Pharmaceuticals Anonymous

Saturday, August 29, 2009

From Blogging against Disablism

From Blogging against Disablism: those lazy, deceiving disabled..why won't they die?

A group that are lazy, deceivers, liars, take the easy way, always have their hand out, always feel the rules don’t apply to them, unwilling to take responsibility, unwilling to try. No, not just a historic view of the Welsh (“Welshed on a deal”), or Gypsies (“Got gypped”) or Jews, I am talking about the Western attitude toward people with disabilities; in particularly those with sudden or emerging disabilities....

I know two of the people whose government job it is in BC to find the “slackers” and cut them from disability (regardless that the only way to qualify for disability payments is to have less that $3000 in assets to begin with). I have not applied as since my partner makes money, so I do not qualify. However earlier in life, during a period of temporary disability in the UK, even though I was designated as “disabled” I was awarded a monthly supplement assessed income of $0 (but I was exempt from my share of paying garbage tax). After three months I was ordered by letter to come “with two forms of picture ID” to prove to an independent doctor that I was disabled. The entire experience was one in which they dictated that some/many designated disabled people are cheats and liars and that I needed to prove I wasn’t one of them (and prove that I hadn’t sent in a different disabled person to trick them into thinking it was me). The doctor told me, “You have 10 minutes.” I asked if he had my medical records. He opened the folder. It was empty. “You asked my GP for them didn’t you?” I asked.

“You have nine minutes.” He responded.

“I have nine minutes to “prove” I am disabled because you don’t believe I am?”


“Well,” I said, “First I would like you to prove that you are a licensed GP who is qualified to evaluate me. I brought two pieces of Picture ID to verify my identity, all I ask is your Medical Certificate.”

He recoiled as if I had struck him. And was speechless for another minute (now down to 8 minutes). “I don’t have to prove anything to you.”

“Unless you can verify that you actually are a doctor, I will not disclose confidential medical information with you simply for you to decide if I am a liar.” I responded.

“I will be writing the report on you regardless” he threatened, “If you do not give me the information then I will be forced to report on your attitude and you may find your monthly supplement decreased.”

So, now I was not being evaluated on my physical need, but on my “attitude”? I was being threatened for not having the right attitude? Thankfully, half of $0 is still $0, though I clearly remember the humiliation of attending my award ceremony for a Ph.D. in one month and being summoned to a room to prove to some guy who said he was a doctor that I wasn’t a liar and cheat the next. What if my ability to feed or transport myself was on the line instead, or my ability to breathe, to get medical supplies?

Nutrition - Renegade Lunch Lady

Link to Ann Cooper at TED

Ann Cooper, the “renegade lunch lady,” is the director of nutrition services for the Berkeley Unified School District in California, and she is trying to change the way we feed kids in school in America. Feeding children nutrient-rich foods is essential for good health and optimal brain function, and good nutrition starts at home.

Cooper has completely overhauled the Berkeley school lunch program to include locally grown, sustainable, organic foods. And she advocates that other school districts can — and need to — make similar changes. How? Follow her to the FarmToSchool program. And Chef Ann Cooper's site is here.

Just for fun... a clip from FAME, the "Hot Lunch Jam".

Friday, August 28, 2009

Gluten, as in GLUE

Interesting article on the role of the foods we eat as cause of inflammation, disease, disability, mental disorders - and death.
Dr. Mark Hyman in Huffington Post
Dr. Hyman's website is here.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

White Bird

Birds are symbols of the spirit,
and white birds represent the soul.

This video with the music of the Incredible String Band expresses the sorrow and loss of soul that can come from the use of drugs - and the joy of recovery. In two parts.

If you are an "accidental addict" looking for information about withdrawal from psychotropic medications, please see our links in the right hand column. And take comfort - the journey is not easy, but it is worth it!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Social Utility: How Much Are Grandma and Grandpa Worth?

By Dr. Russell Blaylock, author of EXCITOTOXINS - THE TASTE THAT KILLS
A thought-provoking essay. The ideas presented here apply to any individuals who are older, disabled or different.
Are the prime beneficiaries of sacrifice of today's "useless eaters" not persons, society in general or even the State - but Corporations?

Trailer from LOGAN'S RUN, a 1976 sci-fi film set in a dystopia where aging persons are culled - at 30:

More on the "old killed for benefit of young" debate in the arts is here.

Another way to profit from the elderly: Retired Texas couple held in care as "incompetent" while guardian and state clean out their assets.
News link

Humor: Help Dr. Frist Find His Lost Kitty!

Link to spoof

Bill Frist medical experiments controversy

HCA scandal (Forbes)

Is your health insurance making you feel like a cat in a cage?

How Pharma Giants are Getting Rich by Calling Our Life Problems Medical Disorders

Voodoo diagnostics are major mojo for pharmaceutical corporations - and the pshrinks who prescribe.

In 1994, the DSM-IV was published to considerable acclaim, with a text revision released in 2000. A quick glance through its list of contributors is revealing. As was reported in a 2006 study, lead-authored by Lisa Cosgrove of the University of Massachusetts, 56 per cent (95 of 170) of the researchers who worked on the manual had at least one monetary relationship with a drug manufacturer between 1989 and 2004. Twenty-two per cent of these researchers received consulting income during that period, and 16 per cent were paid spokespersons for a drug company. The percentages are even higher – 100 per cent in some instances – for researchers who contributed to the manual’s subsections on psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. While Cosgrove and her coauthors were not able to determine the percentage of researchers who received funds from the drug industry during the actual production of the DSM-IV, the chorus of protest that arose following their paper’s publication was telling. “I can categorically say,” roared the DSM-IV’s text and criteria editor, Michael First, “that drug-company influence never entered into any of the discussions, whatsoever.”

Images: Dr. John Dee, Elizabethan alchemist and magician, above; and cartoon, The Money Demon, below

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Pharmaceutical Industry: A Guide to Historical Records

"...this book will no doubt prove an invaluable resource to researchers undertaking comparative studies of the pharmaceutical industry, the history of medicine and the retailing of medical drugs." Google Books Link

Ay-yup. Have a carrot and sit and read for a spell. Or if you would prefer carrot juice, read Dr. Andrew Saul's how-to juicing hints here.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Lancet: Principles for allocation of scarce medical interventions

Department of Ethics
The Lancet, Volume 373, Issue 9661, Pages 423 - 431, 31 January 2009
Principles for allocation of scarce medical interventions

Govind Persad BS a, Alan Wertheimer PhD a, Ezekiel J Emanuel MD a

Allocation of very scarce medical interventions such as organs and vaccines is a persistent ethical challenge. We evaluate eight simple allocation principles that can be classified into four categories: treating people equally, favouring the worst-off, maximising total benefits, and promoting and rewarding social usefulness. No single principle is sufficient to incorporate all morally relevant considerations and therefore individual principles must be combined into multiprinciple allocation systems. We evaluate three systems: the United Network for Organ Sharing points systems, quality-adjusted life-years, and disability-adjusted life-years. We recommend an alternative system—the complete lives system—which prioritises younger people who have not yet lived a complete life, and also incorporates prognosis, save the most lives, lottery, and instrumental value principles.


UPDATE: Article on end of life care from Alternet -

Obamacare: "Do they really want to croak Granny? - Yes, sometimes"

"While the imposition of this new ethos of death is justly alarming, the more present problem of medical rationing is likely to impact granny much more gravely and much sooner. The rationing of medical treatment for the elderly is marbled throughout the Obama bill in so many places that we will have to address this issue in more detail in a future installment. For example, cancer treatment, much of which is skewed toward an older demographic, will be limited ("adjusted" in Obama-speak, "rationed" in actual English), if it becomes too costly in a particular hospital. (Section 1145) Another example: services to be provided under many plans are quite limited, i.e. rationing. A more attenuated but relevant problem is that hospitals are actually prohibited from expanding, and are limited to their size as of the date of the enactment of the bill, unless a medical politburo, answerable to no one, gives the OK to expand. Thus, treatment options become further limited.

Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, a key medical ethics adviser to the president, and brother of Obama's chief-of-staff Rahm Emanuel, has set forth in writing a deadly formula for allocating care. In a January 31, 2009 article in a prestigious British medical journal, The Lancet, he and two co-authors offer a theory they call, "the complete lives system," as a means to decide who gets care and who dies.

In a complex web of interlocking principles for allocating medical treatment, in an environment where rationing is assumed, Dr. Emanuel opines that teenagers should have priority over infants, because they have received more resources from society. Older people, however, are "objectively less valuable," so, yes, granny does have to die. Under this system, using utilitarian and amoral criteria like "distributive justice," young healthy people from ages 15-40 get priority, and the rest, including grandma, may not.

One can infer that this premise will undergird the implementation of the Obama healthcare regime, including the assumption of rationing of care. While the self-anointed messiah Obama brazenly proclaims throughout the land that his deadly healthcare bill will be good for society, the Hebrew prophet Isaiah rightly saw that such thinking reflects that "the dust of death" has settled over a culture.

The Obama bill reflects the ethos of amoral "utility" throughout. For example, in Section 1177, many plans will not be allowed to enroll "special needs" people. No explanation is given as to the rationale behind this cruel mandate."


Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Human Rights of Older People in Healthcare

From the UK
Eighteenth Report of Session 2006-07

HL Paper 156-I HC 378-I Published on 14 August 2007 by authority of the House of Commons London:
The Human Rights of Older People in Healthcare 3 Summary In addition to its scrutiny of parliamentary Bills and policy documents for human rights implications, the Committee examines areas where human rights concerns arise, such as the treatment of older persons in health care. In this Report the Committee examines how human rights principles can be applied toensure that older people in hospitals and care homes are treated with greater dignity andrespect (paragraphs 1 - 8).The Committee heard that, while some older people receive excellent care, there are concerns about poor treatment, neglect, abuse, discrimination and ill-considered discharge.It considers that an entire culture change is needed. It also recommends legislative changesand a role for the new Commission for Equality and Human Rights (paragraphs 9 - 65).In the Committee’s view there is a significant distinction between a “duty to provide” undercare standards legislation and a “right to receive” under human rights legislation. It recommends that the Government and other public bodies should champion understandingof how human rights principles can help transform health and social care services (paragraphs 66 - 95).While welcoming the recent acceptance at senior levels in the Department of Health of theimportance of human rights in healthcare, the Committee recommends adoption of astrategy to make the Human Rights Act integral to policy-making and social care across the Department (paragraphs 96 - 124)


26. A number of witnesses expressed concern about the inappropriate use of medication
on older people, including the over or under-use of medication and the use of medication
as a means of controlling patients and residents. Action on Elder Abuse cited the misuse of
medication as one type of abuse which frequently comes to its attention.47 This is a
particular issue in care homes.
27. Again, witnesses accepted that there was good practice in this area,48 but that this was
not universally implemented. Witnesses raised a particular issue of medication being
inappropriately used to keep residents docile.49 As the Alzheimer’s Society’s said:
The response to aggression in dementia is often to prescribe powerful sedative
neuroleptic drugs that can help to calm the person However, these treatments have
very damaging side effects. Medications such Haliperidol, Risperidone and
Olanzipine are being routinely prescribed to people with dementia in hospitals and
care homes. A recent study found that 40% of people with dementia in care homes
are being prescribed neuroleptic drugs.50 Neuroleptics are not licensed for use in
dementia care but have become a convenient staple as part of routine treatment,
despite known evidence on the risks which such ‘treatments’ pose to quality of life
and the increased risk of death.51
28. The concerns of witnesses accord with the findings of the Health Committee that
medication was “in many cases, being used simply as a tool for the easier management of
residents”.52 The National Service Framework for Older People requires that all people over
75 years should normally have their medicines reviewed at least annually and those taking
four or more medicines should have a review every six months.53 In 2006, Living Well in
Later Life noted that “the management of medicines needs to be addressed, as many older
people taking more than four medications are still not receiving a review every six
months”.54 CSCI found that, in 2005-06, only 59% of care homes met the National
Minimum Standard (Standard 9) for medication.55 The Alzheimer’s Society agreed that
there is a very poor record of medication in care homes.56


Toronto journalist Judy Steed has been writing about social issues for 30 years. Last fall, she embarked on a one-year project to document the most pressing policy implications of our aging society as part of the 2008 Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy.
She has visited dozens of nursing homes and interviewed hundreds of health-care workers, policy-makers and seniors to present this weeklong portrait.

Day 4 of an eight-day Atkinson Fellowship series
Drugged-out seniors a prescription for disaster
November 11, 2008
They are the drugged-out generation, and they're not who you think they are.

They're 80. And 85 and 90 and 95 – overmedicated seniors clogging emergency departments, blocking hospital beds and sicker than they have any reason to be.

The Number 1 drug users in North America, outside of patients in long-term care facilities, are women over the age of 65. Twelve per cent are on 10 or more meds, sometimes up to 20 or more drugs; 23 per cent take at least five drugs. In long-term care, seniors are on six to eight medications, on average. Fifteen per cent of seniors admitted to hospital are suffering drug side effects. It's not uncommon to find seniors dizzy and dotty from being prescribed so many drugs.

"You'd fall down, too, if you were on so many drugs," says Dr. William Dalziel, a prominent Ottawa geriatrician.

Typically, overmedicated seniors have been seen by numerous specialists who have prescribed various medications to treat a host of chronic ailments – high blood pressure, hypertension, diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease, cancer – but there hasn't been any oversight by a geriatrician skilled in looking at the big picture and assessing contra-indications and side effects. Ask any doctor with expertise in seniors what their top health concerns are and they all cite overmedication.

Article on drugging of seniors from the Toronto STAR

When Medicine Went Mad

Bioethics issues from the Holocaust. Are they still relevant today? Mature content. Link to Google books

Friday, August 14, 2009

Vortex of Mental Illness Map and Kitbag

Detail - From International Futures Forum an update on the old game of Snakes and Ladders. Kudos for this outstanding graphic design, which really help us think about these problems in a new way - to get inside them. Image
See more MacroVu diagrams here
MacroVu/Stanford's map re mental health care mess here

"Vortex of mental illness
December 4th, 2008

You might wonder why Kitbag was first tested at Cornton Vale women’s prison in Scotland.

This came about following a meeting between the governor and me in response to work I had done on improving services for adult survivors of sexual abuse. The prison population has a high percentage of women survivors and the governor was wondering whether there was anything more she could be doing to help them recover from their trauma.

I showed her work the IFF had done in Fife which examined the systemic behaviours that drive people ever deeper into care and custodial services as they slip out of the support of family, friends and community. Bob Horn, an expert in visual language, helped us illustrate our thinking with a mural called the Vortex of Mental Illness. You can link through to it from this post: I would be interested in your views.

When I had a prototype Kitbag to show her, it seemed sensible to return to the prison to see if they woudl be interested in using it with their women. The Head of Care and governor were both keen. They liked its holistic/wellness perspective. With modifications for the prison environment and agreement with mental health nursing staff, we gave three women the kits and worked through each pocket over a year.

We are now planning to expand this work to include more women, using a peer education model.

Margaret Hannah"

Kitbag - what is it?

We think massage, lighting candles and drawing divination cards are fine. However, what people need first to shake their "psychological problems" and "addictions" is correct diagnosis and treatment of their nutritional and other underlying health problems. When we checked we found only one link on nutrition at International Futures Forum.

Here's an earlier post on using nutrition to
get through heroin withdrawal.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Secrecy shields medical mishaps from public view

Almost 200,000 people a year die from preventable medical errors and hospital acquired infections. More people die from preventable medical errors and hospital-acquired infections than from alcohol-related auto accidents, murder, illegal drugs and suicide combined.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Unethical Psychiatrists Misrepresent What is Known About Schizophrenia

by Al Siebert, Ph.D.
Abstract: Prominent psychiatrists are stating that schizophrenia is a brain disease like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, or multiple sclerosis. These statements are disconfirmed by scientific facts: no neurologist can independently confirm the presence or absence of schizophrenia with laboratory tests because the large majority of people diagnosed with schizophrenia show no neuropathological or biochemical abnormalities and a few people without any symptoms of schizophrenia have the same biophysiological abnormalities. People with schizophrenia do not usually progressively deteriorate: most improve over time. Psychotherapy and milieu therapy, without medications, have led even the most severely disturbed individuals with schizophrenia to full recovery and beyond. Many people diagnosed with schizophrenia have recovered on their own without any treatment, something never accomplished by a person with Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, or multiple sclerosis. Link

This junk science diagram speaks volumes about this kind of scholarship.

Read our entry about the mother of Prince Philip, who made a complete recovery from schizophrenia:

The 29 verifiable, correctable causes of schizophrenia are listed

NYT: Dr. Drug Rep

Click to get cool Animations for your MySpace profile
Dr. Daniel Carlat tells us how he and other physicians are wooed - and very well paid - to become "Doctor" drug reps.
He is an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine and the publisher of The Carlat Psychiatry Report.

As the reps became comfortable with me, they began to see me more as a sales colleague. I received faxes before talks preparing me for particular doctors. One note informed me that the physician we’d be visiting that day was a “decile 6 doctor and is not prescribing any Effexor XR, so please tailor accordingly. There is also one more doc in the practice that we are not familiar with.” The term “decile 6” is drug-rep jargon for a doctor who prescribes a lot of medications. The higher the “decile” (in a range from 1 to 10), the higher the prescription volume, and the more potentially lucrative that doctor could be for the company.

A note from another rep reminded me of a scene from “Mission: Impossible.” “Dr. Carlat: Our main target, Dr. , is an internist. He spreads his usage among three antidepressants, Celexa, Zoloft and Paxil, at about 25-30 percent each. He is currently using about 6 percent Effexor XR. Our access is very challenging with lunches six months out.” This doctor’s schedule of lunches was filled with reps from other companies; it would be vital to make our sales visit count.+

Na├»ve as I was, I found myself astonished at the level of detail that drug companies were able to acquire about doctors’ prescribing habits. I asked my reps about it; they told me that they received printouts tracking local doctors’ prescriptions every week. The process is called “prescription data-mining,” in which specialized pharmacy-information companies (like IMS Health and Verispan) buy prescription data from local pharmacies, repackage it, then sell it to pharmaceutical companies. This information is then passed on to the drug reps, who use it to tailor their drug-detailing strategies. This may include deciding which physicians to aim for, as my Wyeth reps did, but it can help sales in other ways. For example, Shahram Ahari, a former drug rep for Eli Lilly (the maker of Prozac) who is now a researcher at the University of California at San Francisco’s School of Pharmacy, said in an article in The Washington Post that as a drug rep he would use this data to find out which doctors were prescribing Prozac’s competitors, like Effexor. Then he would play up specific features of Prozac that contrasted favorably with the other drug, like the ease with which patients can get off Prozac, as compared with the hard time they can have withdrawing from Effexor.

The American Medical Association is also a key player in prescription data-mining. Pharmacies typically will not release doctors’ names to the data-mining companies, but they will release their Drug Enforcement Agency numbers. The A.M.A. licenses its file of U.S. physicians, allowing the data-mining companies to match up D.E.A. numbers to specific physicians. The A.M.A. makes millions in information-leasing money.

Once drug companies have identified the doctors, they must woo them. In the April 2007 issue of the journal PLoS Medicine, Dr. Adriane Fugh-Berman of Georgetown teamed up with Ahari (the former drug rep) to describe the myriad techniques drug reps use to establish relationships with physicians, including inviting them to a speaker’s meeting. These can serve to cement a positive a relationship between the rep and the doctor. This relationship is crucial, they say, since “drug reps increase drug sales by influencing physicians, and they do so with finely titrated doses of friendship.”


Former drug rep Gwen Olsen talks about manipulating doctors.

Monday, August 10, 2009

GOOD Magazine: America's Problem Drugs

There is a drug use great graphic at this site. However it does not reflect that legal medications - pharmaceuticals - account for America's biggest addiction and fatality problems. The biggest "drug dealers" are listed on the Stock Exchange.

NYT: Mentally Ill Offenders Strain Juvenile System

Image of Pinocchio turning into a Donkey Boy after falling under bad influences. He is imprisoned and made into a slave. - Image adapted from Walt Disney.

As cash-starved states slash mental health programs in communities and schools, they are increasingly relying on the juvenile corrections system to handle a generation of young offenders with psychiatric disorders. About two-thirds of the nation’s juvenile inmates — who numbered 92,854 in 2006, down from 107,000 in 1999 — have at least one mental illness, according to surveys of youth prisons, and are more in need of therapy than punishment.

“We’re seeing more and more mentally ill kids who couldn’t find community programs that were intensive enough to treat them,” said Joseph Penn, a child psychiatrist at the Texas Youth Commission. “Jails and juvenile justice facilities are the new asylums.”

At least 32 states cut their community mental health programs by an average of 5 percent this year and plan to double those budget reductions by 2010, according to a recent survey of state mental health offices.


Study after study after study after study has proved that nutrition is the key to mental health. Good nutrition helps the brain form and function correctly and can assist young persons in avoiding impulsive decisions that lead to unhappy outcomes. Why don't we act on that information and help these people?
Food and vitamins are inexpensive; drugs and incarceration are not.

Image: Modern "Panopticon"- style prison

Prisons are big business.

“Incarceration, Inc.,” by Sasha Abramsky, The Nation, July 19, 2004, 16 p.
Prisons thrive on cheap labor and the hunger of job-starved towns.

“The prison industry in the United States: big business or a new form of slavery?” by Vicky Pelaez, El Diario-La Prensa, New York, October 13, 2005, 7 p.
The private contracting of prisoners for work fosters incentives to lock people up.

What don't we know about the pharmaceutical industry?

A NYT Freakonomics quorum.

From the page:
Dr. Harlan Krumholz, professor of medicine, epidemiology, and public health at Yale:

"Science and the public good in a capitalist society depend on the free flow of unbiased information, but it doesn’t always work that way. Events are revealing that many pharmaceutical companies, along with their consulting academic physicians, have engaged in practices that obscure or misrepresent information about their products. Does the public realize the depth of these practices, and their implications for patient care?

Most physicians continue their education and keep up to date with new science by attending lectures given by experts, with the assumption that the information they hear is unbiased. But pharmaceutical companies regularly pay high-profile scientists and physicians, either directly or indirectly, to speak on topics relevant to their products. At a scientific meeting in Europe, I watched an American colleague — a famous cardiologist who was being well compensated for his participation — practice his upcoming speech in front of drug company marketers. After his practice talk, they replaced some slides with ones that presented their drug in a more favorable light. The speaker initially resisted the change, but finally acceded, and his talk the next day was a strong endorsement of his sponsor’s drug."

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Did caffeine in cola lead to schizophrenia and murder?

Unstable mental patients freed by flawed system
By Alan Judd
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Chris Pak pleaded with doctors and nurses at the state psychiatric hospital. His sister, Na Yong Pak, was still psychotic, he said. If they let her go home, he was afraid she would kill herself or someone else – their mother, most likely, the frequent target of her schizophrenia-fueled rage.

Two weeks earlier, Georgia officials had pledged to use caution in discharging patients from its psychiatric facilities. Federal investigators had sharply criticized the state for releasing patients to homeless shelters and bus stops, street corners and abandoned buildings, with little hope for continuing treatment or, in some cases, survival.

Now, on a Friday evening in January at Georgia Regional Hospital/Atlanta, Na Yong angrily refused to sign her discharge papers. She cursed the nurse and swore she would not take her antipsychotic medication.

The doctor and nurse sent Na Yong home, anyway.

“That,” her brother would say later, “is when I knew hell was going to break loose again.”

Twelve days later, after she left Georgia Regional, authorities say, Na Yong doused her mother with gasoline, struck a match, and watched her burn. Myong Hui Pak, 58, died 10 hours later.

Na Yong, 32, is in the Gwinnett County Jail, charged with murder. Her case illustrates the deficiencies that plague Georgia’s mental health system and challenges the state faces in making corrections mandated after a federal civil-rights investigation of hospital conditions.
"Her depression gradually turned darker. She yelled at people no one else could see. She would drink only Coca-Cola, but often threw nearly full cans on the floor and against the walls. She accused her mother of poisoning her food."

Since 1953, we have known that adrenochrome malfunction - sometimes related to caffeine - can trigger schizophrenia. See research by Abram Hoffer here and here, as well as an in-depth investigation of caffeine and mental health in our previous post here.
Many young people have a break with reality under the stresses of establishing themselves as adults - while consuming empty calories or toxic foods. But with proper nutrition, vulnerable people's stories do not have to end in tragedy. Link

We would like to see an investigation into caffeine/cola as factors in this murder, though we wonder if the city that is the center of cola manufacturing would permit it.

LA Times on Stopping Antidepressants

Hopelessly simplified; totally inadequate. People are going to get hurt. FAIL.
For links to the facts about antidepressant dangers please go here to Dr. Heather Ashton's site and check out other withdrawal resources listed in our FRIENDS links - David Healey's is of special note: Halting SSRI's PDF

Friday, August 7, 2009

Creative Aging With the Raging Grannies

The Raging Grannies "bared all" at the Creative Aging Symposium held in San Francisco, June 15, 2009.
Posing as the scheduled entertainment for the symposium, they took the stage and made the case for Single Payer Health Care Reform.

The Symposium was sponsored, in part, by an insurance company, and also gets funds from AARP which acts very much like a corporate insurance company and is against any health care reform that would eliminate insurance companies.

IN THE VIDEO: Some members of the crowd look suspicious, others sing along with the Grannies who croon, "We won't feed CEO's anymore!" to the tune of This Little Light of Mine.
Eight-minute QuickTime movie. 36MB at Link

Do you have the right stuff to be a Raging Granny?
Raging Grannies Net - with Song Lyrics
Some Raging Granny Songs
Raging Grannies Official Site
Raging Grannies Film Launch
Link to buy Raging Grannies CD
Link to buy Raging Grannies book

NYT: Democrats say no to cost cap for drug manufacturers

Botox in the deal
for Nancy?

"Ms. Pelosi, many House and Senate Democrats and most of the administration’s liberal allies had assumed that the $80 billion was more of a starting point than a firm commitment.

“We know we can squeeze more from the system,” Ms. Pelosi told a Washington Post blogger a few weeks ago. “The minute the drug companies settled for $80 billion, we knew it was $160 billion.”

“The president made the agreements he made,” she added. “And maybe we’ll be limited by that. But maybe not!”

After Mr. Waxman’s committee approved a House bill last Friday allowing government negotiation of drug prices and requiring additional price rebates, the drug lobbyists began demanding public reassurances from the White House — until Jim Messina, the deputy chief of staff, confirmed the lobbyists’ understanding of the deal in a Wednesday night e-mail message. (A White House spokesman said Thursday that the confirmation was unrelated to the lobbyists’ pressure.)"


UPDATES: William Greider in The Nation says this deal stinks.
Huffington Post reveals an internal memo about deals the White House cut with Pharma.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

NIDA: Coming Up Empty

Looks like the US government does not think that prescription drug addiction is much of a problem - there's hardly anything on it at their site.
As long as pharma profit margins are high, no problem....? Perhaps the government has a drug problem, too.

Image from

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

"Every door is the right door" - Ontario, Canada releases paper on mental health treatment

Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to
Alice: I don't much care where.
The Cat: Then it doesn't much matter which way you go.
Alice: …so long as I get somewhere.
The Cat: Oh, you're sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.

We're reading it now; you may like to download it and have a look yourself. Link

Many thanks to FAME for Families for alerting us to this new release.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Wyeth's Ghostwritten Documents to be Unsealed

Pirates from Stevenson's KIDNAPPED by N.C. Wyeth
Wyeth's Ghostwritten Documents to be Unsealed
NYT article - PDF
Judge's order to unseal
And here is a news release regarding $22 Million payouts to doctors by Lilly: Link

Our Widget

It worked! You can get one too - click at bottom.

New Report Examines the Effect of Severe Mental Illness and Capital Punishment on Families

ACLU releases details on and links to a new report from NAMI which tells the stories of the effects of lack of proper treatment and inappropriate criminal conviction on the mentally ill and their families. Great - but we'd like them to go further....

"The report details several examples in which people who were clearly ill murdered someone and were found incompetent. It also tells the stories of those who were still tried, convicted and eventually executed, despite their mental illness.

For example, Larry Robison was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. His parents checked him into a few facilities. Each time he was about to be released, his parents asked the physicians to retain him. One psychiatrist stated that Robison needed long-term care, but when the hospital learned that Robison was not covered by insurance, his parents said the hospital "could not wait to get him out of there." His parents were told he could not get help because he was not violent, but if he became violent, he would be placed in a mental hospital.

Robison began to self-medicate and was admitted to a rehabilitation center for his drug use, but was not treated for schizophrenia. Robison was arrested for the murder of five people just four years after his first diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia. His first violent act was murder. Robison was executed, without ever receiving the treatment he needed."


Pharmaceuticals Anonymous comments:
We wish that the mentally ill would get justice, but we know that won't happen without proper diagnosis and treatment. Schizophrenia can be reversed when proper examination for its 29 medical causes is done, and other disorders that cause antisocial and criminal tendencies can similarly be screened and treated, generally with supplements and appropriate foods. We wish NAMI had led the way on this, but they have made many deals with Big Pharma so it is unlikely that proper screening and diagnosis will be allowed on their agenda. Link
Until proper diagnosis and right treatment are common, suffering will continue, and enforced, often damaging drugging which curtails cognitive and personal freedoms will continue.

See PDF.

Link - Wikipedia on orthomolecular/nutritional treatment of mental illness

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Total Cure for Fungal Infections (Candida) Found

This just in... and welcome news indeed, because Candida/yeast infections are a cause of malfunction of the neurological system, resulting in brain fog, fatigue, irritability and schizophrenia.

..fungal infections can be deadly for people with compromised immune systems, such as AIDS patients or those undergoing treatment for cancer or organ transplantation.

Doctors say Candida albicans are the fourth leading cause of hospital acquired infectious diseases.

But the researchers have now found a way to fight fungal infections by knock out its associate protein, a Toronto University statement said Friday. Link

The researchers say that compromising Hsp90 protein makes the fungal-fighting drugs (known as echinocandins) more effective in killing fungal germs or Candida albicans.

"Our results suggest that interfering with Hsp90 function provides a powerful and much-needed strategy to render existing antifungal drugs more effective in the treatment of life-threatening fungal infections,'' the statement quoted Cowen as saying.

The researchers discovered that impairing the function of germs' protein Hsp90 by using potent drugs or genetic techniques made the fungus much more prone to killing by echinocandins.

They said this strategy was found effective in both lab experiments and mouse models.

The researchers said treating patients with a drug that inhibits Hsp90 along with an echinocandin will have major benefits for people with life-threatening fungal disease.

The study was published Friday in the journal PLoS Pathogens.

University of Toronto
Times of India

As fungus may cause cancer, these findings are likely to have implications far beyond what these news releases suggest. Link

Will this also help in the bat die-off? Link