Australia: Probe into anti-depressants being conducted ‘in secret’

Mon Nov 3, 2008 11:03 pm

Here is the article I just mentioned to you that came out yesterday in
Australia.

“The move comes after an investigation by The Weekend Australian revealed
several hundred thousand scripts for anti-depressants such as Zoloft and Prozac
were last year prescribed to children and subsidised through the
Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, despite the TGA and Pfizer, the company that
markets
Zoloft in Australia, recommending they not be prescribed to anyone under the
age
of 24 for the treatment of depression.”
[???WHAT??? Pfizer is recommending that Zoloft or other SSRIs should not be
given to Australians suffering depression who are under the age of 24? What
about Americans under the age of 24? I know plenty of them still being
prescribed Zoloft and other SSRIs for depression and I do not see Pfizer
rushing in
to stop that in this country. What’s up? And what the heck is the
Pharmaceutical Benefits “Scheme”? Sounds like a scheme to benefit Pharma, which
I am
sure it does and does so very, very well.]
“Medicare figures show that, since 1990, when Prozac first appeared on
pharmacy shelves, there have been almost 10,000 reports of suspected adverse
reactions to SSRIs received by the TGA’s Australian Adverse Drug Reactions
Advisory Committee.”
[In a private note from Dr. Lucire she states that “TGA cannot count … the
figures are wrong as there have been, not 10,000 adverse event reports, but
53,000 – all silenced by RANZCP person who gets lots from Big Pharma]
“This is being done in secret,” Dr Lucire said. “We have no terms of
reference, no opportunity for people to make submissions; it’s a scandal.”
Federal Health Department secretary Jane Halton wrote to Dr Lucire recently,
informing her the inquiry was under way and the panel would report back at
the end of this year.
“This only happened after,” Dr Lucire said. “In frustration at being fobbed
off by the TGA, I personally sent the head of the department 100 cases
detailing what had actually happened to people who went from being fully
functioning members of the community to patients with serious mental health
problems
and some who in fact killed themselves after being put on these drugs for
stress-related disorders.”
So I send you this article as a reminder that this issue with SSRIs and
SNRIs and the Atypical Antipsychotics is clearly an international problem
affecting people worldwide. Whether you are religious or not it becomes quite
clear
that John got it right in Revelations 18:23-24 when he said the whole world
would be “deceived” (lied to and taken in by those lies) about these
pharmaceutical drugs in our day.
Why are the warnings being kept from those who need them? Before the week is
over I will send you more out of England showing the refusal of those in
authority to send out warnings on Stratera, the SSRI being prescribed for ADHD.
As the quote on the back of my book reads: “Never, before Prozac, has a
medication been so misrepresented by so many people for so long in the absence
of
adequate data.” by Dr. Mantosh Dewan & Dr. Prakash Masand
And I would add that never in spite of the data we have on a group of drugs,
before SSRIs, has there been such ignorance about a group of drugs as there
is with these because of the calculated secrecy behind making this data
available to those who need it.
Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition for Drug Awareness
_www.drugawareness.org_ (http://www.drugawareness.org/) &
_www.ssristories.org_ (http://www.ssristories.org/)
Author of Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our
Serotonin Nightmare & the audio, Help! I Can’t
Get Off My Antidepressant!!! ()

_http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24584116-23289,00.html_
(http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24584116-23289,00.html)

Probe into anti-depressants being conducted ‘in secret’

Julie-Anne Davies | November 01, 2008

THE Therapeutic Goods Administration is investigating the adverse effects of
SSRI anti-depressants, a widely prescribed group of drugs that includes the
well-known brands Prozac and Zoloft.
The TGA confirmed in a statement to The Weekend Australian that it had
established a special expert panel of psychiatrists and epidemiologists to
review
a number of cases involving patients who had had adverse reactions to these
drugs. It is believed hundreds of cases will be reviewed.
“Although there has not been a jump in adverse events from SSRIs, there has
been community concern about potential overuse,” the TGA said.
Medicare figures show that, since 1990, when Prozac first appeared on
pharmacy shelves, there have been almost 10,000 reports of suspected adverse
reactions to SSRIs received by the TGA’s Australian Adverse Drug Reactions
Advisory
Committee.
More than 12 million SSRI antidepressant scripts were subsidised by the
Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme last year.
Sydney psychiatrist Yolande Lucire, who has reported between 300 and 400
cases to the TGA in which she claims patients have had serious reactions to the
anti-depressants, including some who had committed suicide, said the inquiry
must be made public.
“This is being done in secret,” Dr Lucire said. “We have no terms of
reference, no opportunity for people to make submissions; it’s a scandal.”
Federal Health Department secretary Jane Halton wrote to Dr Lucire recently,
informing her the inquiry was under way and the panel would report back at
the end of this year.
“This only happened after,” Dr Lucire said. “In frustration at being fobbed
off by the TGA, I personally sent the head of the department 100 cases
detailing what had actually happened to people who went from being fully
functioning
members of the community to patients with serious mental health problems and
some who in fact killed themselves after being put on these drugs for
stress-related disorders.”
The TGA has also asked all drug companies that market SSRI anti-depressants
in Australia to update the wording of their suicide warnings concerning
children and young people under 24 years in the information provided to
patients.
“The TGA is working with other sponsors to ensure that the wording in the
CMIs clearly reflects the issues contained in the product information for their
products,” it said.
The move comes after an investigation by The Weekend Australian revealed
several hundred thousand scripts for anti-depressants such as Zoloft and Prozac
were last year prescribed to children and subsidised through the
Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, despite the TGA and Pfizer, the company that
markets
Zoloft in Australia, recommending they not be prescribed to anyone under the
age
of 24 for the treatment of depression.
Significant discrepancies in the information given to parents about the
potential dangers of the drugs to children were also uncovered.
Two weeks ago, Melbourne mother Nicola Mulcahey reached a confidential court
settlement with her 16-year-old daughter’s GP, who she had sued for
prescribing Zoloft to the teenager for depression.
Ms Mulcahey claimed the drug made her daughter suicidal and said she was not
advised of the risks associated with the drug.
In another case detailed in The Australian and now being followed up by
Pfizer, a 14-year-old girl became suicidal after taking Zoloft. Her parents said
they were not warned this might happen nor told to monitor her for symptoms of
suicidal thoughts or self-harm.
David Kitching, from the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of
Psychiatrists, said his organisation was unaware of the inquiry and had not been
approached by the TGA to contribute.
“But in the general setting I would say that nothing new in the literature
suggests we need to be any more vigilant than we already have been when it
comes to documenting the side effects of this class of drug,” Dr Kitching
said.

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Ann Blake Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition for Drug Awareness
(DrugAwareness.Org & SSRIstories.Net)
Author: ”Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin Nightmare – The Complete Truth of the Full Impact of Antidepressants Upon Us & Our World” & Withdrawal CD “Help! I Can’t Get Off My Antidepressant!”

She has specialized since 1990 in adverse reactions to serotonergic medications (such as Prozac, Sarafem, Zoloft, Paxil, Luvox, Celexa, Lexapro, Effexor, Serzone, Remeron, Anafranil, Fen-Phen, Redux and Meridia as well as the new atypical antipsychotics Zyprexa, Geodon, Seroquel and Abilify), as well as pain killers, and has testified before the FDA and congressional subcommittee members on antidepressants.

WITHDRAWAL WARNING: In sharing this information about adverse reactions to antidepressants I always recommend that you also give reference to my CD on safe withdrawal, Help! I Can’t Get Off My Antidepressant!, so that we do not have more people dropping off these drugs too quickly – a move which I have warned from the beginning can be even more dangerous than staying on the drugs!

WITHDRAWAL HELP: You can find the hour and a half long CD on safe and effective withdrawal helps here: store.drugawareness.org And if you need additional consultations with Ann Blake-Tracy, you can book one at www.drugawareness.org or sign up for one of the memberships for the International Coalition for Drug Awareness which includes free consultations as one of the benefits of that particular membership plan. You can even get a whole month of access to the withdrawal CD with tips on rebuilding after the meds, all six of my DVDs, hundreds of radio interviews, lectures, TV interviews I have done over the years PLUS my book on antidepressants with more information than you will find anywhere else for only $30 membership for a month (that is only $5 more than the book alone would cost) at www.drugawareness.org. (Definitely the best option to save outrageous postage charges for those out of the country!)

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