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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Psychiatric Fraud

Drug Companies and Psychiatric Fraud

I have come to regard the 'science' of Psychiatry as having about as much validity as Astrology or Witchcraft.

Psychiatrists have become little more than pill pushers, dispensing the latest dangerous concoctions to patients without warning them of the many dangerous side effects, including massive liver failure and even death. For instance, the antidepressant Serzone was withdrawn from the U.S. market for just these reasons several years ago, and last year a special FDA 'Black Box' warning was sent to doctors regarding the high incidences of death among elderly patients taking the supposedly 'safer' new class of antipsychotics.

I am currently reading two very interesting books on psychotropic medications. The first is 'Your Drug May Be Your Problem' by Peter Breggin, M.D., who also wrote 'Talking Back to Prozac'. The second is 'The Creation Of Psychopharmacology', by David Healy, who also has written 'The Antidepressant Era'.

No doubt Prozac initiated the 'Brave New World' of Psychiatry in 1987. The following is an excerpt from Healy's book of how Prozac came to be approved by the FDA in spite of its ineffectiveness in numerous drug trials.

"The regular inclusion of placebo controls in regulatory studies was not instituted until the mid-1980's, after the intervention of the FDA, and it initially elicited dismay from the pharmaceutical industry."

"The crisis that arose may have contributed to the licensing of Prozac. The plans to launch several antidepressants in the U.S. were set back by the new requirements for placebo-controlled studies, at a time when work on new antipsychotics had all but ceased because of the legal liabilities associated with tardive dyskinesia. For a period in the 1980's, there appeared to be a real risk that no new psychotropic drugs would emerge. Against this backdrop, in 1987, the FDA licensed fluoxetine, on the basis of minimal superiority to a placebo and its inferiority to imipramine as a comparator and despite the fact that fluoxetine could not be shown to be beneficial to in treating patients hospitalized for depression and was therefore in some real sense inferior to agents already available."

"Furthermore, many of the patients given fluoxetine were also prescribed benzodiazepines, to minimize the drug-induced agitation that had led a number of patients to worsen dramatically. In a population of mild depressives, it could not be assumed that these benzodiazepines were not working in their own right. It follows that fluoxetine alone had not been shown to work - and indeed has never since, in this sense, been shown to work."

"The story of Prozac is not an isolated one. Throughout the 1990's, a succession of drugs with minimal effects on depression was licensed, in some cases with only two out of six trials showing a superiority to a placebo, with any trials that failed to show a differentation from a placebo being termed failed trials."


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