How Could Drug Companies be so Evil?

According to the first comprehensive scientific review to include all available studies, including negative data that have long been withheld from public scrutiny by the pharmaceutical industry, four popular antidepressants being used to treat thousands of depressed American children are unsafe, ineffective or both. Those antidepressants are:

  • Paxil
  • Zoloft
  • Effexor
  • Celexa

This is damning evidence of the drug companies' patent disregard for the safety of humans and focus on profits. GlaxoSmithKline was found to be concealing evidence that shows that these drugs do not benefit children in any way and only increase their risk of killing themselves. This was confirmed in last month's Canadian Medical Journal.

Fortunately, the British medical journals are far more responsive than the American ones. Tomorrow's Lancet editorial states:

  • Research on SSRIs in children is marked by confusion, manipulation, and institutional failure.
  • In a global medical culture where evidence-based practice is seen as the gold standard for care, these failings are a disaster.
  • How confident is society that similar failings will not occur on a larger scale in the future?
  • Changes are required at every level of the global health-care infrastructure.

Folks if this doesn't make you fighting mad, what will? Just sit down and think about it for a moment. Drug companies do the research and learn that the drugs don't work, yet are willing to sell and market them to children even when it is clear that they are causing many children to commit suicide. Unpublished studies of venlafaxine suggested the drug increased suicide-related events such as suicidal thoughts or attempts by 14 times compared with placebo. This is reprehensible and despicable behavior equivalent to any third world dictator. How can anyone possibly support this approach?

If this makes you one-tenth as angry as it does me, I encourage you to do something practical about it. Tell several of your friends and have them join the newsletter so they can learn practical alternatives to the ineffective and deadly solutions being manipulated onto us and our children so these evil companies can earn more profit.

Washington Post April 23, 2004

New Scientist April 23, 2004

The Lancet April 24, 2004

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