Paid speaking “is perfectly legal, and if people want to work for drug companies, this is America,” said Scully, whose specialty has often been criticized for its over-reliance on medications. “But everybody needs to be clear — this is marketing.”
File this under The Case of The Missing Book. When last seen, Scientific Therapeutics Information was at the center of an ongoing controversy over an allegedly ghostwritten book – yes, an entire book – that was published in 1999 by the American Psychiatric Association. Funding came from a grant provided by SmithKline Beecham, which is now part of GlaxoSmithKline (back story).
The listed co-authors were Charles Nemeroff, who chairs the psychiatry department at the University of Miami medical school, and Alan Schatzberg, who until recently chaired the psychiatry department at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Both men were at the center of a long-running probe by the US Senate Finance Committee into undisclosed conflicts of interest among academic researchers. They were also regular speakers for Glaxo, which makes the Paxil antidepressant
For years, there were contentious debates about links between certain prescription meds, notably antidepressants, and suicidal behavior. Now, the focus is turning to violent behavior directed toward others. And a new study is linking 31 widely prescribed drugs – most notably, the Chantix anti-smoking pill – with 1,527 serious acts of violence, such as physical abuse, physical assault and homicide. The study, which was published in PLoS One, identified 484 drugs that accounted for 780,169 serious adverse event reports of all kinds, including 1,937 cases meeting the violence criteria determined by the researchers. There were 387 reports of homicide, 404 physical assaults, 27 cases indicating physical abuse, 896 homicidal ideation reports and 223 cases described as violence-related symptoms.
Besides Pfizer’s Chantix, 11 antidepressants, three ADHD meds and five hypnotics or sedatives were linked to 79 percent of the violence cases. Looked at another way, no cases of violence were reported for 324 of the 484 drugs evaluated. And so an association with violence appeared “highly unlikely” for nearly 85 percent of all evaluated drugs in widespread clinical use.
With a seemingly altruistic agenda, the fact is the campaign to end the “stigma” of mental illness is one driven and funded by pharma, psychiatry and pharmaceutical front groups such as NAMI and CHADD to name but a few. For example, take NAMI’s campaign to stop the “stigma” and “end discrimination” against the mentally ill—the “Founding Sponsors” were Abbott Labs, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Janssen, Pfizer, Novartis, SmithKline Beecham and Wyeth-Ayerst Labs.
The NYT Sunday magazine crowned Dr. Joan Luby as the queen of preschool depression this weekend, but failed to mention that Luby has taken cash from Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Shire (SHPGY) and AstraZeneca (AZN) to study using atypical antipsychotics in young children. The article is significant because of the outsize role that the Times magazine plays in creating and naming new social trends.