Friday, January 27, 2006

Manipulating Young Minds Cont.
Page 2 of 2
Deadly Results
The tragic results of psychiatric and psychological influence on child education are apparent in numerous ways.
Kay Fradenecks, a pupil of Values Clarification, said: “As a result of the indoctrination I received as a student, I began abusing drugs and became sexually promiscuous. I became pregnant twice, and twice aborted my babies, the effects of which are still evident with me today. I was applauded by my teachers for my decision to abort and encouraged to share my experience with my peers.”
Another student explained: “We had an English course in the sixth grade junior high whose title was ‘Death Education.’ In the manual, 73 out of 80 stories had to do with death, dying, killing, murder, suicide, and what you wanted on your tombstone. One girl, a sixth grader, blew her brains out after having written a note on her front door that said what she wanted on her tombstone.”

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Recent Studies MinimizingAntidepressant Risks Should Be Investigated
Two recently released studies funded by entities associated with drug companies seemingly were an attempt to refute the FDA’s warnings as to the dangerousness and ineffectiveness of the newer antidepressants. Despite the “findings” of these studies being widely promoted in the media as new evidence that these drugs are “safe” or “effective,” nothing could be further from the truth. A closer look at these studies finds serious flaws in them, so serious that the authors could find themselves the subject of investigations for fraud. Get the facts regarding these studies:

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Who Really is Writing All Those Scientific Studies?

It's an open secret in medicine that many of the articles that appear in medical journals, often purporting to be written by well-known academics, are actually written by unacknowledged ghostwriters in the pay of drug companies.
These "seemingly objective articles" are usually actually part of a marketing campaign to promote a product or draw attention to the condition it treats.
The Role of Medical Journals
However, questions about the role of medical journals have increased in the wake of the New England Journal of Medicine's admission that a 2000 article it published about Vioxx painkiller omitted information about heart attacks among those taking the drug. One element that is being looked at sharply is the "ghostwriting" practice and the medical journals' rules of author disclosure.
Biased Information
Increasingly, the practice of medical ghostwriting is being criticized on the grounds that it could hurt patients by giving doctors biased information. Drug companies claim that they're providing a service to academic researchers, who may not be skilled writers, and do not intend that the articles be biased.
An Unknown Number of Articles
An analysis found that 10 percent of articles on studies sponsored by the drug industry disclosed help from a medical writer. However, often the practice is not disclosed. An informal poll found that 80 percent of freelance medical writers had written articles that did not mention their contributions.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette December 13, 2005

Monday, January 16, 2006

Drug companies mislead the public about the causes and cures of depression.

FSU graduate student Jeffrey Lacasse co-wrote a paper that says drug companies mislead the public about the causes and cures of depression.
Depression - it's a chemical imbalance in the brain, right? Not exactly. But there's a good reason you might think that.You've seen too many TV commercials, according to Jeffrey Lacasse, a Florida State University graduate student.
He's co-written a paper - published in this month's issue of the Public Library of Science Medicine - arguing that drug-company advertisements have confused consumers by oversimplifying the causes of and ways to treat depression.
The paper's gotten plenty of media coverage, from to the Wall Street Journal, and reactions have been strong on both sides. But many in the medical community seem to support Lacasse's position.
"I really do agree with the spirit of it," said Dr. John Bailey, president of the Florida Psychiatric Society. "I'm concerned about some of the influence the ... marketing has and some of the expectations that it creates."
There are U.S. Food and Drug Administration rules about what drug makers can and cannot say in advertisements.
Among other things, they aren't allowed to make claims not supported by established scientific evidence. Or at least, not without admitting that the claims are unsupported.
What Lacasse and co-author Jonathan Leo say is this: Makers of antidepressants skirt, and sometimes cross, that line by telling consumers that depression is caused by a lack of serotonin and that their pills help boost levels of the brain chemical.
They offer Zoloft as one example, quoting a TV commercial that claims depression is a medical condition that may be due to a chemical imbalance, and that, "Zoloft works to correct this imbalance."
The problem is that depression isn't nearly that simple, according to the two.
And they have a point, said Dr. Wayne Goodman, a University of Florida psychiatrist and chairman of the FDA's psychopharmacologic advisory committee.

Monday, January 09, 2006

FDA to Examine New Ways to Study ADD Drugs
By ANDREW BRIDGES, Associated Press Writer Wed Jan 4, 7:35 PM ET
WASHINGTON - Reports of sudden deaths, strokes, heart attacks and hypertension in both children and adults taking drugs to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are spurring new government study into the medications' safety.
Sales of drugs to treat ADHD have increased sharply in recent years, with use growing at a faster rate among adults than children, according to a recent study by Medco Health Solutions, a prescription benefit manager. Spending on ADHD drugs soared from $759 million in 2000 to $3.1 billion in 2004, according to IMS Health, a pharmaceutical information and consulting firm.
The Food and Drug Administration said it had received reports of what it called "serious adverse events" — including deaths — in association with the therapeutic use of the drugs. The agency considers the reports "rare though serious," FDA spokeswoman Susan Bro said Wednesday.
The FDA's Canadian counterpart, Health Canada, yanked the ADHD drug Adderall XR from the market for six months last year in response to reports of 20 sudden deaths and 12 strokes in adults and children using the drug. A number of the cases involved children with structural heart defects

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