Thursday, April 23, 2009

Big Pharma in bed with the FDA / Putting Profits First

By Dr. William B. Ferril

FDA rewards drug maker's bad behavior

They must be joking.

That’s the only possible explanation for this one, friends. Either that, or maybe the folks in Washington just don’t read the newspapers.

The FDA has just approved the antidepressant Lexapro for use in kids. Just weeks before that, federal prosecutors accused its maker, Forest Laboratories, of illegally marketing that same drug, along with one other antidepressant, to kids.

The manufacturer was also accused of giving pediatricians kickbacks to get kids on these drugs. And now, the FDA essentially rewards this behavior.

If you can see any logic in that, please drop me a line because I just can’t figure it out. To me, it’s like a gang of bank robbers getting caught in the vault. And instead of being locked up, they’re given the keys.

Lexapro already enjoys $2 billion more in annual sales - just how many more times are we going to let that cash register ring before someone notices this company isn’t playing by the rules?

This wasn’t some spontaneous act by the Justice Department in response to a one-time slip-up. Their accusations came after a five-year probe of how Forest marketed Lexapro and another antidepressant, Celexa. Five years!

They found the company was offering pediatricians everything from tickets to sporting events and Broadway shows to fishing trips and spa visits in exchange for giving these drugs to kids. They also found that the company had ordered its sales force to push a positive study on Celexa and ignore one that showed it was ineffective for children.

Let’s keep in mind that antidepressants are potentially dangerous drugs that sometimes cause nasty side effects. Many come with black-box warnings because they’ve been linked to increased suicide and suicidal behavior in youths.

If any drugs should be kept away from kids, it’s these.

Antidepressants exist purely for symptom control. They won’t cure depression or cause the body to create the additional serotonin it needs. They just manipulate the serotonin you already have.

Often times, there are much better ways, not just for kids, but for everyone to treat their depression. Everything from tryptophan to vitamin B to exercise can be just as effective as drugs like Lexapro, if not more so.

To me, the behavior of the company tells you everything you need to know about what they’re selling. When a business has to resort to shady and manipulative behavior to sell its product, then it’s probably not a product you want to use, much less give to your children.

Dr. William B. Ferril
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  1. Is it any wonder that so many kids today have so many problems? Look at all the suicides & violence against others. I feel certain that a good portion of this stems from these kids being placed on antidepressants. Also, look at the parents who are killing their children. Seems to be A LOT of that lately & I've read that some of them were also the VICTIMS of antidepressants...although their poor murdered children turned out to be the true victims. The FDA does not care about the health of the people. They only care about their "clients"...Big Pharma. And the more drugs they can get you on, the better they like it. Each drug has side effects & the good docs give you more prescriptions to combat those side effects which give you MORE side effects. It's an ugly vicious cycle that only makes people SICKER & the drug companies richer & the doctors too. I agree that if people would get off the meds & do as you suggested with improved diet, exercise & supplements...which the FDA wants to eradicate OF COURSE, we'd have a much healthier society. But they do NOT want us to be healthy! NO MONEY IN THAT!! Good article. Thanks for posting it.

  2. This guy hit the nail on the head, pharmaceutical companies have no interest in helping people they only want to make a profit. There are many drugs that have been around for over a hundred years that are very effective and have no severe side effects, but big pharma is hard at work pushing new drugs with terrible side effects to replace the safe and proven meds again only to turn a profit, they see no problem in maiming and outright killing people as long as the cost of the lawsuits don't exceed the amount of money made on a particular drug, I mean look at how often you see new drugs advertised on TV then a few months later you see them being recalled and the drug company being sued, they ought to be imprisoned and force fed the poison they push instead they payout a small fraction of what they made and start synthesizing something new to make even more money on. Most people I know look at me like I'm a conspiracy theorist nutjob when I talk about these things but really I'm only pointing out the blatantly obvious truths, I guess I just need to find new friends.