In an article published yesterday entitled, "The Black Cloud in Silver Linings Playbook: Pharma Product Placement in Film," Kelly Patricia O’Meara, the award winning investigative reporter for the Washington Times and Insight Magazine and the author of the book Psyched Out: How Psychiatry Sells Mental Illness and Pushes Pills that Kill, states the following facts:
- Astra Zeneca, the makers of Seroquel have paid $1.25 billion in criminal settlements, judgments and civil penalties as a result of federal and state investigations and consumer fraud lawsuits for the company’s “off-label” promotion of the drug and serious medical injury caused by the drug.
- Between 1997 and 2012, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received nearly 50,000 Adverse Event Reports (AER’s) regarding Seroquel, with 30,000 of them identifying the drug as the primary suspect causing the event. During the same time period, the FDA AER’s reveal that 5,974 or 12% of the adverse events ended in death and 2,583 or 9% of the deaths targeted Seroquel as the primary suspect. The FDA further acknowledges that the AER’s represent only 1 to 10 percent of the actual adverse events.
- Among the adverse events associated with Seroquel are: diabetes mellitus, excessive weight gain, a number of coronary problems including heart failure or sudden death, hallucinations, psychosis, paranoid reactions, delusions, manic reaction, depersonalization, catatonic reaction , abnormal thinking and dreams and delirium.
- Seven countries have issued nearly sixty warnings for antipsychotic drugs causing death, heart problems, convulsions, diabetes, birth defects, agitation, mania and psychosis. These warnings are based on nearly eighty studies from a dozen countries showing the harm caused by antipsychotic drugs. Among these is a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry which found that antipsychotic drugs are linked to shrinkage in the brains (brain volume loss) of those who take antipsychotics.
- Diagnosing of the alleged childhood bipolar disorder has increased 4,000 percent in just a 10 year time span. Four times as many children covered by Medicaid (government funded) receive antipsychotics, compared to children whose parents have private insurance.
O'Meara writes that, "A 4,000 percent increase in a psychiatric diagnosis like bipolar disorder does not happen by accident and there is ample evidence to support a very cozy psycho/pharma collusion," and uses the following example:
- Joseph Biederman, M.D., a Harvard University professor, leading child psychiatrist, and the most prominent advocate of the alleged childhood bipolar disorder was a key witness in a multi-state lawsuit where, among other things, more than 2,000 patients claimed to have been harmed by prescribed antipsychotics. Biederman and two colleagues were found to have violated conflict of interest policies at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. Between 2000 and 2007, Biederman re ceived $1.6 million dollars from pharmaceutical companies, yet had only reported earning $200,000. Biederman was pushing the prescribing of antipsychotics to “treat” the alleged childhood bipolar disorder while he also was receiving payments from the pharmaceutical companies that market the antipsychotic “treatments.”
More than three million prescriptions for bipolar disorder were written for Americans in 2011 alone – an $18 billion profit for the pharmaceutical companies.
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