In a nutshell—recent events in the SSRI pharma corruption scandals

By Evelyn Pringle who writes awesome stuff about pharma and psychiatric corruption all the time.

Evelyn Pringle: SSRI Pushers under Fire

Throughout the 1990’s, most doctors who attended conferences, medical seminars and other events were not aware that the so-called “key opinion leaders” encouraging them to prescribe the new generation of antidepressants for everything under the sun, including to children as young as infants, were nothing more than highly paid drug pushers for Big Pharma.

For years, the research that showed SSRI antidepressants (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) were dangerous and practically useless was kept hidden, while the studies published and presented to potential prescribers painted a glowing picture of success. These days, a person would be hard pressed to find someone who does not have a family member or friend labeled mentally ill and taking drugs like Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Lexapro and Celexa, or their chemical cousins Effexor, Cymbalta and Wellbutrin.

About once a year, a new round of headlines about all the money made by the SSRI pushers comes and goes; but nothing really ever seemed to stick, until now.

The Senate Finance Committee, with the ranking Republican, Senator Charles Grassley, leading the charge, is investigating GlaxoSmithKline regarding new revelations in a report filed in litigation showing that the company manipulated the numbers on adverse events related to suicidality in clinical trials back in 1989, to make it appear that Paxil did not increase the risk of patients experiencing suicidal behavior when, in fact, trial subjects on Paxil were eight times more likely to attempt or commit suicide than patients taking placebos.

Quite a few of the top pushers are also under investigation by the Committee due to revelations that millions of dollars has changed hands between the SSRI makers and the academics who signed off on some of the most fraudulently reported research in the history of modern medicine. A full list of names is easy to compile by scanning the literature on SSRI studies conducted on children. The same names appear repeatedly.

In alphabetical order, the Fortune 500 team of pushers, at a minimum, includes Drs Joseph Biederman, David Brent, Jeffrey Bridge, Daniel Casey, David Dunner, Graham Emslie, Daniel Geller, Robert Gibbons, Frederick Goodwin, Martin Keller, Andrew Leon, John Mann, John March, Charles Nemeroff, John Rush, Neal Ryan, David Shaffer, and Karen Wagner. (rest of the article here)

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About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters

8 Responses

  1. Gianna,

    What a cool article! Wow!!!
    Did you see that list – they’re all there – in one piece – like the FBI’s most wanted….

    I dunno….I started this New Year off right….with lots of prayers for peace, and worked out yesterday and today, and practiced some EFT, and lots of meditation these past two days….feeling great, actually…..

    And, I stopped to question some of my own feelings these past two days….Why the anger/why the rage with these drug companies….these “dealers”?

    And, I’ve come to some conclusions….at least for me…..

    I want peace – for each of us – all of us….desparately….

    And, I also want justice….so those who do harmful things are not allowed to continue to do harmful things….

    Because, I’ve seen the damage – with our own son, and so many people I’ve come to know…..and, it needs to stop…..

    And, so I think we can practice peace, and work for justice….both…..

    These guys need to go to jail – plain and simple.

    Thanks for the article,

    Duane

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  2. It is unfortunate that this type of behavior occurs but I guess it can not be that big of a surprise when you look at the amount of money involved. It would be nice to say that a drug manufactures main goal is to help the clients that they serve but it is and always will be about the bottom line

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  3. Van

    *sigh*

    See, this bothers me greatly. I never had success with SSRI, and in most cases, usually had negative impacts (sickness, sleepy, what have you) but the fact that this was known, the fact that the danger may outweigh the potentials was never discussed with patients really bothers me.

    Patients and individuals who suffer from depression need a strong advocate group to help them stop this type of action on the part of big business.

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  4. Thanks again for bringing this to our attention. I can’t believe that there is so little coverage of such things in the general press. We spend so much time and money trying to get bad news about famous people like Paris Hilton. Why doesn’t the media like at these issues that affect so many?

    On top of all this, the big drug companies are really good at producing ads and commercials that really influence just about everyone. There is a large porportion of the public that blindly believe everything that they see on TV so they are forced to act as sheep and take the pills.

    Jim S

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  5. Eve

    Gianna, I got on line this morning specifically to mention this new article to you from the New York Review of Books. The article is “Drug Companies and Doctors: A Story of Corruption,” by Marcia Angell, former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine–she worked there for over 20 years. She is currently on the Harvard School of Social Medicine faculty.

    The link is here:
    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/22237

    A couple of quotes:
    “Since there are no objective tests for mental illness and the boundaries between normal and abnormal are often uncertain, psychiatry is a particularly fertile field for creating new diagnoses or broadening old ones.”

    “Given its importance, you might think that the DSM represents the authoritative distillation of a large body of scientific evidence. But Lane, using unpublished records from the archives of the American Psychiatric Association and interviews with the princi-pals, shows that it is instead the product of a complex of academic politics, personal ambition, ideology, and, perhaps most important, the influence of the pharmaceutical industry. What the DSM lacks is evidence.”

    I found this article timely on a personal level, as I’m acquainted with someone who recently allowed her six-year-old child to be medicated for something that should not even be diagnosed in a child so young. One of my adult children asked me what I thought about this, and I said, “I’ll tell you what I know about it,” and pretty much gave a scathing review of the DSM and psychiatry in general, concluding by saying that hell would freeze over before I’d give my child that medication.

    This was two days ago. This morning I read the article and once again was justified by the facts. The scary and sad part of how drugs are approved and marketed worldwide is that as consumers, we can hardly even rely on actual “research” any more.

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  6. Sloopy Cowbell

    Why doesn’t the media take on these issues?…….

    Because…. 90% of a newspaper’s revenues come from advertising. Barely 10% of a paper’s income is from the cover price. That’s the sum total of the readers’ humble contribution..

    A newspaper which stabs its advertisers in the back would soon be out of business, so that’s why the media rarely tackles pharmaceutical corruption. The drug corporations are some of the biggest advertising spenders in the business, and to re-cycle an earlier message – you don’t bite the hand that feeds you!

    The same is true of the banking industry, also rife with criminality. The banksters are up to their necks in dirty money from terrorism, the proceeds of the sex trade, and gun and drug running.

    The media won’t touch the banksters for much the same reason that it won’t touch big pharma – the banks also have huge advertising spends…

    I think it is peter breggin who claims that big pharma are the third most corrupt industry in the world after the arms industry and the drug trade.

    No doubt it is the same gangsters on Wall St and in the City of London who are running all three industries…

    It’s public knowledge, for example, that George “Poppy” Bush Sr, Dubya’s father, was not only a director of Eli Lilly, but also a major player in Iran-Contra, the dope-for-arms scandal in the 1980s..

    So there’s one clear link between the banksters, big pharma, guns and drugs.. Not nice people..

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