Already, the explosive growth in online advertising has intensified public concerns: the pharmaceutical industry spent more than $1 billion on Internet ads last year and is projected to spend $1.7 billion on such marketing efforts in 2012…
According to a new report commissioned by the British government, there are an estimated 180,000 elderly people with dementia in the United Kingdom currently being treated with antipsychotic drugs such as Seroquel, Zyprexa, Risperdal and Abilify. The report found that these drugs could be responsible for as many as 1,800 deaths and 1,620 strokes each year among the elderly with dementia in the United Kingdom.
AstraZeneca paid Chicago psychiatrist Dr. Michael Reinstein $490,000 over a decade to travel the nation promoting its best-selling antipsychotic drug, Seroquel. In return, Reinstein provided the company a vast customer base: thousands of residents in Chicago-area nursing homes.
Ironically, the FDA is approving these drugs for use in children at the same time that the Justice Department has been fining drug companies for illegally marketing these drugs to children. The illegal marketing corrupted and contaminated medical practice, encouraging physicians to prescribe off label, eventually leading the FDA to then approve off label prescribing. The studies used to justify this approval have been wholly developed and supervised by these same drugs companies using handpicked doctors who have often been involved in encouraging off label use. Drug companies commonly ghostwrite the research publications that appear under the names of these doctors.
Children who were prescribed Zyprexa from Eli Lilly packed on 19 pounds in three months after starting the drug. Seroquel from AstraZeneca, Risperdal from Johnson & Johnson and Abilify from Bristol-Myers Squibb were not that much better, causing kids to gain 10 to 13 pounds in the same period.