I ask you to vote against HB1386. I write with a moral obligation to inform you of research findings which were recently defended through the PhD Program in Environmental Psychology at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Throughout this research process, I repeatedly gave examples of people who participated who were silenced and retaliated against for expressing their expert perspectives about the public psychiatric service delivery system. Of grave concern is that this silencing extended to people who were reporting abuse of people who were involved with the public psychiatric service delivery system. Full Article →
The Murphy bill, which aims to defund or restructure federal initiatives on mental illness such as SAMHSA, as well as promote wider use of involuntary care – including medication - and has reportedly “stalled in committee without an obvious green light from the GOP leaders who requested it.” Conflict over the bill has exposed serious fault lines over the best way to reform the mental health system, with patients’ rights groups arguing that the proposed laws are inherently coercive, drive patients away from care and fail to produce better outcomes when compared with well-funded voluntary programs. Discuss →
The death toll among Japanese citizens who have taken Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary Janssen’s schizophrenia drug Xeplion has climbed to 21, from 17 on April 10, prompting the Japanese health ministry to order the manufacturer to warn patients about its risks. Although a causal link between Xeplion and the deaths has not been established, the health ministry ordered Janssen to revise its package insert, considering the unusually high number of deaths since the drug’s recent release. Discuss →
Truthout explains that “Unlike most other wealthy countries, the U.S. lacks any central mechanism to constrain overall health-care spending. This has led us instead to rely on piecemeal, half-hearted and largely ineffective regulation of fees by Medicare, and micromanagement of medical decision-making by private insurers at a level unheard of, and that would not be tolerated in other wealthy countries.”
What does it tell us about the current state of psychiatry when some of the biggest names in the psychiatric establishment are now distancing themselves from psychiatry’s diagnostic system and its treatments? The institution of psychiatry has become corrupted by Big Pharma to such a degree that it has become, even to the mainstream media, so obviously ridiculous and so dangerously insane that politically astute psychiatrists are trying to separate themselves from their institution. Full Article →
The Ohio-based Legal Examiner reviews the history of Johnson & Johnson’s allegedly inappropriate – perhaps criminal – marketing of Risperdal, including pushing the drug for off-label uses in children and the elderly. (more…)
The Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics looks at institutional corruption in the pharmaceutical industry; “An extensive range of studies and lawsuits already documents strategies by which pharmaceutical companies hide, ignore, or mis-represent evidence about new drugs; distort the medi-cal literature; and misrepresent products to prescribing physicians. We focus on the consequences for patients: millions of adverse reactions. After deﬁning institutional corruption, we focus on evidence that it lies behind the epidemic of harms and the paucity of beneﬁts.” (more…)
Around the world, drug regulatory agencies spend billions of dollars engaged in activities which purport to ensure the safety, efficacy and quality of legal drugs. If the goal of regulation is to protect public health and safety, there can be no argument that it has failed. Safe drugs are not associated with annual rises in mortality and morbidity, effective drugs are not associated with increased prevalence of the conditions they are designed to treat and with greater chronicity of those conditions, quality drugs are not discovered to be contaminated with solvents months after their manufacture and release to the market. Effective regulation does not see companies repeatedly breaching standards and shrugging off sanctions. Full Article →
Saying that the Arkansas supreme court had departed from 170 years of precedent by deciding in favor of Johnson & Johnson on grounds not raised in any of the case filings, Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is asking the court to reconsider its decision to toss out a $1.2 billion judgment over the marketing of the antipsychotic Risperdal. Discuss →
I began reading the book History Beyond Trauma by Françoise Davoine and Jean-Max Gaudillière during a turbulent time in my life — when deaths, losses, and uncertainties continually piled up. Despite my best efforts to remain optimistic and push forward with life as planned, traumatic stress was threatening to be more than a subject I researched or a condition I treated. At times I felt I was only a narrow step out of its grasp. At first I didn’t speak of this, as if by not voicing my fears I would somehow outpace them. Full Article →
The European Parliament voted on Wednesday to ensure open reporting of European clinical trials, even when negative. The new laws, expected to take effect in 2016, will require results of all new clinical trials to be published within a year of the trial ending. Discuss →
HR 3717, authored by Congressman Tim Murphy, has been introduced in response to mounting concerns about the treatment of persons with mental health challenges. It is universally recognized that improvements are needed in the mental health system. Unfortunately, HR 3717 will have serious unintended consequences. Full Article →
The House Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing tomorrow (Thursday, April 3, 2014) on the “Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act,” also known as the “Murphy Bill” after its sponsor, Rep. Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania. The hearing will be in room 2322 of the Rayburn House Office Building at 10:30 a.m. Discuss →
Harvard Law professor (emeritus) Alan Dershowitz will represent Justina Pelletier in her family’s fight to regain custody from the state of Massachusetts and Boston Children’s Hospital. “When you hear about a case like this you scratch your head and you say ‘something else must be going on,’ said Dershowitz, who will work with the family’s current legal team on a pro bono basis to address the “broader Constitutional Issues.” Discuss →
Leaders of medical schools and hospitals receive much more compensation from pharmaceutical companies than the doctors who have previously been scrutinized for drug company ties, according to a study released today by the Journal of the American Medical Association. 40% of the world’s largest drug companies had at least on board member who also served in leadership at a U.S. academic medical center, according to the study, with average annual compensation of $313,000. Discuss →
The Sunday Times of London reports on Peter Gotzsche’s efforts to obtain pharmaceutical licensing data before the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) routinely destroys the information 15 years after licensing. Ben Goldacre, co-founder of AllTrials, said: “The MHRA needs to recognise that the world has changed, it is no longer acceptable for decisions about medicines to be based on secret meetings, about secret information that is then shredded.”
Research published this week in JAMA Internal Medicine finds that about half of American adults believe in at least one medical conspiracy theory. ”Science in general – medicine in particular – is complicated and cognitively challenging because you have to carry around a lot of uncertainty,” said the lead author. ”To talk about epidemiology and probability theories is difficult to understand as opposed to ‘if you put this substance in your body, it’s going to be bad . . . Scientific thinking is not a very intuitive way to see the world. For people who don’t have a lot of education, it’s relatively easy to reject the scientific way of thinking about things.”
Forest Labs has been hit with a new lawsuit in Massachusetts, over misleading marketing of its antidepressant drugs Celexa and Lexapro to adolescents, even as it agreed to pay up to $10.4 million to settle accusations of misleading Missouri parents into buying the drugs for children though the drugs were only approved for adults.
1BoringOldMan picks up where he left off two years ago – critiquing Robert Gibbons’ misuse of statistical analysis to claim that antidepressants were both safe and effective in adolescents – to critique the use of the tools of clinical neuroscience to substantiate the theory that “mental illness” is biologically based. “One could actually see a living brain – even watch it do things. Very exciting. But within a few short years, the fantasies and hypotheses generated by this technology blossomed and were joined by those associated with the new drugs . . . They’re touted as pointers to conclusions not yet remotely reachable, conclusions that have only been dreamed.”
GlaxoSmithKline, which previously announced it would suspend the practice of paying outside doctors to promote drugs, has announced that it will instead hire doctors to “educate” their peers about its drugs, though they will not be able to answer questions about treating specific patients. Because they will be Glaxo employees, the company will not have to report payments to the doctors.
A report released today by Express Scripts, the nation’s largest prescription drug manager, offers “the most current and comprehensive analysis of ADHD medication use” among privately insured Americans, finding that from 2008 to 2012 the number who use medication for ADHD rose 36% to 4.8 million. “Most surprisingly, we saw the greatest increase in use during the five-year study period was among adults, with the largest gains seen in women ages 26 to 34, climbing 85%.”
Teva Pharmaceuticals has agreed to pay $27 million to settle federal and state accusation of false claims regarding the antipsychotic Clozapine, and payments made to an Illinois physician to under a “consulting contract.” “Pharmaceutical companies must not be allowed to improperly influence physicians’ decisions in prescribing medication for their patients,” said the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.
Subsidiaries of Johnson & Johnson have agreed to pay $5.9 million to settle Montana’s lawsuit over the company’s fraudulent marketing of Risperdal. According to the lawsuit, J&J and its subsidiaries knew that the drug could cause weight gain, diabetes, and vascular complications, but hid the risks. After approval by the FDA for adult schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in adults, the companies promoted the drug for various conditions in both adults and children.
The FDA has released a new checklist meant to clarify the ways a pharmaceutical manufacturer may use scientific and medical literature to promote products. The checklist constitute a revision of 2009 guidelines that were criticized for restricting companies’ ability to “promote the public health.” The new guidelines call for an emphasis on science, not promotion, and also recommends that literature not be funded – either in whole or in part – or distributed by a company.
Lawyers for Johnson & Johnson took the stand in Arkansas today, a final effort at convincing the Arkansas Supreme Court to overturn a jury’s award of $1.2 billion for off-label marketing of Risperdal. J&J plans to argue that the award is excessive, and that the company was exercising its right to free speech in promoting the drug. The attorneys general of 35 states have filed a brief urging the court to uphold the verdict.