Counsel for ex rel Watson v. King-Vassel - Psychrights’latest effort to show that prescribing medication for children that is not supported by scientific evidence constitutes fraud when submitted for Medicaid reimbursement – has chosen to settle the case rather than proceed. This decision came in light of the judge’s indication that he was planning to issue rulings that would prevent the case from prevailing. and that he would impose sanctions if counsel chose to go forward with the case.
A Pennsylvania Superior Court has affirmed a lower court’s ruling that GlaxoSmithKline is not responsible for the congenital heart defect that lead Joanne Thomas to abort her child in 2001. Thomas did not learn until studying for her nursing boards in 2007 that Paxil has been associated with such defects. The judge ruled, however, that Thomas could not produce “clear, precise, and convincing evidence” that GSK had concealed the peril. “Because Thomas never alleged any affirmative misrepresentations directed specifically at her,” the court said, “We conclude the trial court properly determined that the fraudulent concealment doctrine did not apply, and that GSK was entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law.”
LAW360 reports that a Pennsylvania federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit over a movement disorder attributed to Bristol-Myers’ drug Abilify. The judge held that drug makers are not required to provide detailed instructions to physicians about monitoring adverse reactions.
Thirty years ago, the prescription of neuroleptic drugs to children under 14 years of age was almost unheard of. It was rare in adolescents, and even in adults was largely confined to individuals who had been given the label schizophrenic or bipolar. By 1993 about a quarter of 1% of the national childhood population were receiving antipsychotic prescriptions during office visits. The percentage for adolescents was about three quarters of 1%. By 2009, these figures had increased to 1.83% and 3.76% respectively. The devastating effects of these neurotoxic drugs are well known, and it is natural to wonder what forces might be driving this trend. Full Article →
Law 360 reports that Johnson & Johnson asked a Pennsylvania judge to keep a series of clinical studies related to the drug Risperdal under seal, saying that the plaintiffs were improperly seeking to publicly release them.
The widow of Darwin Stout – who murdered their son and took his own life while taking the nicotine-cessation drug Chantix – has filed suit in Eugene, Oregon against the dentist who prescribed the drug and the hospital that discharged him. According the FDA documents, 544 suicides and 1,869 attempted suicides have been connected to Chantix in the past five years.
For a scathing, 11-minute overview of the death of Dan Markingson at the University of Minnesota, and new allegations of coercion into psychiatric clinical trials, you can’t do much better than this excellent investigative report by Jeff Baillon. Full Article →
Britain’s HealthTalkOnline.org offers videotaped interviews with 36 people in their homes, talking about their decision to take antidepressants and the impact of that decision on their work and lifestyle, “both good and bad, the side effects, the things that went well, the things that went less well, the journeys that some of them had to go on to find the right treatment for them.”
Following Johnson & Johnson’s record $2.2 billion settlement for criminal marketing — including $1.4 billion related to its marketing of Risperdal, making it one of the largest fraud settlements involving a single drug — two academics who contributed to an article that helped sell the drug are expressing concerns about their participation. The paper included an error that cut young boys’ projected risk of developing breasts by half.
Research from London and Taipei finds that neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) is associated with the number of different antipsychotics used (polypharmacy), rather than the overall dose. The researchers also found an association between NMS and Haldol, Abilify, benzodiazepines, and depot flupentixol. A correlation between NMS and non-white ethnicity was also found.
Researchers in Taiwan found a 3.33x greater risk of benign brain tumors in patients who had been prescribed benzodiazepines for at least 2 months. The research drew on data from the National Health Insurance System of Taiwan on 62,186 patients who had been prescribed benzodiazepines matched against 62,050 controls. The study appears in Journal of the Neurological Sciences.
If I had remained med compliant I wouldn’t understand the simple joys of caring about my hygiene and my surroundings. I’ve wanted to write about this for a long time but I’ve not done it and I think it’s because I still have shame around how slovenly I became. I hid it from others fairly well most of the time, but I couldn’t hide it from myself. The fact is the drugs stripped me of some very basic elements of human care. When one doesn’t care about their immediate environment and their bodies, they really just don’t care about themselves. It’s a very painful place to be and yet when it’s caused by drugs it’s all muted and weird and not really who we are at all and so really all that is left is horrible shame. Full Article →
“My studies in this area lead me to a very uncomfortable conclusion: Our citizens would be far better off if we removed all the psychotropic drugs from the market, as doctors are unable to handle them. It is inescapable that their availability creates more harm than good.”
- Peter Gøtzsche, MD; Co-founder of the Cochrane Collaboration
Sources for Deadly Medicines and Organised Crime: How Big Pharma Has Corrupted Health Care:
Research from Boston University suggests that exposure to stimulant medications such as Ritalin during adolescence may result in cocaine addiction in later life. “You can give drugs . . . during adulthood or during the juvenile stage and it may not have much of a long-lasting impact,” says BU professor Kathleen Kantak, who has spent five years researching possible ADHD/cocaine links. “But you take a brain that is very rapidly transitioning, you add a pharmacological agent on top of that, and you increase the risk of having some long-term consequences.”
The New York Times reports on new research from multiple sources that finds focused attention on insomnia is proving to be a “cheap, relatively brief and usually effective” approach to treating depression. ”If the figures continue to hold up, the advance will be the most significant in the treatment of depression since the introduction of Prozac in 1987.”
A Philadelphia jury yesterday ordered Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen to pay $11 million to the parents of a five-year-old boy for failure to warn doctors of potential birth defects associated with its epilepsy drug Topamax. “Janssen knew about Topamax’s serious risk of causing birth defects years before these mothers were prescribed the drug, but did not advise physicians of those risks,” said the family’s lawyers in a press release. The case is the second of about 134 pending in Philadelphia.
Will Eberle discusses his personal experience in relationship to psychiatric diagnoses, psychiatric drugs, and the journey to rediscover his sense of self. Will is the Executive Director at Another Way, a “community center in Montpelier (VT) providing voluntary alternatives to conventional mental health services.” Another Way offers a variety of supports and provides resources for individuals to lead vibrant lives as valued members of the community. This is latest in a series of testimonials featured on MadInAmerica.com produced by the “Open Paradigm Project” (more…)
In recent months the English pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has assiduously portrayed itself as an advocate of transparency, and in support of access to clinical trial data. Well, in support of “Responsible Access.” “Responsible” here essentially means that a researcher commits to the primacy of RCTs and statistical significance over an analysis of adverse events. It would not, for example, be responsible to claim that an SSRI causes suicide, a statin muscle damage or cognitive failure, or hypoglycemics cause hypoglycemia unless a trial has shown this to happen to a Statistically Significant extent – and they never do. Full Article →
At least 250 lawsuits involving Johnson & Johnson’s improper marketing of Risperdal are pending in Pennsylvania’s Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, according to information provided by a law firm involved in the litigation. The firm, which represents individuals who may have developed gynecomastia (male breast growth) as a result of the drug, alleges that the unapproved use of Risperdal to treat ADHD is also on the rise.
Analysis in the British Medical Journal concludes that the lowered thresholds for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder diagnosis in DSM-5 will mean “that many children and their families may be harmed due to costs of medication, particularly if it is not needed, medication side effects, and psychological labels,” according to the lead researcher. “The drugs used to treat ADHD have side effects such as weight loss, weight gain, and growth problems, and we don’t know whether they work in the long term.”
When I lived in Massachusetts I taught yoga and led writing groups for alternative mental health communities. While the organizations I worked for were alternative, many of the students and participants were heavily drugged with psychiatric pharmaceuticals. There was one skinny teenager I’d never have forgotten who listed the drugs he was on for me once in the yoga room after class: a long list of stimulants, neuroleptics, moods stabilizers; far too many drugs and classes of drugs to remember. I was at the housewarming party of an old friend, and who should walk in but that boy who used to come to my yoga classes and writing groups religiously. And he was no longer a boy; he was now a young man. “I’m thinking yoga teacher,” he said. I nodded. Did he remember where? “I’m not stupid,” he said, as if reading my mind. “I’m not on drugs anymore. I’m not stupid anymore.” Full Article →
A Texas man filed a lawsuit in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas against Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, Janssen, in connection to the development of female breast tissue that he alleges was caused by Risperdal and Invega.