The ‘Influence’ of Pharmaceutical Companies

I have reprinted a letter from Basil Miller to the Irish Times below.

Read this and then read the prior blog which I put up ten minutes ago.

Notice the common thread?

The giant pharmaceutical companies lurk at the centre of a world wide web of deception and corruption.

Not only so called mental health advocacy groups, but ‘respected’ psychiatrists are pocketing money for acting as fronts for Big Pharma.

From: The Wellbeing Foundation <wellbeing@wellbeingfoundation.com>

Date: 23 October 2009 14:15:56 GMT+01:00

To: lettersed@irish-times.ie

Subject: Antidepressants and homicide

Madam, — Like Dr Orla O’Donovan (Letters, 22 Oct: Antidepressants and homicide) I am astonished by the intervention of the eight professors of psychiatry in respect of the Clancy/Creane tragedy. What astonishes me is their degree of wilful ignorance of the side effects of the drugs they espouse, prescribe and, presumably, enjoin their students to prescribe.

As Dr O’Donovan indicated, the scientific literature is replete with studies establishing a clear link between the use of SSRI antidepressants and similar drugs and self-harm, suicidality, aggression, hostility, mania and other induced behaviour; the word ‘hostility’ being used in this context to embrace all kinds of violent thoughts and actions, including the terminal hostility of homicide.

Dr O’Donovan cited the study by Professor David Healy et al, which is important in the present instance because it starts from a conservative position and carefully explores the medico-legal problems arising from the use of these drugs. If I may quote the summary in its entirety:

Recent regulatory warnings about adverse behavioural effects of [SSRI] antidepressants in susceptible individuals have raised the profile of these issues with clinicians, patients, and the public. We review available clinical trial data on paroxetine and sertraline and pharmacovigilance studies of paroxetine and fluoxetine, and outline a series of medico-legal cases involving antidepressants and violence.

Both clinical trial and pharmacovigilance data point to possible links between these drugs and violent behaviours. The legal cases outlined returned a variety of verdicts that may in part have stemmed from different judicial processes. Many jurisdictions appear not to have considered the possibility that a prescription drug may induce violence.

The association of antidepressant treatment with aggression and violence reported here calls for more clinical trial and epidemiological data to be made available and for good clinical descriptions of the adverse outcomes of treatment. Legal systems are likely to continue to be faced with cases of violence associated with the use of psychotropic drugs, and it may fall to the courts to demand access to currently unavailable data. The problem is international and calls for an international response.

I am astonished that all eight professors of psychiatry whose letter you published on Monday 19 October publicly profess ignorance of this important area of study in their field. These eight people have enormous authority; they are responsible for the training and education, and ultimately the graduation, of thousands of psychiatrists into our health services, not to mention the psychiatric component of GP training. Yet they deny that their drugs of choice for both their medical specialism and for GPs in treating depression can impel violent and aggressive behaviours.

There are many, many more peer-reviewed studies showing clear and irrefutable links between this generation of antidepressants and violent ideation and behaviour, too many to list here. Is it not only astonishing, but also potentially dangerous, for the leading lights of psychiatric education in this country to be unaware of this literature, or to dismiss it out of hand as they appear to do?

Perhaps they are taking the word ‘cause’, which they used in their letter, in the same sense as the tobacco industry used it for several generations to deny that smoking and cancer were linked, and to avoid the serious questions about risk and benefit which hang over the equally aggressively marketed SSRIs and SNRIs.

Let us have no chilling of the essential public debate on the role of these drugs in the case of Sebastian Creane and Shane Clancy — if there is any such chilling or stifling of debate, the sure result will be to leave the door open to another such tragedy. — Yours, etc,

BASIL MILLER

The Wellbeing Foundation

2 Eden Park

Glasthule

Co Dublin

4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Dorothee Krien on October 25, 2009 at 5:54 am

    Since genetic research has shown that some patients can’t properly metabolize toxins and pharmaceutical drugs, being in danger of having severe adverse effects and overdose reactions – even with low dose medication – administering psychiatric drugs without prior genetic tests has amounted to medical malpractice but most psychiatrists ignore these findings. Many of those who committed suicide while on antidepressants may still be alive if psychiatrists had been willing to get educated.
    Here’s an abtract of a book published in 2006 in German:

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/y80t369h2782w777/

    J. Kirchheiner1, 3 , A. Seeringer1, 3 und J. Brockmöller2
    (1) Klinische Pharmakologie, Universität Ulm, Ulm, BRD
    (2) Universität Göttingen, Göttingen, BRD
    (3) Klinische Pharmakologie, Universität Ulm, Abteilung Naturheilkunde & Klinische Pharmakologie, Helmholtzstraße 20, 89081 Ulm, BRD
    Online publiziert: 4. Oktober 2006

    Abstract Individual differences in the effect and side effect of drugs are partly due to genetic factors (genetic polymorphisms). The responsible polymorphisms lie in genes encoding for drug metabolism and transport but also in direct and indirect drug targets. While genetic variants in pharmacokinetic structures exert effects on drug efficacy via the differences in drug exposure, polymorphisms in drug targets can directly affect clinical efficacy and may lead to a broad variation spectrum between inefficacy and severe side effects. However, at present, our knowledge on genetic variants in drug targets is less detailed than the knowledge on pharmacogenetic variability within drug metabolism. A goal of pharmacogenetic diagnostics implemented in clinical practice is to better predict the individual drug effects on the basis of molecular-genetic profiles. Therapy recommendations can be given as dose adjustments, in particular in the case of polymorphisms of drug metabolizing enzymes which will lead to less variable drug concentrations. At present there are few examples of the application of pharmacogenetic tests in Germany in order to improve and individualize drug therapy. The reasons for this are multifold. On the one hand it is due to the limited awareness of pharmacogenetics; on the other hand it may be due to the lack of fast and economical availability of the appropriate laboratory tests. The most important reason, however, may be that most results of pharmacogenetic research are so far not translated into therapeutically usable conclusions and therapy recommendations. Thus, testing for a genotype without concrete consequences for the drug therapy of an individual patient does not make sense. Pharmacogenetic research, thereby, stands in many cases at the threshold to clinical applicability and in many cases, for instance for the genotyping for thiopurine methyltransferase polymorphisms prior to azathioprine therapy or of dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase polymorphisms prior to treatment with 5-fluorouracil, as well as for diagnostics of CYP2D6 before therapy with certain tricyclic antidepressants and neuroleptics, one would ask already today whether a such drug therapy is still responsible without pharmacogenetic diagnostics.
    Keywords pharmacogenetics – pharmacogenomics – individualised drug therapy – genotype based therapeutic recommendations – cytochrome P450 enzyme

    Reply

  2. Posted by Dorothee Krien on October 25, 2009 at 6:43 am

  3. They deny it because they do not want to assume responsibility for it..
    It happened with the Catholic Church for decades (some would say centuries).. Authoritarian based-unquestionable power institutions, by their very nature, become distgustingly corrupt..

    Biological psychiatry attracts those whom seek to control and dominate the human condition.. Add the profitability factor with the the pharmaceutical industry and you have what we see today..
    A corrupt, deceitful and completely deluded system which will do anything to protect its own interests …

    Dr Michael Corry should be given the highest of praise and accolades..
    He breaks ranks because he has a soul and a conscience ..
    And you can’t put a price on that!… .

    Anyone who has been through the psychiatric system will tell you just how cruel, insidious and horrible it is..
    These psychiatrists whom choose to jump into the pocket of pharmaceutical companies and deny the side effect of these drugs to keep the public in the dark are truly awful human beings…

    The truth always has the most powerful resonance…
    Michael Corry speaks the truth…
    And that’s why they don’t like it..
    They don’t want the truth to be exposed…

    Reply

  4. What a cool post, thanks for sharing.

    Reply

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