DEPT. of DEFENSE: Link Between Vet Suicides & Medications

Paragraph six of main article reads:  “Quality data
collection and analysis are critical components behind effective prevention
efforts. The Department made great strides over the last 12 months on gathering
critical information to understand the complexity of factors leading to suicide
and ways to prevent such tragedies from occurring within our communities. Data
collected by the DoD Suicide Event Report (DoDSER) tell us that we must continue
to educate our population and build programs, as there continue to be multiple
opportunities to intervene. For example, we are learning that 30% of individuals
who died by suicide communicated their potential self harm; 49% had been
seen in a medical/support clinic/program within 30 days of suicide;
and
26% sought broadly defined mental health resources.”

Paragraph 34 of main
article reads:  “In recent years, antidepressant medications,
particularly the use of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) have
been closely evaluated for the increased risk of suicide-related behaviors in
adolescents and young adults associated with their use
. In recognition

of this risk, the FDA’s requires a “black box” warning in the product labeling
of all antidepressant medications that advises clinicians to closely monitor any
worsening in depression, emergence of suicidal thinking or behavior, or unusual
changes in behavior, such as sleeplessness, agitation, or withdrawal from social
situations. Close monitoring is especially important during the first four weeks
of treatment. The FDA also recognizes that depression and other psychiatric
disorders are themselves associated with increased risks for
suicide.”

http://www.pennlive.com/newsflash/index.ssf?/base/national-15/12670299869190.xml&storylist=health

Link Between Medication And Veteran Suicide

2/24/2010, 10:27 a.m. EST
The Associated Press

(AP) ­ xfdte MEDICATION-AND-SUICIDE sked

TESTIMONY February
24, 2010 LOREE K. SUTTON, M.D. DIRECTOR U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE HOUSE
VETERANS AFFAIRS LINK BETWEEN MEDICATION AND VETERAN SUICIDE Roll Call, Inc.
1255 22nd Street N.W. Washington, D.C. 20037 Transcript/Programming: Tel.
301-731-1728 Sales: Tel. 202-419-8500 ext 599 sales@cqrollcall.com www.cqrollcall.com Roll Call, Inc. is a private firm not
affiliated with the U.S. Government. Copyright 2010 by Roll Call, Inc.
Washington, D.C. U.S.A. All materials herein are protected by United States
copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed,
published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Roll Call, Inc.
You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies

of the content.Statement of Loree K. Sutton, M.D. Director, Defense Centers of
Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Special Assistant
to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs U.S. Department of

Defense

February 24, 2010

Introduction

Chairman Filner, Mr.
Buyer, distinguished Members of the Committee; thank you for the opportunity to
appear here today to talk to you about the Department of Defense‘s (DoD) efforts
to reduce the number of suicides across our force.

On behalf of DoD, I
want to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued, strong support
and demonstrated commitment to our service members, veterans, and their
families.

Over the last nine years, a new era of combat emerged, where
counterinsurgency and asymmetric warfare are the norm. This shift continues to
place a great amount of strain on our most important resource, our service
members. Despite the operational challenges facing them and their families, they
remain incredibly resilient, motivated, and well-trained. The Department
recognizes the need to provide the resources and programs necessary to maintain
their resilience and motivation. Our core messages tell our service members and
their families that they are not alone; treatment works; the earlier the
intervention the better; and reaching out is an act of courage and
strength.

The Department also recognizes that the total number and rate

of suicides continue to rise and this is of deep concern at all leadership
levels. Today, I will share with the Committee our current efforts to reduce the
number of suicides across the Force, and the role of medication and
suicides.

Suicide has a multitude of causes, and no simple solution.
There are many potential areas for intervention, and it is difficult to pinpoint
the best approach because each suicide is unique. Recognizing this, DoD is
tackling the challenge using a multi- pronged strategy involving comprehensive
prevention education, research, and outreach. We believe in fostering a holistic
approach to treatment, leveraging primary care for early recognition and
intervention, and when needed, providing innovative specialty care. The areas of

focus to reduce risk include: (1) conducting data collection and analysis to
detect contributing risk factors; (2) facilitating partnerships across DoD,
federal agencies, and civilian organizations to increase collaboration and
communication; (3) reducing stigma and increasing access to resources to provide
needed care; and (4) using research to close gaps and identify best practices.
Data Surveillance

Quality data collection and analysis are critical
components behind effective prevention efforts. The Department made great
strides over the last 12 months on gathering critical information to understand
the complexity of factors leading to suicide and ways to prevent such tragedies
from occurring within our communities. Data collected by the DoD Suicide Event
Report (DoDSER) tell us that we must continue to educate our population and
build programs, as there continue to be multiple opportunities to intervene. For
example, we are learning that 30% of individuals who died by suicide
communicated their potential self harm; 49% had been seen in a medical/support
clinic/program within 30 days of suicide; and 26% sought broadly defined mental
health resources.

Historically, the Services used unique suicide
surveillance systems. In January 2008, the National Center for Telehealth and
Technology (T2), a Defense Centers of Excellence (DCoE) component center,
launched the DoDSER Annual Report. The DoDSER Annual Report was developed to
standardize data collection and reporting. Pulling data from all branches of the
military, it captures over 250 data-points per suicide with details, summaries,
and analyses of a wide range of potential contributing factors. DoDSER Annual
Report data include specific demographics, suicide event details, treatment, and
military history, among others. The variables are designed to map directly to
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Violent Death
Reporting System to support direct comparisons between military and civilian
populations.

By standardizing data and reporting,
DoD tracks and analyzes suicide data and contributing risk factors proactively
to inform and improve future prevention, intervention, and treatment services.
The DoDSER Annual Report is revised annually based on input from the Services.
The data facilitate the review and evaluation of the effectiveness of suicide
prevention initiatives and their execution over time. DoDSER represents the
strides DoD has taken to better understand what some of the
underlying factors are for suicide. The Department uses this tool to inform
current efforts and initiatives. []

According to the Armed Forces
Medical Examiner System (AFMES), in January 2010 there were 24 confirmed

suicides, all in Regular Components within the DoD. In calendar year 2009, AFMES
reported that there were 312 confirmed suicides, with 286 confirmed in Regular
Components and 26 confirmed in the Reserve Components. Demographic risk factors
include: male, Caucasian, E-1 to E-4, younger than 25 years old, GED or less
than high school education, divorced, and in the Active Duty Component. Other
factors associated with suicide, which are consistent with data from civilian
populations, are: substance abuse, relationship issues, and legal,
administrative (Article 15), and financial problems. Although the impact of
deployment is still under investigation, a majority of suicides do not occur in
the theaters of operation. 16% of suicides occurred in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Despite the knowledge gained and data collected, it is important to resist
oversimplifying or generalizing statistics. Each suicide is as different as a
person is unique.

According to AFMES, there were 26 confirmed suicides in
calendar year 2009 among the Reserve Components, which include all Active Guard
and Reserves. Due to the unique nature of their service, there are challenges
associated with capturing all suicide completions, preparatory behavior and self
harm without intent to die among National Guard and Reserve populations when
they are not on active or activated status. To address this issue, DoD is
examining ways to utilize information gathered from existing tracking and
reporting systems including, but not limited to, insurance and benefit data. The
DoD continues to support National Guard and Reserve populations through numerous
initiatives to increase outreach, care, and resources on all fronts.

The
numbers also tell us that prevention is not enough, as 36% of military suicides

had a history of a mental disorder. The integrated efforts of prevention,
intervention, and treatment are essential to DoD’s approach to tackle the
challenge of suicide.

Facilitating Partnerships

Continued
collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and other federal,
private, and academic organizations is a key part of DoD’s overall
strategy.

Conferences serve as dissemination and outreach platforms by
providing local and regional coordinators with innovative ideas to implement
within their communities and providing DoD and VA with the opportunity to gather
feedback on communities’ needs. The annual DoD/VA Suicide Prevention Conference
provides such a forum. With over 900 attendees, the 2010 conference shared
practical applications, results from research and pilot studies, guidance from
senior DoD and VA leaders on the way forward, and testimonies emphasizing the
importance of seeking help.

We work closely with our partners at the VA
to ensure that the transition out of service and into VA care is seamless and
that service members, veterans, and families receive the care they deserve. The
DCoE coordinates information and resources with VA’s National Suicide Prevention
Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK), and National Resource Directory. As part of this
partnership, DCoE worked with VA and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health
Services Administration (SAMHSA) in December of 2009 to modify the introductory
message on the Lifeline, so that callers are instructed to press “1” if they
are a United States military veteran or Active Duty Service Member (ADSM) or are
calling about one. This expansion increases the scope of services that are
available to ADSMs who may be in crisis.

Collaborative care is an example

of an immediate solution that DoD is aggressively implementing. According to
DoDSER data, 36 percent of completed suicides had a history of a mental health
condition. Providing mental health services in conjunction with primary care is
an important part of our prevention strategy because early detection and
intervention is a key to preventing suicide behaviors. Each Service is
developing collaborative care models based on recommendations from a National
Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) study. The DCoE collaborates with the Services
to integrate the best practices from these models to develop consistent
standards across DoD. DCoE is currently implementing a controlled trial study at
six sites and 18 clinics of collaborative primary care to inform future
efforts.

In August 2009, the DoD Suicide Prevention Task Force was
established under the purview of the Defense Health Board. The goal of the task
force is to provide recommendations to legislative and administrative bodies on
suicide prevention within the military.

The Department recognizes the
importance of eliminating the toxic threat of stigma by transforming its culture
from reactionary to a more proactive environment by engaging leadership to
encourage transparency, accountability, candor, and respect. The DoD is
promoting awareness among leaders and urging them to lead by example in matters
related to health and well-being. In addition, changes in policies and messages
to all levels help create a safe culture to seek help. One significant change
was the revision of question 21 on the questionnaire for security clearances on
whether a service member has sought mental or behavioral help in the past year.
DoD believes that service members should not have to deny themselves the care
they need and deserve out of fear of repercussions. Our efforts to combat stigma
will continue alongside our efforts to provide the best prevention, intervention
and treatment options.

Additionally, DoD is undergoing a cultural
transformation to push care closer to the service members and their families. An
emphasis on early intervention for antecedent issues such as post- traumatic
stress, depression, and substance abuse can help address needs before they
develop into bigger issues that could contribute to suicides. This population
based approach enables DoD to engage multiple audiences including peers,
families, units, and communities to support suicide prevention, risk reduction,
and overall health promotion. The Services also have programs to address needs
before they develop into issues that must be addressed in a specialty care
setting.

DCoE helps combat stigma through the Real Warriors Campaign, a
public education initiative that reinforces the notion that reaching out is a
sign of strength. Under the theme of “Real Warriors, Real Battles, Real
Strengths,” this effort provides concrete examples of service members who sought
care for psychological health issues and are maintaining a successful military
career. While primarily focused on stigma, the Real Warriors Campaign is
actively engaged in the fight against military suicide in a number of

ways:

The website prominently displays the National Suicide Prevention
Lifeline on every page;-Two video profiles of service members involved in the
campaign openly discuss their struggles with suicidal ideation from a position
of strength and optimism having reached out for care that is working; and-The
site allows service members, veterans, families and health professionals to
confidentially reach out to health consultants around the clock through the Real
Warriors Live Chat feature or by calling the DCoE Outreach Center.

The
Campaign’s message boards include numerous posts from service members who share
their coping strategies for dealing with suicidal ideation. The site includes
content that focuses on suicide prevention and substance abuse. Short,
documentary-style videos illustrate the resilience exhibited by service members,
their families, and caregivers.

Since the Real Warriors Campaign launched
in May 2009, the website, www.realwarriors.net,
saw more than 45,500 unique visitors from 127 countries, with more than 69,128
visits and 450,000 page views. The DoD believes that stigma can be defeated by
encouraging and supporting service members to reach out when help is
needed.

critical component of DoD’s strategy is advancing research. As
part of DoD’s research portfolio, the RAND Center for Military Health Policy
Research is reviewing and cataloguing suicide prevention programs across the
Services with recommendations for enhancements of current programs. The results
will be released March 2010 and disseminated to inform future program
development.

A pilot study that showed promise in the civilian sector is
the Caring Letters Program. In a randomized clinical trial, sending brief
letters of concern and reminders of treatment to patients admitted for suicide
attempt, ideation, or for a psychiatric condition was shown to dramatically
reduce the risk of death by suicide. In an effort to determine the applicability
to military populations, the National Center for TeleHealth and Technology (T2)
is piloting a program at Ft Lewis, Washington. The goals of the Caring Letters
Pilot are to (1) test the feasibility of expanding the program to other military
treatment facilities, (2) collect preliminary outcome data, and (3) evaluate the
method of letter transmittal (email vs. postal mail). Since its inception in
July 2009, 81 letters have been sent. Efforts are currently underway to plan a
multi-site randomized control trial.

Many programs are currently in place
to raise awareness among service members, train civilian providers supporting
our service members and communities, and increase leadership involvement in
behavioral health efforts. The programs are on all levels, from the national
level down into local communities. These initiatives, including programs that
provide face-to-face support or online support, demonstrate DoD’s multi-pronged
approach and commitment to ensuring service members and families have access to
the best resources. Some examples of these efforts are detailed
below:

Each Service has its own suicide prevention initiatives tailored
to its culture. In November 2007, DoD established the DCoE to offer a central
coordinating point for activities related to psychological health concerns and
traumatic brain injuries. DCoE focuses on the full continuum of care and
prevention to enhance coordination among the Services, federal agencies, and
civilian organizations. DCoE works to identify best practices and disseminate
practical resources to affected communities. In this effort, emphasis is placed
on building resilience, supporting recovery, and promoting reintegration to
ensure a comprehensive, multi-faceted, and proactive approach in promoting
health and wellbeing.

The Suicide Prevention and Risk Reduction Committee
(SPARRC), chaired by DCoE, provides a forum for inter-Service and VA partnership
and coordination. Members include Suicide Prevention Program Managers from the
Services and representatives from the National Guard Bureau, Reserve Affairs,
VA, Office of Armed Forces Medical Examiner, T2, Substance Abuse and Mental
Health Services Administration, and others. This committee is the main venue for
ensuring collaboration and consistency in system-wide communication related to
suicide, risk reduction policy initiatives, and suicide surveillance metrics
across the military. A SPARRC website is currently in development to serve as a
“clearinghouse” for suicide prevention information, contacts, innovative
approaches, and tools.

Additionally, the DCoE Outreach Center coordinates
with Military OneSource, accessible by phone at 1-800-342-9647. Licensed mental
health consultants are available to listen, answer questions, and refer callers
to a wide range of services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Military OneSource provides services on a range of other topics including
education, relocation, and parenting.

Another DoD program that encourages
seeking care is inTransition, which provides a bridge of support for service
members while they are transitioning between health care systems or providers.
The program assigns credentialed “Supercoaches” on a one-on-one basis to service
members in transition. These “Supercoaches” provide support, encouragement, and
promote continued use of behavioral health services.

In an effort to
increase access to resources and align with modern communication platforms, DoD
is harnessing technology and social media tools. Afterdeployment.org, an
interactive website developed by T2, provides service members and families
behavioral health information using an anonymous platform. This mental wellness
resource is designed to help service members and families manage the challenges
faced after a deployment. In addition, Afterdeployment.org launched a series of

free podcasts, available on iTunes, discussing a variety of mental health issues
affecting service members and families. Since the rollout in August 2008,
Afterdeployment.org has seen 86,083 visits to its website. Afterdeployment.org
is currently developing both a mobile version of the site and a mobile
application. The portability will allow access to resources regardless of
location.

Telebehavioral health refers to use of telecommunications and
information technology for clinical and non-clinical behavioral health care
services. Telebehavioral health may include the use of videoconferencing,
web-based cameras, email and telephone. T2 is exploring ways to supply timely
telebehavioral health services to service members in theater and during health
screenings immediately upon return to the continental United States. The use of

technology provides service members and their families access to psychological
health care even in the most extreme and/or remote circumstances. Medication and
Suicide Risk

The Department supports the use of psychopharmacological
treatments as a key component of mental health care. Scientific evidence over
the past several decades points to the role of medications in limiting the
severity and duration of illness as well as for preventing relapses and
recurrences. These findings have been translated into recommendations for
clinicians in the VA-DoD Clinical Practice Guidelines for Major Depressive
Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Psychoses and Substance Use Disorder.
These guidelines are updated periodically as required to reflect the most
current knowledge concerning each of these conditions. Recognizing that all

medications carry potential risks as well as benefits, clinicians must exercise
their judgment in applying these guidelines and determining the most effective
use of medications, other therapies which include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy,
Cognitive Processing Therapy and/or Prolonged Exposure treatment, or a
combination of medication and therapy. Therapy must be monitored, with careful
attention to diagnosis, dosing, clinical response and potential adverse
events.

In recent years, antidepressant medications, particularly the use
of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) have been closely evaluated
for the increased risk of suicide-related behaviors in adolescents and young
adults associated with their use. In recognition of this risk, the FDA’s
requires a “black box” warning in the product labeling of all antidepressant

medications that advises clinicians to closely monitor any worsening in
depression, emergence of suicidal thinking or behavior, or unusual changes in
behavior, such as sleeplessness, agitation, or withdrawal from social
situations. Close monitoring is especially important during the first four weeks
of treatment. The FDA also recognizes that depression and other psychiatric
disorders are themselves associated with increased risks for
suicide.

Accordingly, the Department uses multiple tools to address the
identified risk for antidepressant as well as other medications, as scientific
evidence reaches the threshold for action. These methods include dissemination
of safety alerts to clinicians, patient information sheets, pharmacy monitoring
for harmful combinations of prescribed medications, adherence to The Joint
Commission standards governing medication reconciliation, compliance with the
reporting of adverse events, increasingly sophisticated use pharmacotherapeutic
analysis as well as training and education programs in evidence-based modalities
reflecting the most current clinical practice guidelines.

The DoDSER data
base, while still maturing, provides an unprecedented repository of Service
suicide surveillance data that will continue to inform our efforts. Further, we
look forward to the payoff from continued research investments.

Way
Forward

Suicide is a problem that needs solutions now. DoD is focused on
rapidly translating best practices into applicable tools for service members and
families. At the same time, DoD continues to improve on collaborative
relationships across the Services and with national experts, collecting data,
and in research efforts that will accelerate improvements in current services
and programs as well as spur new innovations. In addition, DoD will also
continue to evolve and leverage our population-based system to push innovations
in prevention and care toward the service member and family.

DoD’s
current initiatives to address the challenges placed on service members and
their families are progressing, but we recognize that there is still much to be
done. In order to build on our current efforts and successfully shift to a model

of population-based care, we identified the following areas of additional
focus.

An issue of increasing concern is suicides of military family
members and how to support surviving families. At this point in time, DoD does
not track suicides of military family members. However, DoD recognizes the
importance of engaging and supporting this population, as their sacrifices
deserve our recognition. The DoD Suicide Prevention Task Force met this year
with surviving families at the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS)
Seminar. The DoD Task Force will provide recommendations to the Secretary of

Defense and Congress. Efforts will be focused on increasing outreach to
families; providing families with more education and training to recognize the
signs of suicidal behavior and where to seek help; and supporting families after
a suicide event. In addition, for calendar year 2010, SPARRC partnered with TAPS
to form a sub-committee to identify additional needs of families and to
recommend concrete solutions.

Postvention, which refers to all activities
and response after a suicide event, is another area of growing attention. The
goals of postvention include: (1) promote healing, (2) reduce risk of contagion,
and (3) identify those at risk and connect them to help. Postvention is also
viewed as a form of prevention for survivors. This year, DoD will work with the
Services to promote consistent postvention protocols across
programs.

Connect/Frameworks Suicide Postvention Program is a civilian
program that utilizes evidenced supported protocols to promote an integrated
community based response to suicides. Postvention protocols and guidelines
include topics such as discussing cause and method of death; how to address
needs of families; memorial service activities; and media coverage and
messaging.

In addition to prevention, intervention, and treatment, DoD is
shifting attention to increasing resilience. DoD promotes a holistic approach
that optimizes the physical, psychological, and spiritual components of the
human condition. The DoD is also piloting resilience programs in military
settings to determine applicability and effectiveness within military
populations. While the impact of deployment on suicide is still under
investigation, it cannot be denied that an era of high operational tempo and
persistent conflict increases pressure on our warriors. A comprehensive approach
to enhancing resilience actively confronts the increasing stressors service
members face in this environment.

2010 will also provide DoD further
opportunities to demonstrate a public health model of prevention, by supporting
peer-to-peer programs in the Services and continuing to increase the number of

mental health providers in communities. DoD is actively engaged in hiring more
mental health providers and providing them with quality and continued training.
Conclusion

Through our united and concerted efforts, we can continue
making a change for the better. DoD recognizes the need to provide the resources
and programs necessary to maintain the resilience and motivation of our service
members and families. We will continue to emphasize education as we deliver our
core messages. “You are not alone; treatment works; the earlier the intervention
the better; and reaching out is an act of courage and strength.”

We are
devoted to this effort and will continue to work aggressively to prevent the
unnecessary loss of life.

With the Committee’s continued assistance and
support, we will ensure our brave men and women in uniform and their families
have access to the resources they require.

On behalf of the DoD, thank
you for the opportunity to highlight these vital issues. I look forward to your
questions.

560 total views, 1 views today

Sen. Grassley Investigates Lilly/WebMD link Reported by Washington Post

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Freelance writer and
cartoonist Martha Rosenberg has worked diligently to reveal the conflict of
interest in many of the pharma/medical  situations.

Please
rate this column. The rating buttons are at the top of the page after you click
on this link and are into the site. There is no
requirement to register or log-in so it should take only a few
seconds.

Thank you.

Rosie Meysenburg
Moderator:
www.SSRIstories.com

http://www.opednews.com/articles/GrassleyInvestigates-Lill-by-Martha-Rosenberg-100224-629.html

Grassley Investigates Lilly/WebMD link Reported by Washington
Post

By Martha Rosenberg (about the
author
)     Page 1 of 2 page(s)

opednews.com Permalink

For OpEdNews: Martha Rosenberg – Writer

It is
not too hard to find evidence of links between WebMD and drug giant Eli
Lilly.

A 2002 article on the gigantic medical site about pain and
depression says “Lilly is a WebMD Partner,” and an advertising award in 2004
went to the FCB “client” Eli Lilly & Co./WebMD–not clients.

Banner
and skyscraper ads for Lilly‘s blockbuster antidepressant Cymbalta on WebMD‘s
home page never seemed to yield to other advertisers in 2009–and the Washington

Post reported Lilly and WebMD to be partners in 2000.

Now Sen. Charles
Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, is
investigating financial ties between Lilly and WebMD Health Corp because of a

WebMD TV ad exhorting people to undergo a Lilly depression screening.

You
can joke about the need to tell people they are depressed–do people need to be
told they have a headache?–but pharma’s screening ruse to recruit new
patient pools for the volatile drugs among teens, adolescents and new mothers is
not funny.

3,500 news articles about antidepressant linked violence
appear on the web site, SSRIstories.com, including 700 murders, 200
murder-suicides, 51 school shooting incidents and 54 postpartum depression cases
since 1989.

In addition to WebMD, WebMD Health Corp. includes the web
sites Medscape, MedicineNet, eMedicine, eMedicine Health, RxList, theHeart.org,
and drugs.com. Original partners and investors says the Washington Post included
“Microsoft, DuPont, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. (and his Fox TV networks),
Silicon Graphics and Netscape founder Jim Clark, drug maker Eli Lilly, and EDS,
the computer services company founded by H. Ross Perot.”

Lilly is not the
only pharma company receiving unmarked product placement on WebMD.

Last
summer, a video featured a woman patient confessing she was fearful of life
while a voice over said she needed treatment for “general anxiety disorder” and
the camera showed bottles of Forest Pharmaceuticals’ antidepressant
Lexapro moving down the manufacturer’s assembly line
. Get it? No disclaimer
on the video or “sponsored content” appeared.

Another unsponsored WebMD

video last summer urged people on antidepressants to remain on their therapy
“despite side effects” and a third suggested women concerned about cancer, heart
attack and stroke risks of postmenopausal hormone therapy should continue their
treatment at lowered doses. Hang in there, valued customers.

A search for
Wyeth (now Pfizer) antidepressant Effexor a few months ago on WebMD elicited a
JAMA study finding Effexor superior to other antidepressants by a Wyeth funded
second author, Graham Emslie, MD. Effexor was the drug Andrea Yates took when
she drowned her five children in 2001, a case found on
SSRIstories.

Questions about conflict of interest have surfaced at
WebMD‘s Medscape too which administers many of the lucrative drug company
sponsored continuing medical education [CME] courses in the US which doctors
must complete to keep their state licenses.

Last year psychiatrist Daniel
Carlat, MD–who recounts his adventures as a Wyeth paid Effexor promoter in the
New York Times magazine–writes that he received, as a member of Medscape, an
envelope with “a brochure from Forest Laboratories advertising Lexapro, and
nothing else. It was creepy, like Invasion of the Body Snatchers.”

While
Lilly is known for launching the SSRI antidepressant revolution with Prozac,
Cymbalta does much of the heavy lifting now with worldwide sales of $3.075
billion in 2009.

Many remember Cymbalta as the drug 19-year-old healthy
clinical volunteer Traci Johnson killed herself on, during trials on the Lilly

campus in 2004–soon after FDA investigations into suicide/antidepressant
links.

Traci had no depression history said Rev. Joel Barnaby, a
spokesman for the Johnson family, who called Lilly‘s decision to proceed with
Cymbalta’s launch as scheduled “offensive” posturing.

Five others
suicides occurred during Cymbalta clinical trials, said the FDA and twice the
rate of suicide attempts were seen in women prescribed the drug for stress
urinary incontinence–also patients with no depression to blame.

Others
remember Cymbalta as the drug Carol Anne Gotbaum, daughter-in-law of New York
City Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum, was taking during her macabre death in
police custody at the Phoenix’s Sky Harbor airport in 2007.

But now Lilly
and WebMD are pushing Cymbalta for pain since it was approved for
fibromyalgia in 2008. “Across cultures, patients who complain of pain tend to be
depressed,” says the 2002 article which calls WebMD and Lilly partners, a
finding from a “huge international study by Prozac manufacturer Eli Lilly and
Company.”

“Could your muscle aches be related to depression?” hawks WebMD

text under the heading, “Recognizing the Symptoms of Depression.” Next to it is
a picture of a depressed women with arrows pointing to the pain in her head and
neck, chest and stomach, arms and hands, legs and feet and of course
back.

“Print out this symptom diary, and fill it out. Then take it to
your doctor to discuss what may be causing your symptoms.”

This content,
we’re told, is “selected and controlled by WebMD‘s editorial staff” but “funded
by Lilly USA.”


Martha Rosenberg is
columnist and cartoonist based in Chicago I

659 total views, no views today

Ban Avandia & Save Per Month 300 from Heart Failure & 500 from Heart Attacks!

The reports, obtained by The New York Times, say that if every diabetic now taking Avandia were instead given a similar pill named Actos, about 500 heart attacks and 300 cases of heart failure would be averted every month because Avandia can hurt the heart. Avandia, intended to treat Type 2 diabetes, is known as rosiglitazone and was linked to 304 deaths during the third quarter of 2009.
“Rosiglitazone should be removed from the market,” one report, by Dr. David Graham and Dr. Kate Gelperin of the Food and Drug Administration, concludes. Both authors recommended that Avandia be withdrawn.

Avandia was once one of the biggest-selling drugs in the world. Driven in part by a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign, sales were $3.2 billion in 2006. But a 2007 study by a Cleveland Clinic cardiologist suggesting that the drug harmed the heart prompted the F.D.A. to issue a warning, and sales plunged.

http://blogs.healthfreedomalliance.org/blog/2010/02/22/once-again-big-pharma-lies-and-people-die/

Feb

22

Once Again Big Pharma Lies And People Die

Filed Under Big Medicine, Big Pharma, FDA, Medical Maiming

Bush lied people died, whoops wrong website. Big Pharma lied people died. There that’s better. In what should be a shocking report but now is all to common, Glasko Smith Kline got caught lying about the dangers of their blockbuster diabetes drug named Avandia. Health Freedom Alliance assumes the penalty will be a small fine and increased campaign contributions. Hundreds of people taking Avandia, a controversial diabetes medicine, needlessly suffer heart attacks and heart failure each month, according to confidential government reports that recommend the drug be removed from the market.

The reports, obtained by The New York Times, say that if every diabetic now taking Avandia were instead given a similar pill named Actos, about 500 heart attacks and 300 cases of heart failure would be averted every month because Avandia can hurt the heart. Avandia, intended to treat Type 2 diabetes, is known as rosiglitazone and was linked to 304 deaths during the third quarter of 2009.

“Rosiglitazone should be removed from the market,” one report, by Dr. David Graham and Dr. Kate Gelperin of the Food and Drug Administration, concludes. Both authors recommended that Avandia be withdrawn.

The internal F.D.A. reports are part of a fierce debate within the agency over what to do about Avandia, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline. Some agency officials want the drug withdrawn because they believe there is a safer alternative; others insist that studies of the drug provide contradictory information and that Avandia should continue to be an option for doctors and patients. GlaxoSmithKline said that it had studied Avandia extensively and that “scientific evidence simply does not establish that Avandia increases” the risk of heart attacks.

The battle has been brewing for years but has been brought to a head by disagreement over a new clinical trial and a Senate investigation that concluded that GlaxoSmithKline should have warned patients earlier of the drug’s potential risks.

Avandia was once one of the biggest-selling drugs in the world. Driven in part by a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign, sales were $3.2 billion in 2006. But a 2007 study by a Cleveland Clinic cardiologist suggesting that the drug harmed the heart prompted the F.D.A. to issue a warning, and sales plunged. A committee of independent experts found in 2007 that Avandia might increase the risk of heart attack but recommended that it remain on the market, and an F.D.A. oversight board voted 8 to 7 to accept that advice.

Hundreds of thousands still take the medicine, although some top endocrinologists say they have sworn off the drug.

Since 2007, more studies have been done. In a December 2009 internal memorandum, Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the F.D.A.’s drug center, wrote that “there are multiple conflicting opinions” about Avandia within the agency, and she ordered officials to assemble another advisory committee, expected this summer, to reconsider whether the drug should be sold.

“I await the recommendations of the advisory committee,” the agency’s commissioner, Dr. Margaret Hamburg, said Friday night. “Meanwhile, I am reviewing the inquiry made by Senators Baucus and Grassley and I am reaching out to ensure that I have a complete understanding and awareness of all of the data and issues involved.”

The bipartisan multiyear Senate investigation — whose results are expected to be released publicly on Monday but which were also obtained by The Times — sharply criticizes GlaxoSmithKline, saying it failed to warn patients years earlier that Avandia was potentially deadly.

“Instead, G.S.K. executives attempted to intimidate independent physicians, focused on strategies to minimize or misrepresent findings that Avandia may increase cardiovascular risk, and sought ways to downplay findings that a competing drug might reduce cardiovascular risk,” concludes the report, which was overseen by Senator Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat, and Senator Charles E. Grassley, an Iowa Republican.

Mr. Baucus said of the report, “Patients trust drug companies with their health and their lives, and GlaxoSmithKline abused that trust.”

In response, GlaxoSmithKline said that it disagreed with the Senate investigation’s conclusions. The company said that it could not comment on internal F.D.A. documents but that “the official ruling from F.D.A. is that Avandia remain on the market.”

In the wake of the controversy, agency officials ordered GlaxoSmithKline to undertake a study comparing how many heart attacks, strokes and heart-related deaths occur among patients given either Avandia, Actos or a placebo. Studies suggest that Actos, made by Takeda, lowers blood sugar as well as Avandia but without hurting the heart as much.

But Dr. Graham and Dr. Gelperin, working in the F.D.A.’s office of surveillance and epidemiology, argued in two separate internal reports that the new GlaxoSmithKline study, called TIDE, is “unethical and exploitative” because patients given Avandia face far greater risks than those given Actos, with no promise of any additional benefit. The trial may include patients who have had heart attacks or chest pains even though some foreign drug authorities have warned against Avandia’s use by precisely such patients, the reports note.

“Although the proposed TIDE trial is motivated by a desire for definitive answers regarding the cardiovascular safety of the drug rosiglitazone, the safety of the study itself cannot be assured and is not acceptable,” one of the reports concludes.

These concerns, in internal reports dated October 2008 but not made public until now, were later overruled by other agency officials, and GlaxoSmithKline is currently enrolling patients in the TIDE trial. The trial is not expected to be completed until 2020, although the company is hoping to report some results to the F.D.A. by 2014. The company’s patent on Avandia expires in 2012, and generic versions will probably swallow most remaining profits.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/20/health/policy/20avandia.html?hp

577 total views, no views today

Medical examiner confirms death of 9-yr-old Colony, TX boy was

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy (www.drugawareness.org):

This suicide is much too similar to little Gabriel Myers’ (7) suicide
in Florida last year – while in the custody of CPS! He too was on
similar medications when he impulsively hung himself with a shower
hose in the bathroom.

Both types of medications have an FDA black box warning for suicide
for this age group. WHY?!!! Want to talk about him being exposed to
something toxic? This is it! Why as a society do we allow this to
continue?!!! Why is it okay for doctors to give patients drugs that
could cause suicide?

Here is the warning given for Strattera which is prescribed for ADHD.
[And a similar warning was given to all antidepressant and mood
stablizing medications (which Montana was also taking).]

9/05 From Web MD: “The FDA is advising health care providers and
caregivers that children and adolescents being treated with Strattera
should be closely monitored for worsening of symptoms as well as
agitation, irritability, SUICIDAL THINKING OR BEHAVIORS, and unusual
changes in behavior, especially during the initial few months of
therapy or when the dose is changed (either increased or decreased).”

“THIS MONITORING SHOULD INCLUDE DAILY OBSERVATION BY FAMILIES AND
CAREGIVERS AND FREQUENT CONTACT WITH THE PHYSICIAN, says the FDA.”
[Emphasis added]

What kind of close monitoring is this when he hangs himself in a
nurses office?! Why did none of the professionals working with Montana
withdraw him from the medications which had been producing these
suicidal thoughts for some time BEFORE he lost his life? I see these
FAR TOO OFTEN and the children are getting younger and younger as
those who should be caring for them ignore these strong FDA warnings
that are the next closest thing there is to banning a group of drugs!

Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition for Drug Awareness

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/021710dnmetlancesuicide.12e83ee14.html?so=TimeStampAscending&ocp=5#slcgm_comments_anchor

Medical examiner confirms death of 9-year-old Colony boy was suicide

11:13 PM CST on Thursday, February 18, 2010

By WENDY HUNDLEY/The Dallas Morning News
whundley@dallasnews.com

The Tarrant County medical examiner’s office ruled Thursday that a
9-year-old boy from The Colony committed suicide.

Montana Lance

The determination rules out speculation that Montana Lance’s death was
an accident.

Montana was found hanging in a bathroom at Stewart’s Creek Elementary
School around 1 p.m. Jan. 21. He was taken to Baylor Medical Center at
Carrollton, where he was pronounced dead.

Lt. Darren Brockway of The Colony police said the medical examiner’s
ruling is consistent with police conclusions about the death.

“He’d gotten in trouble at school and panicked,” Brockway said. “He
just felt there was no other way out.”

There had been speculation that Montana watched a television show
about teen suicide the night before his death and was copying what he
saw with no real intention to kill himself.

“We ruled that out as an option after talking to his parents,”
Brockway said. “He didn’t watch that show.”

Also Online

01/25/10: Friends, family stunned by apparent suicide of 9-year-old boy

Link: Leave your condolences for the family of Montana Lance

Still, experts say children as young as Montana may not fully
comprehend the consequences of their actions. A suicidal act may be a
spur-of-the-moment act, like an outburst or a tantrum, they say.

“It was more of a conscious decision he made in a moment of high
anxiety,” Brockway said.

A spokesman for the Lance family could not be reached for comment
Thursday. A police report says Montana’s father had insisted the death
was accidental.

Brockway said Montana had been upset on the day of his death after he
was sent to the office for misbehaving in class. He locked himself in
the school nurse’s restroom and didn’t come out.

After about 10 minutes, the nurse got a key to open the door and found
the child unconscious.

Montana had attached the buckle of a brown cloth belt to a hook of a
device used to help disabled people use the restroom, according to a
police report. He was found with the belt around his neck with his
feet off the floor. Police found no notes or messages.

He had been taking medication for mood swings and for attention
deficit hyperactivity disorder, and had been having suicidal thoughts
for about two years, the police report states.

In 2007, Montana’s parents, Jason and Debbie Lance, sought treatment
for their son for ADHD.

In 2008, they told the doctor that the boy had been talking about
committing suicide, and he was referred to a psychiatrist, according
to the police report.

After Montana’s death, Child Protective Services opened an
investigation to determine whether abuse or neglect were contributing
factors.

That investigation has not been completed, but the family’s other two
children have not been removed from the home, CPS spokeswoman Marissa
Gonzales said.

Gonzales said CPS has had no prior involvement with the Lances and
routinely investigates child fatalities.

With the medical examiner’s ruling, police plan to close their
investigation with no charges filed, Brockway said.

840 total views, 2 views today

SEROQUEL: Man accused of drugging, raping Orem woman – UT

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy (www.drugawareness.org): ALWAYS KEEP IN
MIND THAT THERE IS LITTLE DIFFERENCE IN THESE ATYPICAL ANTIPSYCHOTICS AND SNRI
ANTIDEPRESSANTS. THEY ARE VERY POWERFUL SEROTONIN REUPTAKE INHIBITORS INHIBITING
MULTIPLE SEROTONIN RECEPTORS!!! AND ON TOP OF THAT ARE SEROTONIN AGONISTS
AS WELL.

Police say the drug Christensen gave to the victim was a 300 mg
Seroquel, a medication for which he has prescription. The drug is
given to bipolar disorder and is an antipsychotic
medication.

Police say one of the side effects of the drug is
impaired thinking and reactions, and that people should also avoid alcohol
when taking it.

Man accused of drugging, raping Orem woman

Last Update:
2/18 3:20 pm

OREM, Utah (ABC 4 News) – Police say a Utah
County man drugged a woman he met at a bar and raped her.

Police say on
Friday February 12, Orem officers responded to a report of a rape that
had been reported from the night before.

Police say the victim
is a 24-year-old woman from southwest Orem.

According to
police, the victim met 26-year-old Jason Christensen at a bar in
Provo.

Police say both the suspect and alleged victim had been
drinking and went back to her apartment when Christensen gave her a pill to help
her sleep.

After taking the pill, police say the only thing the
victim remembered was waking up for a moment while the
suspect was sexually assaulting her.

After that, police say the
victim doesn’t remember anything for several hours until she woke up and
was undressed.

According to police, Christensen gave the victim the
pill at about 3:00 a.m. on the 11th and she didn’t wake up until 11:00 a.m. the
same day.

Police say the drug Christensen gave to the victim was a
300 mg Seroquel, a medication for which he has prescription.
The drug is given to bipolar disorder and is an
antipsychotic medication.

Police say one of the side effects

of the drug is impaired thinking and reactions, and that people should also
avoid alcohol when taking it.

Detectives caught up with Jason on
Wednesday at the City Center Motel in Provo where he was staying. He was
arrested and charged with Rape and Distribution of a
Prescription.

—-Information from: Orem
Police

873 total views, no views today

Medical examiner confirms death of 9-yr-old Colony, TX boy was suicide

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy (www.drugawareness.org):

This suicide is much too similar to little Gabriel Myers’ (7) suicide in Florida last year – while in the custody of CPS! He too was on similar medications when he impulsively hung himself with a shower hose in the bathroom.

Both types of medications have an FDA black box warning for suicide for this age group. WHY?!!! Want to talk about him being exposed to something toxic? This is it! Why as a society do we allow this to continue?!!! Why is it okay for doctors to give patients drugs that could cause suicide?

Here is the warning given for Strattera which is prescribed for ADHD. [And a similar warning was given to all antidepressant and mood stablizing medications (which Montana was also taking).]

9/05 From Web MD: “The FDA is advising health care providers and caregivers that children and adolescents being treated with Strattera should be closely monitored for worsening of symptoms as well as agitation, irritability, SUICIDAL THINKING OR BEHAVIORS, and unusual changes in behavior, especially during the initial few months of therapy or when the dose is changed (either increased or decreased).”

“THIS MONITORING SHOULD INCLUDE DAILY OBSERVATION BY FAMILIES AND CAREGIVERS AND FREQUENT CONTACT WITH THE PHYSICIAN, says the FDA.” [Emphasis added]

What kind of close monitoring is this when he hangs himself in a nurses office?! Why did none of the professionals working with Montana withdraw him from the medications which had been producing these suicidal thoughts for some time BEFORE he lost his life? I see these FAR TOO OFTEN and the children are getting younger and younger as those who should be caring for them ignore these strong FDA warnings that are the next closest thing there is to banning a group of drugs!

Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition for Drug Awareness

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/021710dnmetlancesuicide.12e83ee14.html?so=TimeStampAscending&ocp=5#slcgm_comments_anchor
Medical examiner confirms death of 9-year-old Colony boy was suicide

11:13 PM CST on Thursday, February 18, 2010

By WENDY HUNDLEY/The Dallas Morning News
whundley@dallasnews.com
The Tarrant County medical examiner’s office ruled Thursday that a 9-year-old boy from The Colony committed suicide.

Montana Lance
The determination rules out speculation that Montana Lance’s death was an accident.

Montana was found hanging in a bathroom at Stewart’s Creek Elementary School around 1 p.m. Jan. 21. He was taken to Baylor Medical Center at Carrollton, where he was pronounced dead.

Lt. Darren Brockway of The Colony police said the medical examiner’s ruling is consistent with police conclusions about the death.

“He’d gotten in trouble at school and panicked,” Brockway said. “He just felt there was no other way out.”

There had been speculation that Montana watched a television show about teen suicide the night before his death and was copying what he saw with no real intention to kill himself.

“We ruled that out as an option after talking to his parents,” Brockway said. “He didn’t watch that show.”

Also Online
01/25/10: Friends, family stunned by apparent suicide of 9-year-old boy

Link: Leave your condolences for the family of Montana Lance

Still, experts say children as young as Montana may not fully comprehend the consequences of their actions. A suicidal act may be a spur-of-the-moment act, like an outburst or a tantrum, they say.

“It was more of a conscious decision he made in a moment of high anxiety,” Brockway said.

A spokesman for the Lance family could not be reached for comment Thursday. A police report says Montana’s father had insisted the death was accidental.

Brockway said Montana had been upset on the day of his death after he was sent to the office for misbehaving in class. He locked himself in the school nurse’s restroom and didn’t come out.

After about 10 minutes, the nurse got a key to open the door and found the child unconscious.

Montana had attached the buckle of a brown cloth belt to a hook of a device used to help disabled people use the restroom, according to a police report. He was found with the belt around his neck with his feet off the floor. Police found no notes or messages.

He had been taking medication for mood swings and for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and had been having suicidal thoughts for about two years, the police report states.

In 2007, Montana’s parents, Jason and Debbie Lance, sought treatment for their son for ADHD.

In 2008, they told the doctor that the boy had been talking about committing suicide, and he was referred to a psychiatrist, according to the police report.

After Montana’s death, Child Protective Services opened an investigation to determine whether abuse or neglect were contributing factors.

That investigation has not been completed, but the family’s other two children have not been removed from the home, CPS spokeswoman Marissa Gonzales said.

Gonzales said CPS has had no prior involvement with the Lances and routinely investigates child fatalities.

With the medical examiner’s ruling, police plan to close their investigation with no charges filed, Brockway said.

1,062 total views, no views today

SSRI ANTIDEPRESSANT: 2008 Finnish School Shooting: 10 Dead

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy (www.drugawareness.org): Although this is
a poor automatic translation of the document you can tell by what is translated
that it was found that as the large majority of school shooter, this shooter was
on an SSRI antidepressant when he shot himself and 10 others in the Finish
school shooting in September of 2008.

___________________________
On September 23, 2008, at Kauhajoki in Finland, a 22 year old
culinary student named Matti Saari shot and killed ten students before
killing himself.
The official report on the shooting has been released
by the Finnish Ministry and on page 58 of that report [PDF file] it states that
Matti Saari was taking an
SSRI medicinal product and
also a benzodiazepine.

Following the official report is
another newspaper report attached to this email which also explains about the

SSRI.

Automatically translated from Finnish into
English.
——————————————————————————————————————–
Page
58 reads:  “Copies terveyskeskuslääkäri was ordered medicines at the
request of depressiohoitajan
are (ssri– medicinal product) that
ahdistuskohtauksiin (alpratsolaami) patients nothing
themselves.
ahdistuskohtaukset and paniikkihäiriöt esiintymistilanteisiin and
related, social situations
that well alone. verkostokartoituksessa months
before taking any
factor network has proved to be quite a present. Apparently
factor which
medicines used properly and in any case, we had hoitomyönteinen
use and open. However, he has avoided katsekontaktia depressiohoitajaan.
hoitokontakti retained until an act, but factor will act was passed on a Friday
meeting agreed later.”

http://www.om.fi/Satellite?blobtable=MungoBlobs&blobcol=urldata&SSURIapptype=BlobServer&SSURIcontainer=Default&SSURIsession=false&blobkey=id&blobheadervalue1=inline ; filename=OMSO 11_2010 Selvitys_180 s.pdf&SSURIsscontext=Satellite
Server&blobwhere=1266333385256&blobheadername1=Content-Disposition&ssbinary=true&blobheader=application/pdf
——————————————————————————————————————–
http://www.savonsanomat.fi/teemat/kauhajoki/koulusurmaajan-l%C3%A4%C3%A4kityst%C3%A4-ei-suositella-nuorille-yhdysvalloissa/534656

koulusurmaajan medication aggression
ssri

may increase does not recommend medicinal products in the United
States
a young people a 04: 03 (last 08: 08)
figure: anu
Mattila
kauhajoella ten people in 2008 and itself was fired by Matti
Saari
mielenterveysongelmiinsa tried to obtain aid until
13-age.

freija metsähalme

kauhajoen koulusurmaaja Matti island
ssri– ate are medicinal product which is not in the United States to recommend
to less than 18 years of age.

ssri– medicines are available in the wider
young people in Finland.

-according to the studies uncontrolled use of
medicinal products ssri– aggression and may increase itsetuhoisia incentives.
These medicinal products should always be used only under medical supervision.
under 15 years of age should be a specialist, under the supervision Kuopion
university hospital (PCA) nuorisopsykiatrian Professor Päivikki laukkanen
says.

Island psyykelääkityksen had nothing ever in specialised
doctors

terveyskeskuslääkäri was ordered him on request. medication
depressiohoitajan the medicinal product ssri– grant ate ahdistuskohtauksiin
another medicinal product.

22-year-old island
kauhajoella killed in September 2008 and itself ten
people.

1,145 total views, no views today

ANTIDEPRESSANTS & PAIN KILLERS: Suicide: Woman: England

Paragraph 11 reads:  “A post-mortem examination also
found a mixture of other painkillers and anti-depressants
in therapeutic rather than fatal amounts, but they could have worked
to enhance the effect of the pills.”

http://www.getreading.co.uk/news/s/2065818_grieving_nurse_had_spoken_of_suicide

Grieving nurse had spoken of suicide

February 15,
2010

A nurse who was found dead on her sofa had taken an overdose of her
daughter’s painkillers, an inquest heard.

Lindsay Davies, 50, was
discovered by her 22-year-old daughter at the family home in Southcote on August
26.

She had just finished a 10-day stint of night shifts at the Duchess
of Kent House in West Reading and the inquest heard it was thought she decided
to have a few drinks and fall asleep on the sofa.

Her husband Ian, known
as Terry, woke to the sound of her falling off the sofa at 2am and went
downstairs to pick her up and put her back on the settee at their home in
Worcester Close.

Giving evidence at the inquest on Tuesday, Mr Davies
said that he had left for work at around 6.30am and his wife was still snoring
soundly on the sofa. He said: “She had just finished night shifts and was
exhausted. It was not unusual for her to have a few drinks and relax when she
knew she didn’t have to go to work the next day.

“She had mentioned a few
things about taking her life but it was soon after her mother died and I just
thought it was normal to talk like that. I didn’t think she would actually do
anything, especially not where her family would find her.”

Mrs Davies,
who had a history of depression, had discussed taking her life with her daughter
but had said she would walk into the sea until she drowned and take her beloved
dog Charlie with her.

Her husband found a number of empty pill packets in
the house and some food bags of ham that had been laced with pills. But the dog,
who had been sleeping next to her, showed no signs of
poisoning.

Berkshire coroner Peter Bedford said that Mrs Davies had pills
in her stomach containing a painkiller that was prescribed to her daughter who
also suffered depression.

The pills were a potentially fatal
dose.

A post-mortem examination also found a mixture of other painkillers
and anti-depressants in therapeutic rather than fatal amounts, but they could
have worked to enhance the effect of the pills.

Recording an open
verdict, Mr Bedford said: “There is not enough evidence to allow me to reach a
clear conclusion.

“There is no suicide note, there is only one drug that
she overdosed in her body when you expect someone to try and take all the pills
you could get your hands on, and the fact she had said she would not do it at
home where her daughter would find her.

“There is doubt for me
there.”

936 total views, no views today

MEDS for PTSD: Antidepressants, Antipsychotics, Etc. Soldiers Overmedicated

Paragraphs 8 through 10 read:  “”The troops are
overmedicated
. We see it all the time. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder has been more
serious, especially since the
November 5
shooting
,” she said.”

“Thomas said

counselors sometimes have to drive GI’s to their appointments and to the base
because they are so heavily medicated that they cannot drive themselves.

Many have chronic migraines that keep them from driving, she said.”

” ‘On
average, most of the soldiers I have talked to take 20 to 25 medications
per day
and some look as though they are in the advanced stages of
Parkinson’s disease; some actually stumble from their meds
,’ Under the
Hood
counselor Matti Litaker said.”

http://www.truthout.org/over-meds-and-under-hood56822

Over the Meds and
Under the Hood

Thursday 11 February 2010

by: Candice Bernd, t r u t h o u t
|
Op-Ed

Army psychiatrist Maj.
Nidal Malik Hasan’s
alleged brutal shooting of 13 GI’s stationed at the
largest US military base, located just outside Killeen, Texas, drew sympathy
from the national, state and military political establishments and reinforced a
prejudice in the hearts and minds of many Americans.

The sure-fire
coverage from the corporate media easily painted a picture of the story that
would reinforce the War on Terror while leaving unanswered the deeper and more
challenging questions about the state of US military establishments and the
mental and emotional state of our young soldiers serving in those institutions.
The Fort Hood shooting commanded an investigation into Hasan’s alleged
connections to Islamic radicals, but was unable to probe the everyday standards
and practices of the military base itself to find the hidden causes of GI
strife.

Introspection is needed to objectively analyze the effects of
the current political climate on our troops and see the hidden costs of war on
our country in order to reconcile tendencies towards racism in public perception
and to move on after this national trauma.

When President Obama
visited Fort
Hood
to offer his condolences to victims of the November 5, 2009,
shooting
, the GI’s were told by their chain of command to line up for their
chance to shake the president’s hand. One GI, Pfc. Michael Kern, member of the
Fort Hood chapter of

Iraq Veterans Against the War, knew the president was coming. Kern attempted
to hand the president a letter written on behalf of the veterans’ organization
demanding that the military radically overhaul its mental health care system and
halt the practice of repeated deployment of the same troops. Although he
couldn’t hand the letter directly to the president due to security reasons, the
letter did arrive to him through the proper channels.

On January 15,
2010, Kern organized a protest outside the east gate entrance to the base that
focused on overmedicating of the soldiers stationed there and the lack of mental
health resources and counseling. The protest, which lasted from 10 a.m. to 5
p.m., maintained approximately 30 people throughout the day as protesters
rotated to avoid the cold and the rain. The event was co-organized by Under the Hood Café, a local coffee
house and outreach center that counsels soldiers coming back from war and offers
basic services to GI’s in need, including referrals for counseling, legal advice
and information on GI rights.

“If it wasn’t for Under
the Hood, I’d be dead,” Kern said after the protest.

Under the Hood Café
manager Cynthia Thomas said the coffee house concept originated in the 1960’s
during the GI movement against the Vietnam War. When the US invaded Iraq and
Afghanistan, Thomas began working with Iraq Veterans Against the War to have a house
near Fort
Hood
because it is the largest US military base in the world. The Fort Hood
Support Network helped Thomas to get a 501(c)(3) nonprofit status for the
center, she said.

“The troops are overmedicated. We see it all the time.

Post-Traumatic
Stress Disorder
has been more serious, especially since the November 5
shooting
,” she said.

Thomas said counselors sometimes have to drive
GI’s to their appointments and to the base because they are so heavily medicated
that they cannot drive themselves. Many have chronic migraines that keep them
from driving, she said.

“On average, most of the soldiers I have talked
to take 20 to 25 medications per day and some look as though they are in the
advanced stages of Parkinson’s disease; some actually stumble from their meds,”
Under the Hood counselor Matti
Litaker said.

One active-duty soldier came back to the café after meeting
the protesters outside Fort Hood . The 20-year-old GI, Mick, would
only give his first name due to his active-duty status. Mick had suffered three
concussions after coming too close to an Improvised
Explosive Device
in Iraq, and now has a Traumatic Brain
Injury
.

“They expect you to be the perfect soldier and the perfect
civilian,” he said. “The government expects us to be bipolar, to separate work
life from home life.”

After Mick had received his TBI, he tried to
“chapter out,” or leave the Army. He had a court date for an unrelated crime,
and was expecting to get a discharge when his superior told him that he would
make sure that Mick didn’t go to his court date so that he could stay in the
Army. He said that he was hopeful because he could get “med-boarded” for his TBI
and get a discharge.

Mick said he knew that another GI had been illegally
deployed when he was 17 and that while he was in Iraq during the 2008 election,
the absentee ballots for the soldiers vote did not come in until three weeks
after they were supposed to be due back in the states.

“I don’t think we
got to vote in that election,” he said. Kern backed up his account, saying that
he too did not get his absentee ballot in time to vote in the 2008
election.

Kern said that he had joined the military with “hopes of doing
right for all of humanity.” Kern said that he didn’t join the Army for the
money, but because he believed in the mission of the Army and that when he
joined he supported the war. All of that changed when he killed a child in Iraq.
After he returned to the States he was transferred to the Warrior Transition Brigade,
where he saw many soldiers who were missing limbs and who were “messed up in the
head.”

He then found Under the Hood Café and joined the

Iraq Veterans Against
the War
. Kern said that after he knew Obama had received the letter from the
IVAW, he wrote an email to the president outlining many GI concerns. He told the
president that he was planning on paying him a visit to talk about the issues on
behalf of the IVAW, but after Obama escalated the war in Afghanistan he
“realized [Obama] was the same as Bush.”

Kern is on many meds himself. He
pulled out his current medications prescription list. There were a total of 47
different medications that had been prescribed to Kern within the last 180 days
before January 15, 2010.

“If the Army asks, yeah I take it all, but I
don’t really take it all,” he said.

Kern said he believes that the
government and pharmaceutical companies are testing drugs on the soldiers in
war. He said that the soldiers were given an H1N1 vaccine that had not been FDA approved and that
later on after the GI’s had taken it, it was recalled.
He also said that the Army is giving the soldiers Botox injections for their
brain nerves, for pain, but that the procedure is not yet FDA
approved.

Kern is currently working on a piece called “Creating an
Activist,” which details his struggles overseas and as well as back home, both
inside and outside the Army.

Could there be something more to the Fort
Hood shooting than Islamist extremism? Hasan himself was a psychiatrist,
prescribing meds to soldiers in order to make them “deployable,” and was about
to be deployed to Afghanistan before the shooting. What happened on November 5,
2009, was truly devastating, but the event can serve as an eye opener for the
state of the country, for the state of our soldiers, and for the state of the
wars.

942 total views, no views today

ANTIDEPRESSANTS: Ineffective & Can Increase Cardiovascular Death W/Beta Blockers

Paragraphs 15 through 18 read:  “Dr. Bertram Pitt, a
cardiologist at the University of Michigan School of Medicine, co-wrote an
accompanying editorial in the journal and notes that the relationship between
cardiovascular disease and depression poses intriguing research
questions.”

” ‘The current therapy of depression doesn’t seem to be
doing that much for depression, and certainly hasn’t broken the link between
depression and cardiovascular disease,’
he said in an interview
from Ann Arbor.”

“In fact, he said there’s some evidence that
certain antidepressants increase cardiovascular

death when they’re taken with betablockers.”

” ‘So we have sort
of a real challenge that the current treatment of depression doesn’t seem to be
that effective’.”

http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5gUXXTGCUSLny-RfZ24BUGVERK5zQ

Happy people have lower likelihood of heart attack, Nova Scotia study
indicates

By Anne-Marie Tobin (CP) – 17 hours ago

TORONTO ­ We
hear the advice “Don’t worry, be happy,” and “Smile, smile, smile” in upbeat
song lyrics. And when it comes to the health benefits of a sunny disposition,
they might be on to something.

A 10-year study that tracked more than
1,700 adults in Nova Scotia suggests people who are usually happy, enthusiastic
and content are less likely to develop heart disease.

The study,
published Thursday in the European Heart Journal, is believed to be the first to
show an independent relationship between clinically assessed emotions and
coronary heart disease.

“Being happy means you have less likelihood of
having a heart attack 10 years later,” said psychologist Karina Davidson,
director of the Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health at Columbia
University Medical Center in New York.

“What we don’t know yet is if
you’re not a happy person and you were to get an intervention to help you

increase your happiness, would that offset your risk?”

The team looked at
the association between positive affect – defined as the experience of
pleasurable emotions such as joy, happiness, excitement, enthusiasm and
contentment – and cardiovascular events in 1,739 adults in the 1995 Nova Scotia
Health Survey. Trained nurses interviewed the 862 men and 877 women.

“We
taped as they talked about their daily lives, what stresses them, how they
handle those stressors, and we then coded whether they had a lot of positive
affect,” said Davidson, who hails from Vancouver and began the research in 1995
while she was at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

“We had to wait quite a
few years as these people had heart attacks, and then we looked to see whether
being happy predicted fewer heart attacks, and indeed it did.”

The
researchers found that over the decade, participants with no positive affect
were at 22 per cent higher risk of heart attack or angina than those with a
little positive affect, who were themselves at 22 per cent higher risk than
those with moderate positive affect.

But Davidson notes that this is an
observational study, and rigorous clinical trials are needed to support the
findings.

A study would need to follow people with low levels of
happiness, and randomize them so that some receive usual care while others would
receive intervention from a trained professional to help identify ways to
increase joy and excitement in their daily lives.

“The key to adding
pleasurable or enjoyable activities to one’s life is that they also be heart
healthy,” Davidson noted.

“So if you can learn to enjoy going for a walk
after dinner, or going to the gym to do a regular routine, or you always enjoyed
hiking in your younger years and so you go on some hikes on a regular basis,
that will surely improve your heart health.”

One problem, she observed,
is that some people enjoy smoking, eating ice cream or other activities that
aren’t considered heart healthy – so they’d need to be steered away from
those.

Dr. Bertram Pitt, a cardiologist at the University of Michigan
School of Medicine, co-wrote an accompanying editorial in the journal and notes
that the relationship between cardiovascular disease and depression poses
intriguing research questions.

“The current therapy of depression doesn’t
seem to be doing that much for depression, and certainly hasn’t broken the link
between depression and cardiovascular disease,” he said in an interview from Ann
Arbor.

In fact, he said there’s some evidence that certain

antidepressants increase cardiovascular death when they’re taken with
betablockers.

“So we have sort of a real challenge that the current
treatment of depression doesn’t seem to be that effective.”

The study by
Davidson is important because it points out there may be some new approaches, he
said.

“I think if you can be happy and do things that make you happy, you
certainly can‘t lose, and you may have a great advantage in reducing your

cardiovascular risk in the future.”

Copyright © 2010 The Canadian Press.
All rights reserved

868 total views, no views today