I don’t think I can stomach watching this film but it looks very informative for anyone who has not spent the last 7 years immersed in learning about this stuff like I have. I’ve mostly retired from following this dark stuff closely as I now shift most of my energies to seek to find answers, solutions and heal. To be very clear, I do this for my own well-being. It’s a choice not to stew in the toxic ugliness that drugs can create in people’s lives so that I might move beyond the personal trauma they were in mine. But I cannot ever stop helping people learn about the dangers, as it is only through such education that others might make safer healing choices and not be harmed. People need to know about all of this and this blog contains records of much of how psychiatry can be detrimental to those who take psychopharmaceuticals. Many of those posts are cataloged here.
The film covers very important information that everyone should be aware of. People get sick and people die because of this corrupt industry (pharma) and it’s rarely acknowledged or spoken about openly.
Off Label uses the personal stories of human guinea pigs – those who test and take pharmaceutical drugs – as a launching pad for a deeper exploration into the ways these drugs are marketed, sold, consumed, and ultimately treated with the same reverence as a religious belief in the United States.
Welcome to the strange pharmacy that is America. In Iowa City a 22 year old army medic last stationed at Abu Ghraib prison struggles with the VA to find treatment to cope with PTSD. In Minneapolis a woman fights for reform after her son commits grisly suicide in an anti-depressant marketing study. In Rochester a young vagabond couple pay for their wedding by doing drug trials for money. In Santa Cruz a woman takes eighteen different prescriptions and lives in a roadside Bigfoot Museum. In Philadelphia an aging African American Muslim recounts the horrific experiments conducted upon him while he was imprisoned and forgives those who destroyed his physical health. In Milwaukee an eccentric medical anthropologist tracks the course and influence of the drug market he once helped shape as a former drug rep for Pfizer. These are some of the stories collected in Off Label – a look at life in the twilight zone of pharmaceutical drug consumption and American health care. Through the lives of these and other unique characters, “Off Label” presents an alternatively tragic and bleakly comic road trip through the methods and madness of pharmaceuticals in our culture. Off Label examines the medicated margins of American life – from the testing, marketing, and consumption of pharmaceuticals to the alienation, perseverance, and spiritual striving of individuals living in a society that pathologizes our desires for health, happiness, and even our sense of identity for profit.