Yes, We Can Pretend We Did It All On Our Own (The MOTHERS Act – How at least $13 to $16.4 million in pHARMa dollars buys a bill)

pHARMa: Putting a price on the lives of American moms and babies

Oh, what did you see, my blue eyed son?
And what did you see, my darling young one?
I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it
I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it
I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin’
I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin’
I saw a white ladder all covered with water
I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken
I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children
And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, and it’s a hard
It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.

– Bob Dylan

Two days ago, The MOTHERS Act and several other dangerous psych programs passed the house after being stuck in the 2400 page Senate Health Care Bill. Today, President Obama, a former co-sponsor of The MOTHERS Act in the Senate, signed the bill into law.

Two years and two months ago Dr. Ann Blake Tracy, Camille Milke and I, as heads of CHAADA, UNITE, COPES and ICFDA collaborated on a press release to be sent to the public, media and Congress regarding our opposition to The MOTHERS Act. We created a petition and within days we had hundreds of signatures from around the country. I spent the next two months calling people all day and sending emails, writing press releases and trying to update my website with the numerous radio shows where we would spread the word about the fight to save America’s mothers from an invasive government screening program.

Continue reading “Yes, We Can Pretend We Did It All On Our Own (The MOTHERS Act – How at least $13 to $16.4 million in pHARMa dollars buys a bill)”

“Fresh Guidance for Pregnant Women on Antidepressants, Indeed.”

Check out Psychiatrist Dr. Doug Bremner’s comments on the fiasco from last Fall in which the ACOG and APA position paper on antidepressants and pregnancy was used to promote psychotropic drugs to pregnant women.

“In August of 2009 ABC News did a story on antidepressant use in pregnant women, with one of the sections entitled “Fresh Guidance on Antidepressant Use in Women”. Fresh guidance, indeed. The only thing fresh about it was that a number of the academic psychiatrists who had been receiving large sums of money to serve on various “Women’s Health” consulting boards related to mental health paid for by the pharmaceutical industry, who were also being paid to fan out across the country and give lectures designed to convince psychiatrists to give SSRIs to pregnant and lactating women, were being quoted in the article as stating that antidepressants were safe to give in pregnant and lactating women.”

Read more… go here.

ABC Story on ACOG Release Refers Readers to and CHAADA

Following the story this weekend on which quoted me on the dangers of antidepressants for babies, I was contacted by a  producer with ABC.

I later sent this (along with some other extensive information / research) point / counterpoint analysis to her. I am not sure if they are going to use any of it. I do not have time at the moment to publish all the pictures or attached studies but I will update the article with the photos etc. as soon as I can. Nor do I have time to publish all the other resarch I did. Just wanted everyone to be aware of how the media story quoted people who twisted things, and how the media is currently under the impression that the medical community believes things like “antidepressants are safe for pregnant women” which is something I discussed with an ABC producer on the phone.

OK seriously now I am getting off the blog and going back to the things I have to get done today!

Point / Counterpoint On ABC Article Versus What the ACOG Release Actually Says:

The main thing missing from the ACOG report is any discussion of the questionable efficacy of antidepressants. No antidepressant is FDA approved for pregnancy, and this report ignores last year’s revelations from A report by Dr. Erick Turner in the NEJM (Jan. 17 2008), that the studies which were negative on antidepressant efficacy went largely unpublished, or were published in a way to convey a positive outcome even though the FDA considered the studies negative or questionable. This NEJM report showed that antidepressants may be far less effective than once thought. Previously it seemed as if 94% of trials on antidepressants were positive, but when the unpublished studies were included, that number fell to 51%. 31% of all studies went unpublished.

Another study in PLOS medicine (Feb. 2008) by Irving Kirsch et al found that when the unpublished data from those studies was included, the benefit of antidepressants fell below the accepted criteria for clinical significance. It states that there is only a modest benefit over placebo for antidepressants. The report showed that in severely depressed patients, the very small difference between placebo and antidepressants was attributed to a decreased response to placebo rather than an increased response to antidepressants.

This is confirmation of what Peter Breggin has written in his books, that antidepressants are barely better than placebo if at all, in trials. In fact, they could be worse than placebo if you investigate and consider all the patients who dropped out or were coded as no effect when in fact their depression worsened, or suicides that may have been concealed.

Does everyone in the medical community agree that there are “no risks” to the baby with medications?

The on-call OBGYN mentioned in this story knew about Effexor babies & warned the NICU to get ready when he found out the woman whose baby he was going to deliver had been on Effexor.

The doctor who delivered this baby, Matthew, who died 2 hours after birth, was unaware of the dangers before, but he no longer prescribes antidepressants to pregnant women. In fact, he is helping the parents get in touch with certain other experts in order to investigate antidepressants during pregnancy.

POINT / COUNTERPOINT from ABC article / ACOG Release

“No scientific data” to support fetal abnormalities and death? Selected quote from doctor in ABC article conflicts with ACOG press release on risks to the baby

“But Dr. Ruta Nonacs, a psychiatrist with the Perinatal and Reproductive Psychiatry Clinical Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, said there is no scientific data to support that treating mothers with antidepressants leads to an increased risk of fetal abnormalities or death.”

Clearly Dr. Nonacs has not read FDA warnings on antidepressants and has not seen the MedWatch data showing the  TOTAL REPORTS OF FETAL AND INFANT INJURIES AND DEATHS = 7,083! See attached chart showing 1,057 abortions, miscarriages and other deaths, 511 premature births, 2,730 heart disease cases, and 2,785 other birth defects from FDA’s MedWatch for psychotropic drugs from 200(summary file attached) – (link).

Moreover, Dr. Nonacs must not have read the ACOG press release, which states:

Both depression symptoms and the use of antidepressant medications during pregnancy have been associated with negative consequences for the newborn…some studies have linked fetal malformations, cardiac defects, pulmonary hypertension, and reduced birth weight to antidepressant use during pregnancy.”

“Complications” vs. Fatal Birth Defects

“We’re not in favor of women taking [antidepressants] when they’re pregnant,” said Amy Philo, co-founder of Children and Adults Against Drugging America (CHAADA) and “I don’t know how people can logically believe that feeling sad when you’re pregnant is going to cause [complications].”

The quote I gave to Radha was “feeling depressed or being sad” while pregnant…

Some of the complications I listed off to Radha that were not mentioned, but which are shown in the attached NEJM study as confirmed risks of antidepressants to babies, were omphalocele, craniosynostosis, and anencephaly.

That’s the organs of the gut remaining outside the body in a sac at birth, requiring surgery; the bones in the skull fusing together early requiring cranial surgery; and the lack of a forebrain and sometimes lack of a skull closing over the brain, which is 100% fatal.

(NEJM Study / sample photos of what these devastating & serious / sometimes fatal birth defects actually look like attached.)

The only possible way being depressed could cause complications would be through stress hormones. According to Dr. Ann Blake Tracy, an internal Eli Lilly study (which she documents in her book, Prozac, Panacea or Pandora? Our Serotonin Nightmare) showed that a dose of Prozac doubles cortisol, so antidepressants wouldn’t really help there.

However I find it extremely difficult to believe that depression itself could cause some of these birth defects, which is what I told Radha. How could being depressed cause omphalocele, anencephaly, or craniosynostosis in the baby? Just look up serotonin syndrome and serotonin smooth muscle constriction to understand how artificially elevating serotonin affects the baby’s development. Serotonin excess has also been linked to SIDS / brain abnormalities.

Quote from NEJM article attached: Maternal SSRI use was associated with anencephaly (214 infants, 9 exposed; adjusted odds ratio, 2.4; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1 to 5.1), craniosynostosis (432 infants, 24 exposed; adjusted odds ratio, 2.5; 95% CI, 1.5 to 4.0), and omphalocele (181 infants, 11 exposed; adjusted odds ratio, 2.8; 95% CI,
1.3 to 5.7).”

Again, many doctors disagree with medication- Sevlie’s own OBGYN recommended monitoring instead of meds:

” “I didn’t take [medication] when I was pregnant because I didn’t know there were any options,” said Sevlie, whose obstetrician recommended monitoring when she told him how she felt.”

ABC says fetuses can be affected:

“But taking antidepressants also pose risks since a fetus can be affected by any substance a mother introduces to her body.”

First guidelines?

“Today, the American Psychiatric Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists released a collaborative report that sums up past research and is the first to offer concrete guidelines for treating depression in pregnant women.

Actually, the ACOG press release seems to have the same talking points as most of the existing advice on perinatal depression, and is incredibly formulaic. A quick search of the internet for advice on perinatal depression confirms this. If any OBs ignored this advice before they are not necessarily likely to listen to this new report either.

“In women with a history of severe, recurrent depression, however, or those with suicidal symptoms, refraining from medication is not advised as they may become a danger to themselves and their baby.”

This completely ignores warnings from FDA on antidepressants actually causing suicidal symptoms, psychosis, etc. Where is the consideration that the antidepressants may be exacerbating the severe, recurrent depression? Where are the treatment recommendations for healthy alternatives that rival / surpass antidepressant efficacy without side effects? Psychotherapy is treated as though it does not work for severe depression.

All medical underlying causes are ignored, such as thyroid, hypoglycemia, nutritional deficiencies, anemia, etc. Omega 3 is a great alternative that has been proven effective in studies on bipolar disorder and cannot possibly hurt the mother or baby.

This quote differs from ACOG report, which states:

Women with recurrent depression or who have symptoms despite their medication may benefit from psychotherapy to replace or augment medication. Women with severe depression (with suicide attempts, functional incapacitation, or weight loss) should remain on medication. If a patient refuses medication, alternative treatment and monitoring should be in place, preferably before discontinuation.

NYU Psychiatrist confirms Medical Community Has Not Been On Board With Drugging Pregnant Moms

Dr. Sudeepta Varma, a psychiatrist at the New York University Medical Center stated:
“It might come as a surprise to some that it’s necessary to treat patients [with drugs] when they’re pregnant. I think there are clinicians that shy away from it.”

Once again confirmation that many doctors do not want to treat pregnant patients with psychotropic drugs. Again, his point completely ignores trying other methods before psychotropic drugs, and ignores screening for thyroid, anemia, nutritional problems, etc. He clearly does not put safety first.

Unless you know the exact medical cause of the symptoms there is no such thing as a necessary drug during pregnancy. There is no proof that psychotropic drugs cure anything chemically so they can never be considered essential during pregnancy, unlike antibiotics, insulin, and most other drugs that could be considered necessary for some patients. Even then, there are alternatives that doctors and midwives use for these serious problems in pregnancy, such as probiotics, vitamins (Vitamin C megadoses, garlic, etc.), and diet recommendations.

Untreated depression?

“Though the prenatal risks of taking antidepressants are not fully known, the report stresses the potential negative impact of allowing depression to go untreated as a mitigating factor in the decision to medicate.”

Again, this completely ignores alternative treatments besides drugs.

“Depressed mothers are at increased risk of substance abuse, of poor compliance with prenatal care, and have poorer nutritional habits than mothers who are not depressed.”

So address their nutritional habits and tell them to stop using substances. Giving out prescriptions that have equal or greater harmful effects than alcohol and illegal drugs is not acceptable. Furthermore, the efficacy of antidepressants is extremely questionable at best so who is to say that women on antidepressants will eat better and avoid all substances besides antidepressants?

“You cannot separate the needs of the mother from the needs of her fetus,” said Dr. Lucy Puryear, a reproductive psychiatrist and author of the book Understanding Your Moods When Your Expecting: Emotions, Mental Health, and HappinessBefore, During, and After Pregnancy. “To ignore the pregnant woman’s mental health in order to ‘protect’ her baby causes distress to the pregnant mother and her family.”

Why is protect in quotation marks? Does a baby’s death or birth defect from antidepressants not cause the family and mother distress?

Your ABC article implies that the treatment may not have worked very well for the mother quoted

“And Sevlie pointed out that her experience with untreated depression during pregnancy as well as the eight months of post-partum depression she endured — for which she did complete a course of treatment — led to feeling alienated from her daughter. “I feel like I lost that first year of her life,” Sevlie said. “I don’t remember when her teeth came in or when she sat up… I remember feeling I wasn’t the mom I was supposed to be… I would have liked to know more of my options,” Sevlie said. “Not just medications but outlets for depression and pregnancy support.” “

More research needed on antidepressants – report not conclusively in favor of drugs

“Experts stressed that some facets of the report highlight the need for more research on the risks of both depression and antidepressant treatment. But unified recommendations from both obstetricians psychiatrists should assist in more effective treatment for pregnant women with depression.”

AMA Review: Antidepressants Pose Significant Risk of Serious Harm to Babies

You may have seen headlines this weekend or last week claiming that antidepressants are safe for pregnancy or that the ACOG recommends them for pregnant women. I did a little investigation over the weekend and I found that the AMA conducted a review of all the available research on antidepressants in pregnancy in 2007.

I will post a more extensive update later when I have more time. At the moment I am in a big rush so I am only posting a few points.

While carefully reading the review I noticed two things:

1) The authors did seem a little desperate to let antidepressants off the hook despite repeated findings that they could cause severe harm, making statements like “But this did not control for maternal depression” as though antidepressants would have reduced birth complications and defects otherwise.

2) Despite the fact that the joint council had voted for the AMA to promulgate clinical recommendations based on their findings, the AMA changed their mind midway through the process of researching and writing, and decided to hold off on making clinical recommendations, after the ACOG and APA asked them to wait until they could do something. It seems like the ACOG and APA read the extensive AMA report as a basis for forming their recommendations.

You can see the AMA report here:

Note that numerous people on the ACOG / APA report have conflicts of interest personally or at their university, while media articles covering this have quoted conflicted doctors making statements which contradict what the ACOG / APA report actually says. In addition, many of the “counterpoint” articles cited in the review were conducted by corrupt researchers who either have extensive conflicts of interest / involvement with pHARMa companies, or they are under Senate investigation for nondisclosure while working on federally funded research on pregnant and nursing women. The ACOG and APA themselves have extensive conflicts of interest.

Amery Schultz found some of the conflicts pertaining to the report or media coverage simply by googling “Dr. _____ Conflicts of Interest” or “Dr. _____ disclosure.”

Others have been documented extensively by Evelyn Pringle in her MOTHERS Act series.

Here is the quote from the AMA report that makes it look like the ACOG and APA may have hijacked the AMA’s plan to put forth treatment guidelines on SSRIs / SNRIs in pregnancy.

Resolution 519 (A-06), introduced by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), American Psychiatric Association (APA), and the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, and adopted as amended, asked that our American Medical Association (AMA) work with all appropriate specialty societies to prepare a report summarizing the research on the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) during pregnancy and to promulgate appropriate guidelines concerning the treatment of depression during pregnancy.

During preparation of this report, the Council learned that the APA and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) were collaborating to develop guidance on the use of antidepressants in pregnancy. Therefore, as requested, this report summarizes the research on the use of SSRIs during pregnancy, but defers any action on clinical practice guidelines for the treatment of depression during pregnancy until the APA and ACOG complete their collaborative effort.

Here are some selected excerpts from my press release on Indiana Delahunty’s death.

As reported by Vera Sharav, “In April, 2004, the National Toxicology Program – Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (NTP-CERHR) panel issued a Report after examining all the available published evidence about infants exposed to an antidepressant in utero and / or breast fed by mothers taking an antidepressant.”

Sharav continued, “The NTP-CERHR expert panel found reason for concern:

Late pregnancy exposures were associated with increased incidence of prematurity, reduced birth weight and length at full term, and poorer neonatal condition characterized by admission to special care nursery and adaptation problems (e.g., jitteriness, tachypnea, hypoglycemia, hypothermia, poor tone, respiratory distress, weak or absent cry, or desaturation on feeding).

“The authors concluded that the observed effects are specific to SRI exposure rather than underlying maternal depression.”

This report, titled “The REPRODUCTIVE and DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY of FLUOXETINE”, was originally available at

As if the conclusions of the report were not bad enough, various studies demonstrate that antidepressants double spontaneous abortions and stillbirths and quintuple preterm births. Babies exposed to SSRIs have a six-fold increased risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN), a potentially fatal lung problem. Nearly a third of women who take SSRIs have a baby who dies, is premature or underweight, or who has seizures.

Regarding the required FDA warnings and label changes the AMA stated:

Labeling changes to SSRIs/SNRIs

Following the June 9, 2004, meeting of the FDA’s Pediatric Subcommittee of the Anti-infective Advisory Committee, the Committee strongly endorsed class labeling for the neonatal toxicity/withdrawal syndrome related to in utero exposure to SRIs. Accordingly, class labeling changes were adopted that caution physicians and patients about neonatal complications associated with late pregnancy exposure and note that such complications have required prolonged hospitalization, respiratory support, and tube feeding. The label lists the clinical features of the SRI-related neonatal syndrome; suggests a withdrawal or toxicity mechanism, including serotonin syndrome for these symptom clusters; and states that tapering the medication in the third trimester might be considered an option to reduce or prevent these symptoms. The label also notes that women who discontinued antidepressant medication during pregnancy are more likely to experience a relapse of major depression than those who continue antidepressant medication.

Subsequently, class labeling changes incorporated the emerging data on pulmonary hypertension by noting that infants exposed to SSRIs in late pregnancy may have an increased risk for PPHN.

Specific warnings are advanced for paroxetine regarding its association with an increased risk for congenital and cardiac malformations.

Finally, in contrast with much of the media coverage of the ACOG release claims that antidepressants are safe, the AMA report concluded:

“SRIs carry a small but significant risk for serious medical consequences.”

My comment: I am not certain how reliable their conclusion of the risk being a “small but significant” one really is, considering the apparent or probable lack of any attention to the recent MedWatch data, and the extensive conflicts of interest among some of the report’s cited researchers, some of whom are under investigation.

Given that in the past three years the rate of antidepressant use among pregnant women has skyrocketed from “over 1%” to approximately 13%, I can only imagine how many babies are dying now.

Just Say No to the Mothers Act

Just Say No to the Mothers Act

by Evelyn PringleThe customer base the psycho-pharmaceutical industry is hoping to corral through passage of the Mothers Act is the more than four million women who give birth in the US each year. That number was 4,317,119 in 2007, according to the CDC.

The Act’s passage, after eight years of solid efforts, would set the stage for the screening of all pregnant women for a whole list of mental disorders. The bill has already passed in the US House of Representatives and will soon be up for a vote in the Senate.

The definition section of the Act specifically states that the term “postpartum condition” means “postpartum depression or postpartum psychosis.” There is not one word about perinatal “mood” or “anxiety” disorders in the bill.

The transformation of the postpartum language in the Act to further the formation of a new cottage industry for treating multiple disorders can be traced back to websites such as Postpartum Progress, Postpartum Support International, and a site called PerinatalPro, which leads directly to the treatment center owned by the site’s creator Susan Stone.

On January 26, 2009, Susan cranked out an announcement on the internet with the headline: “U.S. Senator Robert Menendez reintroduces important postpartum depression legislation in Senate today!!”

However, in Stone’s message to the pubic the “postpartum depression” in the headline suddenly transforms into “perinatal mood disorders,” and she warns of a crisis of epidemic proportions in stating:

“The statistics we have on the numbers of women suffering from perinatal mood disorders (which range from 12 – 22% in the research) easily exceed the incidence associated with a public health crisis.”

“And remember,” she says, “these statistics, do NOT include the suffering of women who miscarry, endure stillbirths, give up babies for adoption or terminate pregnancies, all of whom are also susceptible to these devastating disorders and whose circumstances are included in the furthering of research and support being sought.”

In her message, Susan reports: “Today, I had the joy of participating in a conference call with the office of Senator Menendez and the other organizational sponsors of The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act where we received a heads up that U.S. Senator Robert Menendez was hoping to reintroduce the bill today.”

While the Mothers Act refers to helping women with postpartum depression and psychosis only, the bill’s top promoters, obviously kept in the loop by the main sponsor in the Senate, clearly have a larger customer recruitment scheme in the works.

On a Postpartum Progress page with a heading, “WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!” the website’s creator, Katherine Stone, explains that the word perinatal “refers in this case to the period during and after pregnancy.”

“Among the mental disorders women face during this time, there are two main types: anxiety disorders and mood disorders,” she advises.

“Anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and panic disorder,” she reports.

“Mood disorders include depression, bipolar disorder and psychosis,” she explains. Under the heading “Postpartum Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder,” she writes:

“All you have to do to be at risk for getting postpartum PTSD is to have the perception of a traumatic childbirth — in other words, even if your doctors and nurses feel that everything went fairly normally, if it was upsetting and scary and unexpected to you that’s what counts.”

She concludes with the misleading statement that, “all of these illnesses are completely treatable.”

Katherine’s bio claims she “is a nationally-recognized, award-winning advocate for women with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.”

In the Menendez press release on January 26, 2009, there was no mention of “mood” and “anxiety” disorders. If he was not in on this disease mongering plot, he would have told these two broads to knock it off by now.

Drugging for profit

Although no psychiatric drug has been FDA approved as safe for use by pregnant and nursing mothers, the treatment for all the perinatal mental disorders calls for the new generation of antidepressants, along with atypical antipsychotics and epilepsy drugs, now commonly referred to as “mood stabilizers.”

The atypical antipsychotics are Seroquel by AstraZeneca, Risperdal and Invega marketed by Janssen, a division of Johnson & Johnson, Geodon by Pfizer, Abilify from Bristol-Myers Squibb, Novartis’ Clozaril, and Eli Lilly’s Zyprexa. The average price for these drugs on is about $900 for a hundred pills.

The SSRI and SNRI antidepressants include GlaxoSmithKline’s Paxil and Wellbutrin, Pfizer’s Zoloft, Celexa and Lexapro from Forest Labs, Luvox by Solvay, Wyeth’s Effexor and Pristiq, and Lilly’s Prozac, Cymbalta, and Symbyax, a pill with Zyprexa and Prozac combined. The price of these drugs, on average, is about $300 for ninety pills at

On March 23, 2009, Philip Dawdy reported on the popular website Furious Seasons, that “in a sign of just how bizarre things have gotten in DC, the FDA today approved Symbyax for treatment resistant depression, meaning depression that hasn’t responded to two anti-depressants.”

“So the FDA just approved a drug that’s known to cause diabetes, epic weight gain and suicidality to treat depression,” he said. “This makes so much sense!”

The antipsychotics are now the top money-makers. In overall prescription sales in the US, they led all classes of drugs in 2008, with sales of $14.6 billion, according to IMS Health. Anticonvulsants came in fourth with $11.3 billion in sales, followed by antidepressants at fifth with sales of $9.6 billion.

The Epilepsy Foundation estimates that one million women in the US have epilepsy, but the number of women taking anticonvulsants is reported to be two to three times higher than women with epilepsy. The prices for these drugs can run as high as $929 for 180 tablets of Glaxo’s Lamictal, and $1170 for 180 tablets of J&J’s Topamax.

Numerous recent reports have linked the use of drugs such as Depakote, Neurontin, Lamictal and Tegretol with not only suicide but also birth defects, including heart defects, brain damage, and mental retardation.

Big Pharma funds Mothers Act supporters

As of April 9, 2009, the groups supporting the Mother’s Act listed on PerinatalPro with Big Pharma funding traceable through their annual reports and the grant reports of Eli Lilly and Pfizer for 2007 and 2008, include the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Psychiatric Association, Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, Children’s Defense Fund, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, March of Dimes, Mental Health America (MHA), National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI), National Association of Social Workers, National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, and the Suicide Prevention Action Network USA.

Pfizer’s 2008 grant report shows the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, received $10,000 for “General Operating Support.” Florida’s Bureau of Maternal and Child Health received funding from Lilly and Pfizer to launch a three-pronged maternal depression awareness initiative consisting of education, screening and advocacy, according to the July, 2005 paper, Improving Maternal and Infant Mental Health: Focus on Maternal Depression, by Ngozi Onunaku.

Collaborating partners also included the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, University of Miami, and Florida’s Department of Mental Health, Onunaku reports. Public awareness efforts reached the Florida State Legislature, who passed a resolution to establish April as women’s depression screening month.

Onunaku listed the Lilly and Pfizer funded Florida project as an example of state and community efforts that may be useful in reaching the goal of increasing maternal depression awareness. In the paper, he reported the following:

“Prenatal depression occurs during pregnancy when mothers-to-be experience hormonal and biological changes, stress, and the demands of pregnancy. Approximately 14-25% of pregnant women have enough depressive symptoms to meet the criteria for a clinical diagnosis.

“The use of medication to treat maternal depression is controversial; there is concern about mothers taking medication during pregnancy and after delivery, especially while breastfeeding. Research suggests that infant development is not adversely affected by certain kinds of medication.

“There is equal consideration regarding the possible risks posed to a child whose mother is severely depressed and needs medication but remains untreated.

In 2008, Lilly gave the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists $16,000, and a $2,000 donation was made in the third quarter of 2007.

Lilly gave the American Psychiatric Association grants worth more than $600,000 in both the first and second quarters of 2008. In 2007, the group received over $400,000 from Lilly. The drug maker gave roughly $450,000 more to the American Psychiatric Foundation for the APA fellowship program. Pfizer donated more than $700,000 to the “non-profit” APA in 2008.

The National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare is described as “a non-profit association representing 1,300 mental health and addictions treatment and rehabilitation organizations,” on its website. This gang received $200,000 from Lilly in the first quarter of 2008, and another $215,000 in the fourth quarter.

Mother’s Act supporter, Suicide Prevention Action Network USA, has merged with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, according to a November 6, 2008 press release announcement.

A year earlier, Emory University reported that Charles Nemeroff had been elected president of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and would begin serving his three-year tenure in January 2008.

Emory’s press release noted that Nemeroff had served on the AFSP’s national board of directors since 1999 and had “been a member of the Foundation’s Scientific Council for more than 10 years and was named chair of the Council in 2007.”

In about the same time frame between 2000 and 2007, Senator Charles Grassley’s Senate Finance Committee investigation found that Nemeroff had earned more than $2.8 million from drug companies, but failed to disclose at least $1.2 million to Emory.

On November 3, 2008, Dr Bernard Caroll summed up Nemeroff’s fall from grace on the Healthcare Renewal website as follows:

“The fallout to date includes his severance from several NIH-funded projects at Emory University School of Medicine, a freeze of NIH funding for a major center grant, and his stepping down from Emory’s chair of psychiatry while an internal investigation proceeds.”

Dr. Nemeroff’s credibility is under a cloud, to say the least, and his influence is rapidly waning. … In the hardnosed, commercial world of Continuing Medical Education, for instance, the signs are that Dr. Nemeroff is toast. Whereas he once coordinated multi-city traveling CME road shows and a parade of spots on CME websites like Medscape, his profile now is suffering. Go to this Medscape website, for instance. You will find that his current Expert Viewpoint spots are missing, replaced by the message, “This article is temporarily unavailable.”

Nemeroff’s Bio on the Emory Website on December 22, 2008 listed his Clinical Interests as: “Depression and antipsychotic pharmacological therapy, social phobias, fetal effects of pre- and post-natal drug therapy, depression, mood disorders, antipsychotic therapy.”

Lilly’s 2008 grant report shows the Suicide Prevention Action Network USA received one $10,000 grant and another $70,000 grant. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention also received three grants worth $78,000.

Lilly’s 2007 report shows the Action Network received $10,000 in one quarter and $70,000 in another. The Foundation got $25,000 in 2007. The 2004 spring issue of USA’s Network News reports that: “Network News is funded by a grant from the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation.”

The Summer 2005 Network News noted that “Donations Sustain SPAN USA.”

The donor list shows Pfizer gave over $10,000. The group received more than $1,000 from Bristol-Meyers, Janssen, and Novartis. Forest Pharmaceuticals gave over $500.

The 2006 Spring Network News announced the “Friend for Life” sponsors. Forest and the industry’s trade group, PhRMA donated over $15,000. Pfizer gave between $10,000 and $14,999. Solvay was listed as giving between $6,000 and $9,999 and companies that gave between $2,000 and $5,999 were AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers. J&J, Lilly and Novartis each donated between $500 and $1,999.

As expected, the two most notorious front groups, NAMI and MHA, received the most money from psychiatric drug makers. NAMI’s annual reports list about every drug company on the planet as a corporate partner without specifying how much each donated. But the grant reports of Lilly and Pfizer for 2007 and 2008 show NAMI groups received millions of dollars from those two drug makers alone.

In the fourth quarter of 2008, Pfizer gave NAMI a grant of $132,000 to fund a campaign that best describes the drug maker’s goal called the “Campaign for the Mind of America.” In the third quarter, Pfizer doled out another $225,000 to fund the same campaign.

Lilly is also funding the Campaign for the Mind, with grants of $450,000 in both 2007 and 2008. Lilly also provides extra funding to NAMI groups all over the country for the “Walk for the Mind of America.” In 2007, walking money totaled $17,000 in the first quarter, $11,500 in the second, and $13,000 for the third and fourth combined. In 2008, Lilly’s “Walk for the Mind” quarterly totals were $11,500, $24,000, $12,500 and $2,000.

In 2007, NAMI presented a $50,000 “Mind of America Scientific Research Award” to Dr A John Rush. He also landed on the Grassley hit list last fall for not disclosing drug company money to the University of Texas.

On April 6, 2009, Senator Grassley sent a letter to NAMI asking for the disclosure of all funding from drug makers and industry created foundations over the past few years.

Mental Health America groups also received millions of dollars from Pfizer and Lilly alone in 2007 and 2008. This group runs a “Campaign for America’s Mental Health” and received grants of $200,000 and $300,000 in 2008 from Pfizer to fund it. Lilly gave $300,000 to fund this Campaign in 2007.

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

The most troubling donation to this Mothers Act supporter is a $20,000 Pfizer grant to a Georgia group to fund: Project Healthy Moms: Education for Prevention/Treatment for Perinatal Depression Disorders, which apparently ended up, at least in part, in the pocketbook of Katherine Stone.

The Georgia group’s June 8, 2008 e-news said the grant was for: “Project Healthy Moms: What You Need To Know About Perinatal Mood Disorders.”

The $20,000 funded 1-hour speaking events with Katherine, “aimed at educating practitioners and the general public throughout Georgia about prevention of and treatment for such illnesses as ante partum depression, postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety/OCD and postpartum psychosis,” the newsletter said.

Katherine was described as a “former postpartum OCD sufferer and author of Postpartum Progress, the most widely-read blog in the United States on postpartum mood disorders.”

E-news said attendees would learn: “One size does NOT fit all: Why postpartum depression is just part of a spectrum of mood disorders women may experience & what to look for.”

The newsletter only listed 5 scheduled events but told readers to contact Katherine directly by email or phone to schedule more. E-news did acknowledge that: “This special hour of learning is made possible by a grant from Pfizer,” but listed no amount.

The leaders of these “non-profits” are also making out like bandits. In 2006, NAMI’s top dog, Michael Fitzpatrick, had a salary of $212,281, and $10,090 in employee benefit contributions and deferred compensation plans, for a 35-hour work week.

MHA’s 2002 tax returns show the CEO and President, Michael Faenza, received compensation of $306,727, and another $35,275 in contributions to employee benefit plans and deferred compensation that year, for a 35 hour work week.

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance received $37,510 from Lilly in 2007 and $20,000 in 2008. This group provides live links to form letters that can be filled in and sent to Congress members asking them to vote for the Mother’s Act. The two Stone gals provide links to the Mothers Act alerts put out by the Alliance on their websites.

The group’s 2007 Annual Report shows this non-profit received between $150,000 and $499,000 from AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Wyeth. Abbott, Cyberonics, Lilly, Forest, Glaxo, Organon, and Otsuka American Pharmaceuticals gave between $10,000 and $149,999.

The report also notes that a “First-ever DBSA Hope Award” for lifetime achievement was presented to Frederick Goodwin. Back in August 2002, the speakers at the annual conference of the Alliance included three stars from the Grassley hit list, Goodwin, Nemeroff and Joseph Beiderman.

The front groups team up with a “non-profit” called “Screening for Mental Health,” to carry out mental illness screening days all over the country every year. Their websites also provide live links to internet screening programs set up by this firm.

Up to 2008, the SMH had received close to $5 million from drug companies. Lilly gave the firm $124,000 in 2007 and $100,000 in 2008.

Finally, the Children’s Defense Fund received a grant for $125,000 in 2003 from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The March of Dimes got $6,500 from Pfizer in 2008, and the National Association of Social Workers also received $7,500 from Pfizer.
Amy Philo, a young Texas mother who survived what can only be described as a postpartum ambush by the psycho-pharmaceutical cartel, is at the forefront of the “Unite for Life” coalition fighting against the Mothers Act. As of April 25, 2009, the Unite coalition had thirty-five orginazations signed on as opposed to the legislation. Needless to say, none of them were listed in the grant reports of Lilly or Pfizer.

Amy was screened and drugged because she got extremely concerned about her baby and had a panic attack after watching him nearly choke to death. “I lived through forced hospitalization, drugging, and four months of being homicidal, suicidal, and psychotic because of Zoloft,” she recounts on her website.

“No mother should have to live through what I have,” she states.

Over a recent three to four year period, Amy found there were 1,031 documented deaths of babies caused by psychiatric drug exposure reported to the FDA’s MedWatch system.

Amy recently learned that the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives has withdrawn their support from the Mothers Act. However, she reports a new addition to the list of supporters is the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition. A quick check of their website found the group’s corporate sponsors include Wyeth, Glaxo, J&J, Merck, and Sanofi Pasteur.

************* Evelyn Pringle

(This article was sponsored by the Pogust, Braslow & Millrood law firm in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania)

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