Pharmaceuticals Anonymous

Thursday, February 25, 2010

NYT: Do Toxins Cause Autism?

Published: February 24, 2010
Autism was first identified in 1943 in an obscure medical journal. Since then it has become a frighteningly common affliction, with the Centers for Disease Control reporting recently that autism disorders now affect almost 1 percent of children.

Over recent decades, other development disorders also appear to have proliferated, along with certain cancers in children and adults. Why? No one knows for certain. And despite their financial and human cost, they presumably won’t be discussed much at Thursday’s White House summit on health care.

Yet they constitute a huge national health burden, and suspicions are growing that one culprit may be chemicals in the environment. An article in a forthcoming issue of a peer-reviewed medical journal, Current Opinion in Pediatrics, just posted online, makes this explicit.

The article cites “historically important, proof-of-concept studies that specifically link autism to environmental exposures experienced prenatally.” It adds that the “likelihood is high” that many chemicals “have potential to cause injury to the developing brain and to produce neurodevelopmental disorders.”

...Continues at Link

Five Reasons Not to Take SSRI Antidepressants

Great article from Psychology Today. Edited for brevity; please visit the link

Lennard J. Davis is professor of disability studies, medical education, and English literature at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the author of Obsession: A History.

Now that SSRIs don't work for depression, don't take them!
Published on January 7, 2010
For the past five years, and in my recent book OBSESSION: A HISTORY, I have been questioning the effectiveness of Prozac-like drugs known as SSRIs. I've pointed out that when the drugs first came out in the early 1990's there was a wildly enthusiastic uptake in the prescribing of such drugs. Doctors were jubilantly claiming that the drugs were 80-90 per cent effective in treating depression and related conditions like OCD. In the last few years those success rates have been going down, with the NY Times pointing out that the initial numbers had been inflated by drug companies supressing the studies that were less encouraging. But few if any doctors or patients were willing to hear anything disparaging said about these "wonder" drugs.

Now the tune has changed.

Reason One: A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association says that SSRI's like Paxil and Prozac are no more effective in treating depression than a placebo pill.

Reason Two: A January 4 article in MedPage Today cites a study done at Columbia University and Johns Hopkins. The study says that doctors routinely prescribe not one but two or three SSRI's and other psychopharmological drugs in combination with few if any serious studies to back up the multiple usage.

Reason Three: More and more psychiatric disorders are appearing that might be called "lifestyle" diseases. What was called shyness, sadness, restlessness, shopping too much, high sex drive, low sex drive, and so on have increasingly been seen as diseases and many more will appear in the new DSM

Reason Four: We're an over-medicated society, and the goal of drug companies and a compliant and harried medical establishment is ultimately to have some drug coursing through every individuals' s bloodstream.
Reason Five: The whole serotonin hypothesis is challenged by these findings.
What Should You Do? Think twice, be skeptical, and question a simplistic diagnosis you might receive after discussing your condition for a short time with a rushed practitioner.


Saturday, February 20, 2010


"Because health professionals can't do it alone"
'Society for Participatory Medicine is an ongoing project of the Society for Participatory Medicine.
Participatory medicine is a cooperative model of healthcare that encourages and expects active involvement by all connected parties (patients, caregivers, healthcare professionals, etc.) as integral to the full continuum of care. The ‘participatory’ concept may also be applied to fitness, nutrition, mental health, end-of-life care, and all issues broadly related to an individual’s health.
The Society was founded to learn about and promote Participatory Medicine through writing, speaking, social networking, and other channels.
You can learn more about our work and join the Society on the website of the Society for Participatory Medicine.'

"I felt I was looking over Thomas Paine's shoulder"
e-Patients White Paper
126 page PDF on the experience and wisdom of patients who research health conditions - and the reactions of their doctors

Why Doesn't My Doctor Know This?
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association reviewed by The National Institute of Medicine reports that there is an unacceptable lag between the discovery of new treatment modalities and their acceptance into routine care. They state, “The lag between the discovery of more effective forms of treatment and their incorporation into routine patient care averages 17 years.”7,8

In response to this unacceptable lag, an amendment to the Business and Professions Code, relating to healing arts, was passed. This amendment, CA Assembly Bill 592; An act to amend Section 2234.1 of the Business and Professions Code, relating to healing arts, states, “Since the National Institute of Medicine has reported that it can take up to 17 years for a new best practice to reach the average physician and surgeon, it is prudent to give attention to new developments not only in general medical care but in the actual treatment of specific diseases, particularly those that are not yet broadly recognized [such as the concept of tissue hypothyroidism, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Fibromyalgia]...”9

The Principals of Medical Ethics adopted by the American Medical Association in 1980 states, “A physician shall continue to study, apply, and advance scientific knowledge, make relevant information available to patients, colleagues, and the public.”10

This has unfortunately been replaced with an apathetical goal to merely provide so-called adequate care.

Video Animation - Harvard's The Inner Life of the Cell

Animation from Harvard University. Full length version

Friday, February 19, 2010

Hooked on happy pills: The long term effects can be terrifying

Antidepressants: Internal bleeding. Strokes. Birth defects. Falls. And more.

"We estimate more than two million people are taking antidepressants for more than five years and the largest group are women aged 18 to 45,' says lead researcher Tony Kendrick, professor of general practice at Southampton University.
'Many young women today are picking up repeat prescriptions for months and years apparently without any checks - in many cases these are women who want to stop but can't.
Even those who make a deliberate choice to stay on the medication long-term may not be aware of the dangers, not least the risk of missing out on the normal ups and downs of ordinary life.'"


How to get free? Two helpful links from the resources in our Friends column - to the right

Dr. David Healey on stopping antidepressants safely

Dr. Heather Ashton's manual on stopping benzodiazepines

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Evelyn Pringle: Paxil Birth Defect Litigation - First Trial a Bust for Glaxo

Evelyn Pringle reports on the Paxil/Seroxat suit brought by Andy Vickery on behalf of plaintiffs.

From the page:
A number of birth defect cases are set for trial in 2010. Andy Vickery, who practices at the Houston firm of Vickery, Waldner and Mallia, is handling several cases, with the Novak trial set to start first. The case is unique in that it involves an infant born with heart birth defects to Derek and Laura Novak on April 4, 2002, after Laura was prescribed Paxil during pregnancy for the off-label treatment of migraine headaches.

"Although one might worry that this would cause a jury to blame the prescribing doctor," says Vickery, "in this case, we can show that GSK encouraged this use, by sending out over 1500 "medical information" letters touting the benefits of Paxil for migraine headaches, and by leaving "approved WLF reprint" articles with the prescribing doctors."


During opening statements in the first trial on September 15, 2009, Sean Tracey told the jury they were "going to see documents in this case that have never seen the light of day before."

"You will see internal GlaxoSmith documents that the FDA hasn't seen, that the United States Congress hasn't seen, and that no jury has ever laid their eyes on before," he said. "They have been under seal for over three years."

Many of the sealed documents related to the Paxil studies conducted on rats and rabbits. The world-renowned expert from the UK, Dr David Healy, testified on behalf of the plaintiffs.

Paxil was originally owned by a Danish company called Ferrosan, and that company did the preliminary animal studies on rats and rabbits to look at teratogenicity around 1979 and 1980.

Healy explained that a teratogen is an agent that will cause birth defects and "it could be a drug or maybe a virus or maybe an illness."

In addition to birth defects, he said, a teratogen can cause a fetus to be born dead or cause a miscarriage, which is death before birth.

Article here

Monday, February 15, 2010

Video: Simply Raw - Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days

"Let your food be your medicine"

Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days is an independent documentary film that chronicles six Americans with 'incurable' diabetes switching their diet and getting off insulin.

The film follows each participant's remarkable journey and captures the medical, physical, and emotional transformations brought on by this diet and lifestyle change. We witness moments of struggle, support, and hope as what is revealed, with startling clarity, is that diet can reverse diabetes* and change lives.

Additional wisdom is provided by Morgan Spurlock, Woody Harrelson, Anthony Robbins, Rev. Michael Beckwith, and Doctors Fred Bisci, Joel Furman, and Gabriel Cousens.

Don't miss the related videos at the link.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

CFS/ME - "Magical Medicine: How to Make a Disease Disappear"


Magical Medicine: How to make a disease disappear
12th February 2010

A formal complaint has been lodged by Professor Malcolm Hooper with
the Rt. Hon The Lord Drayson, Minister of State with responsibility
for the Medical Research Council (Science and Innovation) about the
'PACE' Clinical Trial of behavioural modification interventions for
people with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

PACE is the acronym for Pacing, Activity, and Cognitive behavioural
therapy, a randomised Evaluation, interventions that, according to
one of the Principal Investigators, are without theoretical foundation.

The MRC's PACE Trial seemingly inhabits a unique and unenviable
position in the history of medicine. It is believed to be the first
and only clinical trial that patients and the charities that support
them have tried to stop before a single patient could be recruited
and is the only clinical trial that the Department for Work and
Pensions (DWP) has ever funded.

Since 1993, the giant US permanent health insurance company
UNUMProvident has been advising the UK DWP about the most effective
ways of curtailing sickness benefit payments. The PACE Trial is run
by psychiatrists of the Wessely School, most of whom work for the
medical and permanent health insurance industry, including
UNUMProvident. These psychiatrists insist =96 in defiance of both the
World Health Organisation and the significant biomedical evidence
about the nature of it -- that 'CFS/ME' is a behavioural disorder,
into which they have subsumed ME, a classified neurological disorder
whose separate existence they deny. Their beliefs have been
repudiated in writing by the World Health Organisation.

In 1992, the Wessely School gave directions that in cases of ME/CFS,
the first duty of the doctor is to avoid legitimisation of symptoms;
in 1994, ME was described by Professor Simon Wessely as merely 'a
belief'; in 1996 recommendations were made that no investigations
should be performed to confirm the diagnosis and in 1999 patients
with ME/CFS were referred to as 'the undeserving sick'.

The complaint is supported by a 442 page Report which addresses areas
of major concern about the PACE Trial.

These include apparent coercion and exploitation of patients, flawed
methodology, apparent lack of scientific rigour, apparent failure to
adhere to the Declaration of Helsinki, the unusual personal financial
interest of the Chief Investigator, the vested financial interests of
the Principal Investigators and others involved with the trial and
the underlying non-clinical purpose of the trial.

The psychiatrists' unproven beliefs and assumptions are presented as
fact and trial therapists have been trained to provide participants
with misinformation; therapists have also been trained to advise
participants to ignore symptoms, a situation that may in some cases
result in death.

There are some extremely disquieting issues surrounding the MRC PACE
Trial and documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act
allow the full story to be told for the first time.

People with ME/CFS do not seek any special consideration; they simply
wish to be treated equally to those who suffer from other classified
neurological disorders. As shown in the Report that accompanies the
complaint, the MRC PACE Trial clearly demonstrates that people with
ME/CFS are not treated equally to those with other chronic
neurological disorders.

The Report can be accessed at
File Size 6Mb
Adobe Acrobat format

CONTACT: Professor Malcolm Hooper 0191 =96 528 - 5536

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Letter of complaint to the Rt Hon The Lord Drayson

Professor Malcolm Hooper Ph.D., B.Pharm., C.Chem., MRIC
Sunderland SR3

11th February 2010

The Rt Hon The Lord Drayson
Minister of State
(Science and Innovation)
1, Victoria Street

Dear Minister

re: Complaint about the Medical Research Council

It is with deep concern that I lodge this formal complaint about the
Medical Research Council with you in your capacity as Minister with
responsibility for the MRC.

You will doubtless be aware of the serious problems at the MRC that
were documented in the 2003 Report of the House of Commons Select
Committee on Science and Technology (HC 132) in which MPs issued a
damning judgment on the MRC, lambasting it for wasting funds and for
introducing misguided strategies for its research. MPs found
evidence of poor planning and of focusing on 'politically-driven'
projects that have diverted money away from top-quality proposals.
The unprecedented attack was the result of a detailed probe into the
workings of the MRC.
Sadly, very serious problems continue to exist at the MRC, with
disastrous results for patients with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

The attached 442 page Report addresses the background to the MRC
'PACE' Trial on 'CFS/ME', the biomedical evidence that disproves the
assumptions of the MRC trial Principal Investigators, the many
extremely disturbing issues surrounding the PACE Trial, and
illustrations from the Manuals used in the trial.

The unproven beliefs and assumptions of the MRC Investigators are
presented as fact; trial therapists have been trained to provide
participants with misinformation, and therapists have also been
trained to advise participants to ignore symptoms arising from the
interventions, a situation that may in some cases result in death.

Patients with ME/CFS do not seek any special consideration; they
simply wish to be treated equally to those with other classified
neurological disorders. As shown in the commissioned Report that
accompanies this complaint (a bound copy of which will follow), the
MRC Trial clearly demonstrates that people with ME/CFS are not
treated equally to those with other chronic neurological disorders.

Given the long-standing recognition that at least one of the
interventions used in the trial is contra-indicated for people with
ME/CFS, an intervention that is already known to have adverse effects
on 50% of those who have already undertaken it, there is
international concern about the MRC PACE Trial.

I urge you to read the attached Report and to respond to it with due
attention and alacrity. You may wish to know that the Report is
already on international academic websites.

Yours sincerely

Malcolm Hooper

Download report here

Kris Kristofferson, "In the News"

Thursday, February 11, 2010

DSM-V: Association of Women in Psychology "Landing Page"

This webpage from the Association of Women in Psychology,
a part of the APA, offers a "Landing Page" to introduce proposed revisions to the DSM-V.

Bias in Psychiatric Diagnosis: Concerns about DSM-V

Mission: To provide information for people (including but not limited to professionals and journalists) about biases and other problems in psychiatric diagnosis, an especially important goal in light of the American Psychiatric Association's preparation for the 2013 publication of the next edition of the psychiatric diagnostic manual.

Bios for Group Members and Contributors

1. - website about bias in psychiatric diagnosis, including stories about people harmed in a wide variety of ways by receiving such a diagnosis and including six kinds of solutions to problems resulting from psychiatric labeling

2. Click Here for an important article in New Scientist about problems in the preparation for DSM-V

3. Click here to go to a website that is presented as allowing anyone who wants to make suggestions about DSM-V to do so.

Note: AWP’s Committee on Bias in Psychiatric Diagnosis does not know what plans may have been made by the DSM-V authors to consider these suggestions.

4. Call for papers for a special issue of Social Science and Medicine, Sociology of Diagnosis

5. PSYCHOUT - A conference for organizing Resistance against Psychiatry - Call for submissions


Psychiatric Diagnosis: Too Little Science, Too Many Conflicts of Interest


Anorexia Nervosa and the DSM

Borderline Personality Disorder: The Disparagement of Women through Diagnosis

Female Sexual Dysfunction Diagnoses

Gender Interupted: Controversy and Concerns about Gender Identity Disorder (GID)

Should Obesity Be Called a Mental Illness?

Problems with Parental Alienation Syndrome

Racial Bias in Psychiatric Diagnosis

Social Class and Classism in Psychiatric Diagnosis


Update: DSM pathologizes women and children

Diagnosing for Money and Power

'Because most undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate courses uncritically present the DSM as an objective scientific document, this summary focuses exclusively on the rarely acknowledged critical view. It neither provides a complete analysis of psychiatric diagnosis nor denies that the DSM, if used cautiously and appropriately, can be useful, nor does it advocate against psychiatric diagnostic.
The primary goal of this web page is to promote critical thinking of psychology and psychiatry by presenting an important, however, rarely acknowledged critique of psychiatric diagnosis.

The following summary was inspired by Dr. Paula Caplan's work and the writing cited in the Selected Bibliography at the end of this page.'

DSM Critique

Andrew Wakefield Vindicated - MMR doctor proved right in week he was condemned as 'dishonest'

MMR doctor proved right in week he was condemned as 'dishonest'

'In the week that the doctor at the centre of the controversy over the MMR vaccine and autism was called “dishonest, irresponsible and callous” by a medical disciplinary board, a new study has been published that suggests he could be right all along. Researchers in New York have discovered that children with autism spectrum disorder also had inflammation in the ileum, part of the small intestine – the exact same discovery made by Dr Andrew Wakefield, who may now lose his medical license following a 30-month hearing at the General Medical Council. Wakefield noted that the children he saw also had been given the triple MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine, and he speculated that it might be the cause. After the publication of his paper in The Lancet in 1998, vaccination rates dropped dramatically as parents in the UK refused to have their children vaccinated. The new study, from the New York University School of Medicine, discovered that 143 children with autism spectrum disorder also suffered from chronic gastrointestinal symptoms, and inflammation in the small intestine. As the vaccine is compulsory in the US, where the children live, it is reasonable to assume that most, if not all, were vaccinated – although the researchers do not suggest that it was the cause of the inflammation they detected. (Source: Autism Insights, 2010; 2: 1-11).'
Story from WDDTY

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A prescription for old age

By Lynne McTaggart
The over-60s make up just 8 per cent of the population, but they are prescribed more than one-third of all medicines dispensed by doctors. In fact, the average 60-plus person is prescribed at least six drugs, all of which are interacting to unknown effect.

As WDDTY has discovered, the major drugs routinely dispensed as just-in-case medicine for the over-60s—from cholesterol-lowering drugs to aspirin—cause all of the conditions that we’ve come to associate with old age: physical instability; forgetfulness; incontinence; and dementia. At least five major classes of drugs routinely prescribed to seniors cause falls, while many types of drugs cause incontinence. And virtually any drug—even those sold over the counter—is capable of bringing about some sort of cognitive impairment or ‘brain fog’, with all the hallmarks of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

I saw this close to home with our neighbour ‘Sam’, who handled all the gardening and physical labour around his daughter’s house well into his 80s. One of his party tricks was to race around the garden with his small grandson in a large wheelbarrow. When he became a bit forgetful, his doctor prescribed powerful antipsychotics. In short order, he completely lost his memory, became paranoid and difficult, landed in a nursing home, refused his food and, finally, just gave up and died.

Our neighbour’s situation begs the question of which came first: the problem, or the problem caused by the ‘solution’? If seniors given drugs present with symptoms, doctors are quick to reach for the prescription pad to hand out yet more drugs to handle what are simply side-effects from a drug that the senior probably didn’t need in the first place.

More at Link

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Video: Run from the Cure

Link: Run from the Cure
Link: Phoenix Tears

"After a serious head injury in 1997, Rick Simpson sought relief from his medical condition through the use of medicinal hemp oil. When Rick discovered that the hemp oil (with its high concentration of T.H.C.) cured cancers and other illnesses, he tried to share it with as many people as he could free of charge, curing and controlling literally hundreds of people’s illnesses… but when the story went public, the long arm of the law snatched the medicine – leaving potentially thousands of people without their cancer treatments – and leaving Rick with unconsitutional charges of possessing and trafficking marijuana!

Canada is in the middle of a CANCER EPIDEMIC! Meet the people who were not allowed to testify on Rick’s behalf at the Supreme Court of Canada’s Infamous Rick Simpson Trial on September 10, 2007… INCLUDING A MAN WHO WAS CURED OF TERMINAL CANCER USING HEMP OIL!" (Excerpt from

Video: Prescription for Disaster

Link: Prescription for Disaster

From the link:

"It is estimated that in America last year, nearly $2 trillion was spent on health care -- and virtually all that money was spent on treating disease.

Each year more money is spent on treatment, mere patchwork, even though it has become crystal-clear that treatments do NOT enable you to live a longer, better life. So why is the amount of money being spent on prevention just a pittance compared with the amount spent on treatment?

"Prescription for Disaster" is an in-depth investigation into the symbiotic relationships between the pharmaceutical industry, the FDA, lobbyists, lawmakers, medical schools, and researchers, and the impact this has on American consumers and their health care. During this thorough investigation, the film takes a close look at patented drugs, why they are so readily prescribed by doctors, the role insurance companies and HMO's play in promoting compliance, and the problem of rising health care costs. It examines the marketing and public relations efforts on behalf of the pharmaceutical companies, including sales reps, medical journals and conferences. Further, the film looks at alternatives to traditional pharmacology and drug therapy, such as vitamins and nutritional supplements, and why they are often perceived as a competitive threat to the drug manufacturers. Alternative therapies also include diet, exercise and a healthy lifestyle.

This documentary takes you on a journey through the tangled web of big business, the way disease is treated today, and the consequences we suffer as a society."

Video: Big Bucks, Big Pharma

Link: Big Bucks, Big Pharma
This documentary attempts to expose the business behind medicine–often done at the expense of the health of consumers.

Video: Houdini's escape from a strait jacket

Tony Curtis in a memorable moment from a classic film.
May we, too, soon be free.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Friday, February 5, 2010

DSM-5 to be released Feb. 10, 2012

The DSM-V will be posted for review on Wednesday, February 10, 2010.
It will include proposed revisions and draft diagnostic criteria and will be located on the new Web site -

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Omega 3 - EFA for Psychosis

There is a new study on Omega-3 fatty acids and psychosis: abstract/67/2/146

Long-Chain Fatty Acids for Indicated Prevention of
Psychotic Disorders
G. Paul Amminger, MD; Miriam R. Schäfer, MD; Konstantinos
Papageorgiou, MD; Claudia M. Klier, MD; Sue M. Cotton, PhD; Susan M.
Harrigan, MSc; Andrew Mackinnon, PhD; Patrick D. McGorry, MD, PhD;
Gregor E. Berger, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2010;67(2):146- 154.

This study seems well designed.

After one year, 28% of those not taking extra Omega-3 had transitioned to psychotic
disorder while only 5% of those taking extra Omega-3 had become ill.

Omega-3 also has other health benefits; it seems to
prevent anti-inflammatory responses.

The BBC reports,
'For the test, half of the individuals took fish oil supplements (1.2 grams of omega-3 fatty acids) for 12 weeks, while the other half took only a dummy pill. Neither group knew which treatment they were receiving.
Dr Paul Amminger and his team followed the groups for a year to see how many, if any, went on to develop illness.
Two in the fish oil group developed a psychotic disorder compared to 11 in the placebo group.
Based on the results, the investigators estimate that one high-risk adult could be protected from developing psychosis for every four treated over a year.
They believe the omega-3 fatty acids found in the supplements may alter brain signalling in the brain with beneficial effects.
Alison Cobb, of the mental health charity Mind, said: "If young people can be treated successfully with fish oils, this is hugely preferable to treating them with antipsychotics, which come with a range of problems from weight gain to sexual dysfunction, whereas omega-3s are actually beneficial to their general state of health.
"These are promising results and more research is needed to show if omega-3s could be an alternative to antipsychotics in the long term."'

Those who have taken neuroleptics to avoid hospital readmission may have paid a very high price
(brain damage) for something that could perhaps have been done without drugs - using Omega-3.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

"Poverty is making us sick" - University of Toronto study

Mental and behavioural disorders are conditions strongly associated with low income (and poverty) in Canada.

Mental and behavioural disorders

Mental and behavioural disorders include anxiety disorders, mood disorders, Alzheimer’s or
dementia and schizophrenia. As group they relate closely to income, falling from a high of 146
per thousand in the bottom quintile to 64 in the highest, with most quintiles significantly
different from the adjacent quintiles. There is a highly significant drop in incidence as we go
from the bottom to the second quintile and from the fourth to the top quintile as well, reflecting
greatest incidence among the poorest Canadians with the wealthiest quintile least affected
Anxiety and mood disorders, the two specific conditions for which incidence rates could be
reliably calculated,xvi showed clear relationships with income. In each case there is a significant
drop in incidence with movement from the bottom to the second quintile.
In the case of anxiety the rate in the bottom quintile (81 per thousand) is significantly higher than
the rate in the next quintile (44 per thousand population), and indeed, significantly higher than in
all other quintiles.
Mood disorders are found at a rate of 105 per thousand in the lowest income quintile, a rate over
60 per cent higher than the 64 per thousand rate found in the second quintile. Similarly, the rate
in the second quintile is significantly higher than the rate in the third and fourth quintiles, and the
rate of 39 per thousand in the highest quintile is significantly lower than the rates of 54-55 found
in the third and fourth quintiles.