URGENT – PLEASE CALL YOUR SENATOR TODAY OR TOMORROW!!
You can find your Senators’ phone numbers here:
Your Rep’s number can be found here:
A document for you to print and fax is here:
An older PDF of Senate Fax numbers and phone numbers is here (if your Senators’ numbers are out of date you can also look them up online – I think this may just be missing Al Franken and Scott Brown):
Here are a few of the Reps’ fax numbers, you can also look yours up on your Representative’s website or on Congress.org. This list may be a bit outdated. http://www.box.net/shared/b3hhqymcvm
Menendez has his vultures asking people to call to support appropriations / funding for programs which will be for “delivery of essential services” in “the postpartum depression initiative” a.k.a. The MOTHERS Act. The relevant portions of the Health Care Reform bill which pertain to The MOTHERS Act are: Section 2952 of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, plus screening for pregnant and new moms via the Mikulski Amendment for Women’s Health (same bill).
The “public service” awareness campaign and “research” are supposedly already going to be automatically budgeted, according to PSI’s Susan Stone. But as you know, the additional grants to entities will be essentially unchecked and unmonitored funds to God-knows-who (probably the same people who are already under investigation).
So what we need is for everyone to call (and fax if possible) your Senators and your Rep. and ask them not to support any appropriations for The MOTHERS Act – not to fund something that has absolutely no oversight and no checks and balances as to which entities will receive funding and what those programs will be. Here are the talking points.
# The bill cites various “entities” that will be eligible for grants and for participating in research and/or development of screening methods and/or treatments and delivery. Who or what are these “entities?” Are they pharmaceutically funded? Do they have conflicts of interest? There are ongoing investigations of various “non-profit” organizations who heavily promote or conduct screening. For example, Screening for Mental Health, Inc., and its sub-organization Signs of Suicide, who heavily promote and conduct mental health screening, received $4,985,925 from pharmaceutical companies prior to 2008. The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) receives 56% of its funding from pharmaceutical companies. Ten leading psychiatric researchers (many from prominent universities) have been exposed in the last year for failing to disclose millions of dollars in pharmaceutical payments — yet this bill contains no provisions for full disclosure of conflicts of interest for any “entity” receiving federal taxpayer funded grants.
# Given that the Senate Finance Committee recently exposed the financial conflicts of interest of the top ten psychiatric researchers in the U.S., it is no small issue that The MOTHERS Act provides no research guidelines for public disclosure. See Wall Street Journal article on Emory psychiatrist considered “leading expert” on use of antidepressants in pregnant women who was being funded tens of thousands of dollars by Pharma while doing federal research about the use of antidepressant drugs on pregnant women; http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124460466072501139.html and http://www.fiercepharma.com/story/second-emory-doc-fesses-conflicts/2009-06-10
# Under The MOTHERS Act’s current language, research will be conducted without peer review — no checks and balances, no one to validate the integrity of the research which then will be used to determine a woman’s mental health status.
# Simultaneously, without allowing any checks and balances whatsoever on the research, it promotes a national “public education” campaign to include Public Service Announcements and television and radio advertisements, essentially giving Pharma an opportunity for free, federally-funded advertising.
So please call your two Senators and your Representative for your district by tomorrow, June 22!