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Drug Companies Payoff Government to Sell More Psychotic Drugs

These new antipsychotics are loaded with side effects. Last week four medical groups, including the American Psychiatric Association, warned that the new drugs could increase a patient's risk of heart disease by increasing:

  • obesity
  • diabetes
  • high cholesterol

Last year sales of these drugs totaled $6.5 billion. About a third of those sales were to state Medicaid programs. This NY Times article details how the drug companies have manipulated and influenced state governments to purchase even more of these expensive side effect-riddled drugs. Questions have multiplied about the many ways that the drug industry tries to influence the medical information that determines its products' success or failure. Last month, for example, some senators sharply criticized the National Institutes of Health for allowing its scientists to accept consulting fees and stock options from drug and biotechnology companies. Officials of the agency said that its top-level scientists were no longer accepting such compensation.

New York Times February 1, 2004

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