“Drugs, Greed and a Dead Boy”

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New York Times columnist, Nicholas Kristof, relates the story of Andrew Francesco, a boy who began taking Ritalin at age five and died from complications with Seroquel when he was fifteen. His father, a former pharmaceutical industry executive, reveals the industry’s greed in his memoir “Overmedicated and Undertreated.”  Now the industry is pushing for a first-amendment right to market its drugs for off-label uses.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. A first-amendment right to market its drugs for off-label uses, that should get interesting.

    “Shouting fire in a crowded theater” is a popular metaphor for speech or actions made for the principal purpose of creating unnecessary panic. The phrase is a paraphrasing of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.’s opinion in the United States Supreme Court case Schenck v. United States in 1919, which held that the defendant’s speech in opposition to the draft during World War I was not protected free speech under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

    Holmes argued this abridgment of free speech was permissible because it presented a “clear and present danger” to the government’s recruitment efforts for the war.

    -Wikipedia

    Anyone else see a “clear and present danger” from pharmaceutical companies marketing off label ?

    Fox News Channel reports on Eli Lilly regarding Zyprexa’s $1.42 billion settlement for off-label promotion. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHolKz6SZDs

  2. Steve Francesco is a rarity, a family member who has been able to act even while grieving forever the death of his son.
    My plan is to buy a number of copies of his books and send them with an accompanying letter to members of Congress and the Administration to work on educating them. It may well be a long shot, but not to try is just wrong.