Tag Archives: bipolar disorder

Selling Depression—Adding New Spin and Urgency to Depression Drug Sales

The discovery that many people with life problem or occasional bad moods would willingly dose themselves with antidepressants sailed the drug industry through the 2000s. A good chunk of the $4.5 billion a year direct-to-consumer advertising has been devoted to convincing people they don’t have problems with their job, the economy and their family, they have depression. Especially because depression can’t be diagnosed from a blood test.

Unfortunately, three things dried up the depression gravy train for the drug industry. Blockbusters went off patent and generics took off, antidepressants were linked with gory and unpredictable violence, especially in young users and — they didn’t even work, according to medical articles!

FDA approved Big Pharma drugs without effectiveness data

Consumers constantly are told how complicated it is to get a new drug on the market. After all, researchers have to jump through all sorts of hoops to assure safety before new therapies are approved for the public, right? It turns out they may be missing some of those hoops or not jumping through some of the most important ones.

In fact, huge red flags are being raised about how drugs are tested and approved in two new studies, including one just published in the May 4th issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

A case in point: it turns out that only about half of the new prescription medications pushed onto the market over the last decade had the proper data together for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration – yet the FDA approved them anyhow.

Mad World:”A pill to make you numb, a pill to make you dumb, a pill to make you anybody else”— Marilyn Manson

If you’ve ever watched two episodes of House M.D., you know the routine. The doctors are on a mad rush to get a diagnosis, throwing one treatment after another at the symptoms to see if it works. All tests have been inconclusive, all theories have been shot down, and the only thing that can save the day is the last minute epiphany of a brilliant and eccentric doctor. If you take away that last step you get a somewhat less interesting show where the patients always die, but also a much better metaphor for the psychiatric industry.

Let’s put on our diagnostic whiteboard the term “chemical imbalance”. What is the cause? Unknown. What are the physiological signs of a chemical imbalance? Since there is no control model for a chemically balanced brain, there are no physiological signs of an imbalance.

Adderall’s on First, Ritalin’s on Second: The Ongoing Saga of PEDs in Baseball

It seems like an eternity since Major League Baseball finally got around to admitting it had a problem of the performance enhancing variety, but in reality it has barely been a half a decade. Players once thought to be first-ballot Hall of Famers are struggling to garner more than a pittance of support from sports writers and fans alike as the sport carries on the best it can. Attendance remains high—despite an ongoing quasi-recession—television revenue is streaming in and it appears that many of the measures taken by commissioner Bud Selig and his merry band of nitwits salvaged what little dignity this great sport had left in the wake of all that ugliness. But alas, as always, looks can be deceiving. I, for one, was more than a little bit surprised when MLB decided to include a ban on stimulants in its new drug program a few years back….When the league banned these drugs, an amazing thing happened. The number of players claiming and obtaining “therapeutic use” exemptions for stimulants nearly quadrupled from 28 to 103…I mean how the hell can ADHD multiply fourfold in a sport in a single year? How can it become three times as prevalent in that sport as in the adult population? Is it contagious? Can Derek Jeter give it to Dustin Pedroia if he coughs on him as he slides into second base? Of course not.