had done to me, as well as the data on their dangers for others, I got nothing but resistance. After a while the person actually decided to tell me that owning stock in drug companies was one of their motivations for not caring. This was around the same time as the “flu vaccine shortage” and the threat of avian flu started to emerge… which was used by Congress to justify passing the “Pandemic Immunity” legislation for vaccine and other drug makers. How many more people have to die? – Amy

http://www.bestsyndication.com/?q=node/16046
Drug Companies – The New Sin Stocks

Submitted by John Carey on August 22, 2008 – 12:55am. 

It is part of the American dream to put a dollar into a company stock today, and get lots of dollars back when you sell. The only modifier to this dream by some is an aversion towards “sin” stocks – avoiding companies that make alcohol, cigarettes, pornography, guns or provide gambling.

But when I suggest that you pitch drug-companies into this same sin-bucket you probably think I’m joking. But I’ll let you in on my reasoning, which includes numerous lawsuits against the companies, lying by the company executives to market their drugs under false pretenses for profit’s sake, and drugs pushed on the public which knowingly harm more people with the side-effects than they ever help.

Side Effects

All drugs have side-effects! Taken for a short time to cure something worse, it is a beneficial exchange. But drug companies can’t make the huge profit for an antibiotic you take for two weeks as they can for a “mental-health” pill you take every day for the rest of your life! 

With the first group of antipsychotics marketed, drug companies freed many people from the state hospitals. But one debilitating side-effect of these drugs (like Thorazine, Haldol and Prolixin) was that they caused involuntary, repetitive, and purposeless movements. In the 1990s, newer drugs called atypical drugs (like Clozaril, Zyprexa, Seroquel, Geodon and Risperdal) largely replaced the older meds and were marketed (at eight to twenty times the cost of the prior drugs) as causing fewer involuntary movements, but they have their own side-effects such as weight gain,diabetes and early death. 

• Tens of thousands of people sued Eli Lilly and AstraZeneca, saying that their drugs, Zyprexa and Seroquel, gave them diabetes and elevatedblood sugar levels. Eli Lilly reports having paid $1.2 billion to settle over 30,000 lawsuits. 

• In 2008, Alaska sued Eli Lilly for the medical costs of Medicaid patients who developed diabetes while taking Zyprexa. One of Eli Lilly’s top executives sent an email encouraging Lilly to promote Zyprexa for a use not approved by federal drug regulators (known as “off label”) and while doctors can prescribe a drug “off label”, it is against federal law for a drug company to encourage this practice. Alaska settled with Lilly for $15 million and now other states are going after this legalized drug pusher. (Global sales of Zyprexa approached $4.8 BILLION in 2007.) Lilly also faces 1,200 cases as well as a federal probe over its marketing tactics. 

• Janssen’s Risperdal got FDA approval to expand the use of the drug to address adolescent schizophrenia, the irritability of autism in kids and for bipolar disorder. In 2006, it was the most heavily prescribed psychiatric drug in New York’s Medicaid kids program, given to 17,393 children. It is also blamed in lawsuits nationwide for side-effects including diabetes caused by weight gain, Parkinson’s-like movement disorders andgynecomastia, in which males grow breasts which have to be surgically removed. 

• The pharmaceutical companies have made astronomical profits since promoting the atypicals to treat mental disorders. Since the drug companies couldn’t claim that the atypicals were better than the old drugs, they paid doctors to say so. This brought about a widespread false belief that the newer medications were safer and worth the additional billions of dollars in taxpayer money to make these the states’ preferred drugs of choice. Since then, the life expectancy of people treated in community mental health centers has plunged to a point twenty-five years LESS than the average due to a higher incidence of cardiovascular disease as a side-effect of these drugs. (For comparison sake, being homeless cuts ten years off your life expectancy.) Chuck Areford said in a 2008 article titled “Antipsychotic Drugs are Doing Harm” that this “… must be ranked as one of the worst public health disasters in U.S. history.” 

Drugs Marketed Under False Pretenses
If you are the CEO of a company, a large part of your multi-million dollar compensation is tied to how well the stock does during your tenure. This has led the companies to promote their drugs much like the rest of Madison Avenue promotes cars or the latest perfume. However, while the brand of car you drive doesn’t adversely affect your health, which psych drug you take to hide your problems does. 

• The entire basis for the use of psychotropic drugs is a THEORY, not a fact! The media presents it as a fact that depression is caused by achemical imbalance. However, even the psychiatric bible clearly states that the cause of depression and anxiety is unknown. Jeffrey Lacasse, a doctoral student co-authoring a study on this is quoted as saying, “… there are few scientists who will rise to its defense, and some prominent psychiatrists publicly acknowledge that the serotonin hypothesis is more metaphor than fact.” 

• In 2006 4-year-old Rebecca Riley died of an overdose of psychiatric drugs that had never been approved or tested for children. She had been taking drugs for ADD and bipolar since she was two years old and died with four prescription drugs in her system. Her heart and lungs were damaged due to prolonged abuse of the prescription drugs. 

• Cheyenne Delp, a five year old, died in 2004 while on five prescription medications. One of the anti-depressants required that she undergo an EKG to determine if her heart was healthy enough for her to take it. The child psychiatrist, Dr. Saran Mudumbi, testified that Cheyenne was out of control and that she suffered from paranoia, depression and anxiety. 

• One of the main psychiatrists pushing treatment of children with psychatric drugs is Dr. Biederman who has financial ties with fifteen drug companies and serves as a paid speaker or adviser to half of them, including Eli Lilly & Co. (Zyprexa) and Janssen Pharmaceuticals (Risperdal). 

• A drug is approved by the FDA for narrow uses, but gets tried off-label on hard-to-treat conditions and the drug company’s sales force stokes up this usage until the research catches up years later that shows the initial enthusiasm was unfounded. With the limited schizophrenic and bipolar market for the atypicals, the drug companies marketed them as safer than their predecessors They came to be tried beyond the approved uses for nursing-home residents, prisoners, and children younger than six years old. Total U.S. sales for this class of drugs reached $13 billion in 2007, doubling the sales just five years earlier. 

• Research by three universities says long-term use of anti-psychotics offers “no long-term benefit for most patients.” And while anti-psychotic medication is not licensed to treat dementia it is being given to 100,000 elderly patients in England to keep them manageable! Studies show that these drugs increase the risk of strokes and other harmful side effects. One study showed that after 3½ years, 60% of the Alzheimer’s patients given a placebo were still alive while only 28% of the group given the anti-psychotic medication were. 

• While an estimated 30-60% of U.S. nursing home patients are placed on antipsychotics, at the Bronx’s Providence Rest nursing home, the staff give massages to the patients. Utilizing this therapy, the nursing home has cut its use of antipsychotics to 2-3%, the lowest rate of any nursing home in New York! 

• The drug companies funded the committees which set up the state plans for defining which drugs to use for which treatments. Drug company profits then soared because the atypicals were listed as the first three choices over the older generic drugs. The states’ medical costs for patient care also soared! Now that the links to the drug company funding and the terrible side-effects have become known, nine states have sued Eli Lilly, four sued Janssen, and two sued AstraZeneca. Dozens of more states have teamed in a joint investigation, seeking billions of dollars in restitution for money they say they overpaid for atypicals through Medicaid. 

• In Minnesota alone, since 2002, drug companies have given $88 million in gifts, grants and fees to Minnesota doctors and caregivers. Several states, including Pennsylvania, are suing some drug makers for promoting their drugs beyond approved uses and commissioning “ghost-written” articles to increase sales

• Drug companies fund and support front groups like NAMI and CHADD and programs such as TeenScreen, in order to create a demand for their products covertly. These groups may not promote drugs directly but rather they promote disorders, legitimizing mental illnesses that have never been validated as true medical diseases. Drug companies cannot make these claims directly but accomplish the same goal through these other groups and programs. TeenScreen, an invention of psychiatrist (with drug company connections) David Shaffer, is a screening program asking children as young as 9-years-old questions like, “Have you often felt very nervous when you’ve had to do things in front of people?” and “Are you Hispanic or Latino?” Based on their answers, TeenScreen refers them to mental health “professionals“, who inevitably decide that these children have symptoms defined as “mental disorders”, writing prescriptions for antidepressants and other psychotropic drugs for children with no objective medical testing. TeenScreen’s staff and advisory board are loaded with ties to Big Pharma. See:http://www.teenscreentruth.com/teenscreen_advisory_board.htm. TeenScreen’s Director, Laurie Flynn was formerly at the helm of NAMI, which received over 11 million dollars in drug company funding from ’96 to ’99: Janssen ($2.08 million), Novartis ($1.87 million), Pfizer ($1.3 million),Abbott Laboratories ($1.24 million), Wyeth-Ayerst Pharmaceuticals ($658,000), Bristol-Myers Squibb ($613,505) and Eli Lilly $2.87 million.

• In 2008 researchers using the Freedom of Information Act, dug out information on Prozac that shows it is no more effective than a placebo! The study included clinical trials that Eli Lilly chose not to publish when they studied the drug. The data showed that patients had improved – but those on the placebo improved just as much! (The only exception was in the most severely depressed patients.) 40 million people take this drug, earning tens of billions of dollars for Eli Lilly. 

Is it the same sin to give capital to Playboy as it is to molest a woman? That is a question that only you can decide (with perhaps help from your pastor), but it doesn’t take much of a leap to imagine someone viewing porn and then going out and committing rape. You aren’t on the corner selling crack but you are just as guilty if you gave the crack dealer $10,000 to finance his supply. 

Who knows what potentials for bad hearts, mis-wired brains and early deaths these drug companies have caused our society in their profit-search for a daily-pill-solution to what ails us? If putting money ahead of people’s lives and preying on those needing real help doesn’t make you a sin company, I don’t know what does. 

So whether you now agree that pharmaceutical company stocks belong in the sin-stock category, or you simply believe that there are just too many liabilities for these companies to be good investments, either reason is enough to remove them from your portfolio forever.

AUTHOR BIO:
John Carey has degrees in Chemical Engineering and Computer Science from Texas A&M University, and has worked for a major oil company for over 24 years. As a humanitarian endeavor, he has researched extensively on the psychiatric drugging of children.

Neither the author of this article nor his family will profit financially in any manner from drug stocks losing value.

Filed under: antidepressants, antipsychotics, lawsuits, profit

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