DEPRESSION MED: Soldier Commits Suicide: Iraq/New Hampshire

Paragraphs 3 & 4 read: “Last week, 37-year-old Dane took his life in California where he was stationed. His family in Auburn questions if more could have been done to prevent his death.”

“They say he sought help from the military to battle depression and PTSD and was on medication.”

http://www.wmur.com/news/19934903/detail.html

Full Military Honors Planned For Marine

Family Questions Whether He Should Have Been Given More Help
POSTED: 11:19 pm EDT July 2, 2009
UPDATED: 11:43 pm EDT July 2, 2009

AUBURN, N.H. — New Hampshire is preparing to lay a Marine to rest with full military honors.

Staff Sgt. Charles Edward Dane, known as Eddie to family and friends, served six combat tours, dedicating 15 years in service to the country.

Last week, 37-year-old Dane took his life in California where he was stationed. His family in Auburn questions if more could have been done to prevent his death.

They say he sought help from the military to battle depression and PTSD and was on medication.

After two DUIs, Dane was being processed out of the service he loved.

A funeral with full military honors will be held Monday at noon at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen.
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ANTIDEPRESSANT WITHDRAWAL: Suicide: Recent Withdrawal: Michigan

Often there is the terrible withdrawal associated with the SSRIs. Unless patients are warned to come very slowly off these drugs by shaving minuscule amounts off their pills each day, as opposed to cutting them in half or taking a pill every other day, they can go into terrible withdrawal which is generally delayed several months. This withdrawal includes bouts of overwhelming depression, terrible insomnia and fatigue, and can include life-threatening physical effects, psychosis, or violent outbursts.

Paragraph 7 reads: “Fessenden disputes reports that his son was taking multiple prescription drugs. He said his son recently went off anti-depressants.”

Relatives remember Oceana man as generous person

by Chad D. Lerch | The Muskegon Chronicle
Friday July 03, 2009, 6:41 AM

Roger Fessenden

OCEANA COUNTY — Dale Fessenden says his son, who was found dead June 25 in an Oceana County pond, will be remembered as a caring person who always put others first.

His son, Roger Dale Fessenden, 40, of Rothbury suffered a back injury at work earlier this year when he fell 20 feet while cleaning a storage tank. He underwent back surgery in February, family members said.

Roger Fessenden was reported missing June 23 and was found dead two days later in a pond known by locals as Oceana Lake in Grant Township.

Dale Fessenden said his son often had a difficult time sleeping because of back pain. He said Roger would take prescription sleeping pills and then go for drives in his car. He suspects the sleeping pills affected his son’s judgment.

On the night he went missing, Roger Fessenden likely took sleeping pills before venturing out, his father said.

“He didn’t know what he was doing and just took off,” he said. “I’m convinced that’s what happened to him.”

Fessenden disputes reports that his son was taking multiple prescription drugs. He said his son recently went off anti-depressants.

Family members said they want Roger Fessenden to be remembered as someone with a generous heart.

Dale Fessenden said his son once went shopping for a stranger in the hospital — just because he wanted to help.

“That’s the kind of person my son was,” he said. “He was the most polite person in my life.”

Oceana County Sheriff Bob Farber said a toxicology report is pending in the investigation into Roger Fessenden’s death. The report could return from the lab in the next two weeks.

But in the meantime, the county coroner has ruled the cause of death as drowning. It remains unclear how Fessenden ended up in the pond.

Fessenden, a longtime resident of Ferry, is survived by his wife, Blanco Suarez, two stepchildren and his parents.

E-mail Chad D. Lerch at clerch@muskegonchronicle.com

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DEPRESSION MED: 15 Year Old Hangs Himself: Illinois

FDA ‘black-box’ warning – In 2003, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration began warning of an increased risk of suicidal thoughts among youths taking anti-depressants. In 2004, the agency required a new, more stringent label when antidepressants were prescribed to those under 18.

Between 2003-04 the youth suicide rate jumped 14 percent
– the steepest increase ever seen – while the number of antidepressant prescriptions for youths dramatically dropped during the same period: 20 percent for children 10 and under, 12 percent for 11-to-14-year-olds and 10 percent for 15-to-19-year-olds.

Paragraphs 29 & 30 read: “He stopped going to school and began attending an outpatient program, seeing a therapist and a psychiatrist and taking medication for depression and anxiety. He tried returning to school on a half-day basis, but soon became overwhelmed with makeup work and inquiries from classmates who heard rumors he had tried to kill himself. After a few days in school, Iain asked to be readmitted to the hospital, where he stayed for a week, his parents said.”

“But as summer approached, he began showing signs of improvement. He was easier to communicate with, did his chores when asked and his doctors believed they had found the right balance in his medication, his father said.”

Paragraph 32 reads: “Lain’s parents and friends say they do not know of any incidents that might have triggered what happened June 3, when his father found him in the basement. His death was ruled a suicide by hanging, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. He did not leave a note.”

http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2009/07/05/20090705bullying.html

Bullied boy’s short life ends in suicide
Jul. 5, 2009 08:20 AM
Associated Press

CHICAGO – The bullying seemed inescapable.

His family and friends say it followed Iain Steele from junior high to high school
– from hallways, where one tormentor shoved him into lockers, to cyberspace, where another posted a video on Facebook making fun of his taste for heavy metal music.

“At one point, (a bully) had told (Iain) he wished he would kill himself,” said Matt Sikora, Iain’s close friend.

Iain’s parents know their son had other problems, but they believe the harassment contributed to a deepening depression that hospitalized the 15-year-old twice this year. On June 3, while his classmates were taking final exams, he went to the basement of his home and hanged himself with a belt.

His death stunned his quiet suburb west of Chicago and unleashed an outpouring of support for his parents, William and Liz, who say greater attention should be paid to bullying and its connection to mental health.

“No kid should be afraid for himself to go to school,” his father said. “It should be a safe environment where they can intellectually thrive. And he was, literally, just frightened to go to school, fearing what he would have to deal with on that day. And it was day after day.”

A school spokeswoman said she did not believe Iain was bullied. Police are investigating the allegations.

Nearly 30 percent of American children are bullied or are bullies themselves, according to the National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center. Bullying can be physical, verbal or psychological and is repetitive, intentional and creates a perceived imbalance of power, said Dr. Joseph Wright, senior vice president at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington.

Soon, the American Academy of Pediatrics will for the first time include a section on bullying in its official policy statement on the pediatrician’s role in preventing youth violence.

Wright, a lead author of the statement, said the decision to address the issue was due to a growing body of research over the last decade linking bullying to youth violence, depression and suicidal thoughts.

Last year, the Yale School of Medicine conducted analysis of the link between childhood bullying and suicide in 37 studies from 13 countries, finding both bullies and their victims were at high risk of contemplating suicide.

In March, the parents of a 17-year-old Ohio boy who committed suicide filed a lawsuit against his school alleging their son was bullied. Instead of seeking compensation, they are asking the school to put in place an anti-bullying program and to recognize their son’s death as a “bullicide.”

Iain Steele enjoyed riding his skateboard, his father said, but after hip surgery in 8th grade limited his mobility, he picked up the guitar and impressed an instructor with his musical talent.

He was revered by younger kids in the neighborhood, often fixing their skateboards, settling their disputes and including them in games. “He was a very gentle, kind kid, compassionate to a fault,” his father said. But Iain’s embrace of heavy metal set him apart from classmates. He let his hair grow to shoulder-length and wore mostly black clothing, including jeans with chains and T-shirts of heavy metal bands with dark, sometimes morbid lyrics.

For this, his classmates at McClure Junior High School often called him “emo” – a slang term for angst-ridden followers of a style of punk music, said Sikora, 15.

The bullying could also be physical, Iain’s friends and parents said. In 8th grade at McClure, one bully pushed Iain into a locker while he was on crutches and accused him of faking an injury to get out of gym class. Iain rarely shied away from his tormentors, however, and in this case, he punched the bully in the jaw, his father said.

“He was mainly bullied only because he was different, or hurt, or stupid things like that,” said Sikora. “He never bothered anybody. … It was all just because he was different and an easy target.”

William Steele said his son had trouble ignoring the bullying because it “was just sort of relentless.” It got to the point where the father sat down with the principal at McClure and with a bully’s mother. But the harassment did not subside.

Steele said, “(Iain) had a real trust issue because he felt like, particularly at McClure, the system let him down, that it didn’t deliver on its promise to protect him from bullying.”

McClure Principal Dan Chick said in an e-mail “the District 101 community is deeply saddened by this recent tragedy of losing one of our children.” Chick said he takes bullying very seriously but declined to discuss details of Iain’s case because of privacy issues.

“As with all situations, I investigated this specific matter and took appropriate actions within the limits of my authority,” Chick said.

After graduating from McClure in 2008, Iain began attending the south campus for freshmen and sophomores at Lyons Township High School, where he found new friends – and new tormentors. A new bully emerged who at first acted friendly but then posted a homemade video on Facebook pretending to be Iain playing heavy metal on guitar.

“It was like a public humiliation to (Iain),” Sikora said.

The family of the student did not respond to requests for comment.

Jennifer Bialobok, a spokeswoman for Lyons Township High School, said “bullying is obviously not tolerated at LT,” but added, “I don’t think we’re naive enough to think that bullying behavior doesn’t exist.”

Two years ago, Lyons Township created a “speak up line” in which students can anonymously report “inappropriate or unsafe behavior,” and the school hangs posters defining bullying and explaining how to report it, Bialobok said. If any student reported being bullied, a thorough investigation would take place, with consequences ranging from parental notification to out-of-school suspension, she said.

Bialobok said she could not discuss Iain’s case because of student privacy laws, but, “we don’t believe that bullying was an issue while Iain was attending LT. Counselors and a host of other support personnel worked routinely to make his experience at LT a positive one.”

Local police have not documented incidents of bullying involving Iain but are still conducting interviews, Deputy Chief Brian Budds said.

By this winter, Iain’s mental health had begun a downward spiral, his parents said. In February, he told them he was having suicidal thoughts and asked to be admitted to the hospital.

He stopped going to school and began attending an outpatient program, seeing a therapist and a psychiatrist and taking medication for depression and anxiety. He tried returning to school on a half-day basis, but soon became overwhelmed with makeup work and inquiries from classmates who heard rumors he had tried to kill himself. After a few days in school, Iain asked to be readmitted to the hospital, where he stayed for a week, his parents said.

But as summer approached, he began showing signs of improvement. He was easier to communicate with, did his chores when asked and his doctors believed they had found the right balance in his medication, his father said.

“He seemed to be in a calm, happy place,” he said.

Iain’s parents and friends say they do not know of any incidents that might have triggered what happened June 3, when his father found him in the basement. His death was ruled a suicide by hanging, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. He did not leave a note.

Looking back, Iain’s parents wonder what factors besides bullying may have contributed to their son’s depression.

Iain’s favorite heavy metal bands, such as Lamb of God and Children of Bodem and Bullet for My Valentine, often have lyrics with dark messages. One Bullet for My Valentine song is about being bullied, and another song contains the refrain: “The only way out is to die.”

Also, Iain was deeply hurt this spring after a brief relationship with a girl he met in his outpatient program. The two exchanged text messages, but her parents and therapists advised against them dating and about two months ago barred her from having communication with him.

Still, Iain’s parents remain convinced bullying played a significant role in their son’s depression. As Iain’s story spread through the community, many people approached Liz Steele to describe their own experiences with bullying, depression or suicide, she said.

“A lot of people don’t want to talk about mental health or bullying because it’s a difficult thing to talk about, but we need to talk about it,” she said. “It shouldn’t be a stigma.”

Meanwhile, the community has rallied behind the Steeles. In Iain’s memory, his classmates tied white ribbons around hundreds of trees in the neighborhood. On June 10, about 500 people attended a memorial service at First Congregational Church of Western Springs.

Rich Kirchherr, senior minister at the church, said the community has felt a “deep and abiding sadness” since Iain’s death. Kirchherr said few people seemed aware that Iain was bullied.

“There is an acknowledgment now, as people have discovered that Iain might not always have been treated with the respect that every person deserves,” Kirchherr said. “Many people were surprised to hear that.”

Friends have established several Facebook groups in his memory, including the “Iain Steele Remembrance Group,” which has more than 700 members. The commentary on the group’s wall was summed up by a Lyons Township High School student who said she did not know Iain but had learned an important lesson from his death.

“I’m learning to treat everyone with respect, even people who I don’t know well or people who I might not get along with,” she wrote. “If there is anything good that can come out of this tragedy, the responsibility lies with us to live with kindness and be aware that life is fragile.”

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PROZAC: Man Kills Girlfriend: Stabs her Over 200 Times: New Zealand

Second paragraph from the end reads: “She knew he could be mean and nasty when he was under stress and that he had been seeing a psychotherapist for years. She also knew he was on the antidepressant drug known as prozac.”

SRI Stories note: A second article follows and states that the girl was stabbed over 200 times.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10582076

Tutor had ‘nasty, mean side’ ex-girlfriend tells court
11:31AM Thursday Jul 02, 2009

Sophie Elliott was stabbed to death. Photo / Supplied
Living with Clayton Weatherston could be “a bit like walking on eggshells”, a former girlfriend of the 33-year-old former University economics tutor told the Christchurch High Court this morning.

The trial was later adjourned until tomorrow after a juror collapsed.It will reconvene at 10am tomorrow.

The young woman whose identity is suppressed was in a relationship with Weatherston for two to three years until 2007 when he became involved with Sophie Elliott, a 22-year-old Honours student.

Weatherston stabbed Miss Elliott to death at her Ravensbourne home on January 9 last year and is on trial for murder.

He has admitted manslaughter but denies the killing was murder. The defense says he was provoked by the pain of the tumultuous relationship with Miss Elliott and because she attacked him with a pair of scissors.

The young woman was giving evidence on the seventh day of Weatherston’s trial.

To defense counsel Judith Ablett-Kerr QC, she said she learned she had to be “quite careful” with Weatherston. If she said something that set him off he would “really go off”.

But she agreed their relationship was generally loving and kind although she found it really stressful when he came under stress “He had two sides, a loving and generous side and a nasty, mean side which he seldom showed in public,” the woman said.

During their time together, she had never challenged Weatherston nor questioned his sexual performance. And she would not have compared his sexual organs to anyone else’s although she did once “reluctantly” when he asked her directly.

She never implied he was “a retard” but Weatherston told her Sophie Elliott had called him that.

” I thought she was probably saying it in jest and I suggested that to him. I said I didn’t think it was directed to his intelligence or meant that way.

“But he took it differently, and referred to it several times,” the young woman said.

She knew he could be mean and nasty when he was under stress and that he had been seeing a psychotherapist for years. She also knew he was on the antidepressant drug known as prozac.

“You knew he was psychologically fragile?” Mrs Ablett-Kerr asked, and the witness agreed there was “an element of fragility” to his personality.

– OTAGO DAILY TIMES
——————————————————————————————————-
Second paragraph reads: “The university tutor is accused of killing Sophie Elliott by stabbing her more than 200 times.”

http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/tears-flow-weatherston-trial-2824693

Tears flow at Weatherston trial
Published: 12:29PM Thursday July 02, 2009

Source: NZPA/ONE News

Emotions spilled over in the murder trial of Clayton Weatherston in Christchurch on Thursday as letters he wrote after his arrest were read to the court.

The university tutor is accused of killing Sophie Elliott by stabbing her more than 200 times.

A former girlfriend of the accused, who has name suppression, read a letter she sent him while he was in jail.

“This will be a rough ride, you’ll be ok,” she read.

As Weatherston’s ex-girlfriend began to cry, there were tears from Clayton Weatherston too. His lawyer had to take over reading a letter he had written back.

“I’m nervous about court on Thursday and I’m annoyed my side will not be made public,” the letter, from just days after he stabbed Elliott to death, read.

The woman, who had been Weatherston’s girlfriend for three years, said she had written to him before she knew the extent of Elliott’s injuries.

“When I found out what had gone on…I couldn’t believe it and I wouldn’t have written a letter,” she said.

She also told the defense about the night Weatherston attacked her and kicked her across a room.

“Just before he kicked me he said ‘you ungrateful bitch’.” t

She agreed he was stressed and on anti-depressants at the time.

Just after the court adjourned, one of the jurors collapsed in the jury room.

A doctor in the court’s public gallery gave the juror medical assistance before he was taken away by an ambulance.

“We will get a report from the hospital after they have been able to assess his condition,” Justice Potter said.

If he is too unwell to continue, the court will reconvene at 10am on Friday with a jury of just 11.

Here is the complete list of adverse reactions attributable to SSRI medications:

1. Insomnia

2. Vivid and violent dreams

3. Inability to detect dreams from reality (The world takes on an other-worldly aspect)

4. No emotions

5. Inability to feel guilt or cry

6. Nausea

7. Loss of appetite

8. Rash; Breathing or lung problems

9. Heart fluttering

10. Shaking – jitteriness

11. Unusual energy surges at times producing super human strength (adrenalin rushes)

12. Memory impairment

13. Hair loss

14. Blurred vision or pressure behind the eyes

15. Inability to discontinue use of drug and increasing own dose

16. Cravings for alcohol, sweets, and other substances or drinking large sums of alcohol, coffee or other caffeinated drinks, diet pop with NutraSweet, etc.

17. Headaches

18. Swelling and/or pain in joints

19. Burning or tingling in extremities

20. Muscle twitching or contractions

21. Tongue numbness and slurred speech

22. Sweating

23. Dizziness

24. Confusion

25. Chills or cold sweats

26. Muscle weakness

27. Extreme fatigue

28. Diabetes or hypoglycemia

29. Lowered immune system

30. Seizures or convulsions

31. Weight gain or weight loss

32. Mood swings

33. Altered personality

34. Symptoms of mania, ie., inability to sit still or restlessness, racing thoughts, acting silly or giddy (like a teenager again)

35. Sexual promiscuity leading to unwanted pregnancy or divorce

36. Irresponsibility, wild spending sprees, gambling, criminal behavior, shoplifting, embezzling, stealing, hostility, etc.

37. Deceitfulness

38. Blank staring

39. Inability to see any alternatives in situations

40. Hyperactivity

41. Aggressive or violent behavior

42. Wanting to ram other cars or driving irrationally

43. Impulsive behavior with no concern about consequences

44. Numbness in various body parts – legs go numb and right out from under patient

45. Sexual organs go numb making orgasm impossible

46. Pulling away from loved ones and others (isolating oneself)

47. Divorce

48. No desire to be touched

49. Paranoia

50. Falsely accusing others of abuse – family members or acquaintances

51. Loss of spirituality

52. Feeling “possessed” or that something evil is inside

53. Self destructive behavior and suicidal ideation

54. Suicide attempts

55. Muscle tremors

56. Loss of co-ordination

57. Mania

58. Psychosis

[SOURCE: PROZAC: PANACEA OR PANDORA?, BY ANN BLAKE TRACY, PH.D.]

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ANTIDEPRESSANTS: Soldier’s Condition Worsens: U.S.A.

Cravings for both alcohol and cigarettes in those who never used them before are reported regularly by those taking antidepressants.

Paragraphs 14 through 18 read: “Marcus, whose name has been changed for fear of reprisal from his former military leaders, sat in a worn easy chair in his Salem studio apartment sucking on his third Marlboro in less than 20 minutes and nervously twirling an ink pen from Salem Hospital. A tall bottle of a generic prescription antidepressant sat on the end table he crafted out of leftover two-by-fours from a fencing project he worked last year. The shades were pulled and the glimmer from his lamp highlighted beads of perspiration on his forehead in the warm room.”

“’Before I left, I never smoked, not once,’ he said, as he took another long drag, letting the smoke linger in his mouth before letting it loose with a slow exhale. ‘There were a lot of things I didn’t do, ‘ he said. ‘That tour f***ed me up. When I got back, they expected me to return to life like it was before. No s***, like nothing had ever changed’.”

“Things had changed for Marcus, who said he couldn’t manage to keep his job as a welder because he would get sudden flashbacks to that one day in the Afghan village.”

“Change had also occurred for his 26-year-old wife, whom he said left him shortly after he returned, adding additional stress for the veteran to overcome.”

“’I’m the one who drove her away,’ Marcus admitted, wiping away several tears. ‘I would yell at her constantly. I hit her. I was never, never like this before I went to Afghanistan, never’.”

http://willamettelive.com/story/Soldiers_return_from_the_frontlines_to_face_war_with_VA121.html

Soldiers return from the frontlines to face war with VA
By Sheldon Traver
from WillametteLive, Section News

Posted on Tue Jun 30, 2009 at 08:45:07 PM PDT

This year marks a milestone for the Oregon Army National Guard.

More than 3,000 soldiers have already left or are preparing for deployment to Iraq in 2009. It will be the largest deployment for the Oregon Army National Guard since World War II.

However, questions have recently been raised about the care veterans receive upon their return from war. Some Oregon weekend warriors are finding a Department of Veterans Affairs that is unwilling or unable to care for the long-term physical and mental disabilities they are now facing.

With little outside help, some have given up the fight and others continue to struggle for the benefits they say they deserve.

The Veterans Affairs office in Portland disputes these claims, saying it is doing more for veterans now than any time in the past, and points to increased services and a new processing facility in Hillsboro that has prepared the federal agency to aid all returning veterans.

Todd Marcus

In November 2006, then-23-year-old Army specialist Todd Marcus was on patrol in a small Afghan village outside of Kabul.

He carried his M-16 barrel down with his finger just inside the trigger housing. He sweltered under more than 50 pounds of combat gear, including body armor and a Kevlar helmet. Beads of perspiration trickled down to the palms of his gloved hands. Even with the fingertips cut off, the salty runoff made the cuts in his hands sting and itch.

Approximately 100 meters to his left, Marcus saw an Afghan police officer walking a few meters behind another police officer in patrol formation. The officer looked nervous as he scanned the rooftops, looking for those who might intend to kill him. Each little boy, each expectant mother could have been a suicide bomber, paid or extorted by insurgents to end their lives in a desperate bid to feed their families.

Suddenly, a bright flash of light filled Marcus’ peripheral vision, followed by a percussion of hot wind that knocked him aside. His sunglasses flew off and the smell of cordite wafted through the air with a cloud of concrete and dust. He looked toward the ground where the blast originated. The Afghan police officer that was walking just yards from him lay in a pool of blood along with two other officers. An improvised explosive device planted inside the corner of a bullet-riddled concrete home had taken their lives.

Once the carnage and chaos was over, all Marcus could do was cry.

Although it was the only combat action he saw, Marcus said he was severely wounded, not medically, but mentally. However, the same government that agreed to send hundreds of thousands to war is failing to provide veterans like Marcus with proper care upon their return.

Lack of funding, personnel, and an overtaxed veterans administrative system has left many without the care they were promised, according to a 2006 report by the General Accounting Office.

“(The) VA does not know the number of veterans it now treats for PTSD,” and more significantly, the “VA will be unable to estimate its capacity for treating additional veterans… and therefore, unable to plan for an increase in demand for these services,” it said in the report. Additionally, outdated procedures and processes have slowed ability to process veterans’ benefits significantly, said Troy Spurlock, a veteran who has dealt with the Veterans Benefits Administration for himself and others.

Marcus, whose name has been changed for fear of reprisal from his former military leaders, sat in a worn easy chair in his Salem studio apartment sucking on his third Marlboro in less than 20 minutes and nervously twirling an ink pen from Salem Hospital. A tall bottle of a generic prescription antidepressant sat on the end table he crafted out of leftover two-by-fours from a fencing project he worked last year. The shades were pulled and the glimmer from his lamp highlighted beads of perspiration on his forehead in the warm room.

“Before I left, I never smoked, not once,” he said, as he took another long drag, letting the smoke linger in his mouth before letting it loose with a slow exhale. “There were a lot of things I didn’t do,” he said. “That tour f***ed me up. When I got back, they expected me to return to life like it was before. No s***, like nothing had ever changed.”

Things had changed for Marcus, who said he couldn’t manage to keep his job as a welder because he would get sudden flashbacks to that one day in the Afghan village.

Change had also occurred for his 26-year-old wife, whom he said left him shortly after he returned, adding additional stress for the veteran to overcome.

“I’m the one who drove her away,” Marcus admitted, wiping away several tears. “I would yell at her constantly. I hit her. I was never, never like this before I went to Afghanistan, never.”

In 2008, Marcus called and made his first appointment with a Veterans Affairs specialist. It took months to get the initial appointment with the compensation and pension specialists and months more for the VBA to make a decision on his claim. His claim for benefits and treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder was denied.

“They said I was faking it,” he said. “Wel,l f*** them. If they can’t look me in the eye and see that I’m f***ed up, I don’t know what to do.”

Troy Spurlock

Spurlock, a Newberg resident and employee with the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office knows the struggles veterans face as they attempt to get the care to which they believe they are entitled. As a military police officer and a private during the first Gulf War, he was exposed to unidentified chemicals that caused fibromyalgia.

He also has a host of other ailments, injuries and post-traumatic stress requiring ongoing care. Additionally, he was systematically harassed and threatened by soldiers in his own unit.

However, unlike Marcus, he fought the system and has seen some, though not total, success serving as his own advocate.

“As soon as I got out I started the process,” Spurlock said. “I immediately realized that it’s a typical government bureaucratic process that acts much like an insurance company does. When you do finally get to see someone, you get a quick five-minute ‘Hi, how are you, what’s your claim and thank you I’ll read your file.’ You really have to jump through hoops to substantiate your claim.

“It’s not an adequate medical exam and doesn’t even touch the complexities of issues soldiers go through,” he added.

Veterans Affairs

The Department of Veterans Affairs is divided into three unique parts: the National Cemetery Division, the Veterans Hospital Administration (VHA) and the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA).

Portland VHA spokesman Mike McAleer works with Oregon’s returning soldiers who return from deployments overseas. He said more is being done now to help soldiers reintegrate and get the benefits they need than any time in the past.

“We send folks to where the soldiers are,” McAleer said. “We provide them with information for enrollment and try to get them into the medical system. We also try to get them information about the services we provide. We want them to be successful when they enter the civilian-warrior portion of their lives.”

There are currently more than 330,000 vets eligible for medical benefits in Oregon, although McAleer said only one-third are taking advantage of them. Oregon Guard men and women returning from active duty are entitled to full medical coverage for five years, including mental health services.

Returning veterans need to sign up, even if they aren’t ready to file a claim,” McAleer said. “They can even do it online. It will streamline the process when they are ready to file a claim.”

To file a claim, there are many hands in the process. Veterans can file medical disability claims themselves or with the help of a specialist. The claim is filed through the VBA. If accepted, a new compensation and pension processing center in Hillsboro conducts medical and psychiatric exams. More than 1,000 requests for examination from the VBA are processed at the Hillsboro facility.

“This is where we compile information and send it to the VBA for processing,” McAleer said. “I think we’re doing a good job of reaching out to veterans and want to do more to help them.”

Once exams are complete, the files return to the Veterans Benefits Administration for further processing.

“Our organization has established a strategic goal of completing a claim in 125 days,” said Lisa Pozzebon, Assistant Director of the VA Regional Office in Portland. “Currently we have an average of 146 days.”

Claims that require a highly specialized exam or ones in the appeals process take longer, she said.

Tim Wehr

Spurlock spends part of his off time trying to reach veterans and help them navigate the stormy VA paperwork waters. His MySpace web site, www.myspace.com/support4veterans, has links to nonprofits working to help vets. Additionally, he has made it his mission to help his colleague, Tim Wehr of Sheridan, receive benefits he initially applied for in 1970 after returning from Vietnam with a purple heart, bronze star and many other decorations and awards.

Wehr currently receives a small amount of money as disability payments for an injury to his ear and PTSD. The Yamhill County Sheriff’s deputy said he still has flashbacks, especially when he hears a helicopter. He said he used to compulsively drop and roll any time he heard a helicopter, but recently was able to overcome this behavior.

Most of his military and medical records were lost in a 1972 fire that destroyed a federal records building and left many vets unable to prove their service and disabilities. He reapplied for benefits in the early 1980s, this time for skin conditions, which later included skin cancer related to exposure to Agent Orange, an herbicide used extensively during the Vietnam War. While his claim for PTSD and hearing problems was accepted, it was denied for his chloracne (Agent Orange-related skin condition) and a knee injury. He gave up trying – until he met Spurlock through a mutual friend.

In 2007, Spurlock was given the power of attorney for Wehr’s VA claims. Spurlock has managed to pull together many of Wehr’s old records to justify claims; however, both men feel the VBA is impeding their efforts. Several of the letters to and from the VBA regarding Wehr’s claims are available at www.WillametteLive.com.

Veterans Service Center manager Kevin Kalama said claims for conditions related to Agent Orange exposure don’t require the same level of documentation as other service-related disabilities.

“We will presume he was exposed to Agent Orange because of where he was in Vietnam during that time,” he said. “If we can find a record that he stepped foot in Vietnam during that time period, it is presumed he had exposure.” Wehr said this has not been true with his case.

The most recent denial came when the VA claimed that Spurlock’s power of attorney privileges had ended, despite no paperwork showing a POA is appointed for a limited time.

“The VA is continuing to stonewall my claims any and every chance it gets without clear and legal justification,” Wehr said in a letter to the Veterans Affairs office in Portland dated June 15, 2009. “Meanwhile, I will be preparing to submit my entire file to Senator Wyden’s office and request a congressional investigation into this utter lack of professionalism and lack of attention to detail in this matter.”

Protecting Yourself

With the current deployments, Spurlock said troops need to take steps while in Iraq to reduce problems later.

“Keep a copy of all of your medical records,” he advised. “Any time you see a doctor for anything, you need to keep that. Don’t wait too long… and don’t be dismayed by any instant denial. That is just routine.”

Veterans should also research their own medical conditions and have the information on hand when talking to the VA.

“The biggest thing is not to give up,” Spurlock emphasized. “They will try to wear you down, but don’t let them.”

Making sure all medical records are available is crucial to avoid delays, McAleer acknowledged. Currently the VA is working with the Department of Defense for access to medical and personnel records. He said this will help veterans and the VBA to process claims more efficiently.

Although he couldn’t speak about any individual cases, he said Marcus must make every effort to go to a clinic and get screened for PTSD and any other ailments.

“We have a clinic in Salem,” he said. “We are trying to make it as easy as possible for our veterans to get the help and services they need.”

One of the biggest pieces of advice that was offered by McAleer is to file all the known claims at one time.

“The process can be really frustrating if you are doing it in bits and pieces,” he said.

He added that veterans should keep a call list of people they served with to verify claims if needed.

Despite efforts to treat returning troops, one thing is certain: many of these complexities are leading to tragic endings.

In 2008, the Army reported nearly 150 suicides within its ranks. Every military branch except the Coast Guard has seen an increase in suicide rates. However, steps are being taken to curb the rise.

Both the Joshua Omvig Suicide Prevention Act, increasing mental-health assessments, and the Wounded Warriors Act, designed to help soldiers transitioning from active-duty to veteran status, are intended to aid active duty and returning soldiers. Studies are under way at the Madigan Army Medical Center near Fort Lewis, Wash., to assist in this effort.

This is little consolation for veterans who don’t have a desire to kill themselves, but simply want care for physical and mental injuries and benefits they were promised upon enlistment.

Marcus said his experience with the VA has left him soured and he doesn’t have any immediate plans to return. He admits he occasionally daydreams about refilling his antidepressants and taking them in a one-night alcohol-induced party for one.

He said he won’t do it, because “God doesn’t accept cowards who take the easy way out.”

In the back of his mind, he believes he’ll get help one day, or simply be cured by a miracle.

“I don’t know what may change, tomorrow or next year,” he said. “F*** the VA. I don’t need ’em. One of these days I’ll get my head straight and have a family. It’ll all be good.”

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Michael Moore – Reveals the real cause of Columbine.


Michael Moore obtained a copy of Ann Blake-Tracy’s book, “Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin Nightmare” at the premier of “Bowling for Columbine” in Denver, CO. After learning more about these drugs, see his statement from the movie he recently appeared in with Ann Blake-Tracy, Mark Taylor, Neal Bush, and others in the Gary Null production “The Drugging of our Children” Full Video http://video.google.com/videoplay?doc… OTHER SCHOOL SHOOTINGS go to. http://www.ssristories.org/index.php AntidepressantsKill.com

Michael Moore obtained a copy of Ann Blake-Tracy’s book,

“Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin Nightamre”

at the premier of “bowling for Columbine” in Denver, CO.

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Columbine Anniversary Brings Columbine & Red Lake Together

Monday, 20 April 2009

PRESS RELEASE:
Columbine Anniversary Brings Columbine & Red
Lake Together
DATE: APRIL 20, 2009
TIME: 5:00 – 6:00 PM
Place: Clement Park, Littleton,
Colorado
INFORMATION CONTACT:
Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition for Drug Awareness
INFORMATION INCLUDED:
– Joint statement from the family of a Columbine victim & the family of
the Red Lake, MN school shooter – total dead 25, total wounded 31
– FDA testimony of Columbine shooting victim Mark Allen Taylor
– Statement by Michael Moore about the cause of Columbine after making
the movie, “Bowling for Columbine”
– New Medical Article Linking Antidepressants to Murder/Suicide in
the Spring Issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons
COLUMBINE & RED LAKE COME TOGETHER AT COLUMBINE
ANNIVERSARY
Donna Taylor: Mother of Mark Taylor, the first boy shot at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999 as Eric and Dylan, on their way into the school, shot at those gathered to discuss scriptures outside. Eric Harris shot Mark 6 – 13 times with 9mil bullets. Mark survived earning himself the title of “The Columbine Miracle Boy.”
Tammy Lussier: Daughter of Officer Daryl (Dash) Lussier of the Red Lake Police Department and aunt to Jeff Weise who shot and killed Tammy’s father, his own grandfather, and eight others before taking his own life with his grandfather’s police firearm.
Our Message: Here we are together at the 10th Anniversary of the tragedy at Columbine High School. So, why would a family member of a school shooting victim and a family member of a school shooter come together? We want the world to know that antidepressants cause violence with the most popular antidepressant on the market today listing “homicidal ideation” as a potential side effect.
Many shot at Columbine have learned to do is to forgive Eric Harris and Dylan Kleebold for doing what they did to them. We have just celebrated the glorious Easter season filled with the reassurance that through the mission of Jesus Christ we can overcome death and live again. As we remember Columbine we feel it is crucial to recall
that as Christ hung on the cross He plead with His Father in Heaven for those who were in the process of taking His life from Him “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” In forgiving Eric and Dylan we believe that we are forgiving them for the same reason Christ asked for those taking his own life to be forgiven – they did not
know what they were doing April 20, 1999 when they took 15 lives, including their own, and injured 24 more.
Although USA Today attempted to rewrite history this past week and erroneously reported that the Columbine shooters were not on antidepressants we are here to remind the world that Eric Harris was on the antidepressant Luvox. Whether Eric was sharing his meds with Dylan, which is far too common with kids, or was on his own prescription we will never know as his records were sealed. In the Red Lake school shooting Jeff Weise was taking
the antidepressant Prozac. Our statement today is that minus antidepressantswe feel sure that the shootings at Columbine High School and Red Lake, MN High School would never have happened and neither would the
majority of the other school shootings and workplace violence shootings (see www.ssristories.drugawareness.org for a long list of documented cases).
Antidepressants push the user into a dream state leaving one to act out nightmares. Columbine was a nightmare acted out by Eric Harris and Dylan Kleebold, just as Red Lake was a nightmare acted out by Jeff Weise which took another 10 lives and injured 7 more. We do not believe they were conscious and coherent enough to fully understand what they were doing because of the adverse effects of antidepressants.
Over the past two years Donna has watched her son Mark go from a normal boy to someone she does no longer recognize because he was given two short bouts of similar drugs given to Eric Harris. Now Mark is living and
experiencing firsthand similar adverse reactions to what Eric was when he shot Mark. How ironic and tragic!
See Mark’s powerful statement below given before the FDA about these drugs that have now robbed him of who he is or was. [UPDATE: Please see the following video to see what has happened to Mark since this press release: http://www.drugawareness.org/mark-taylors-fight4columbine/ ]
If we want the shootings of Columbine and Red Lake to end we MUST learn the truth about the potential dangers of antidepressant medications.
____________________________________

Mark Taylor’s testimony before the FDA
9/13/2004

I am Mark Allen Taylor and I am a victim of the SSRI antidepressant era. I took six to thirteen bullets in the heart area in the Columbine High School shooting when Eric Harris on Luvox opened fire that now infamous day.

They almost had to amputate my leg and my arm. My heart missed by only one millimeter. I had three surgeries. Five years later I am still recuperating.

I went through all this to realize that SSRI antidepressants are dangerous for those who take them and for all those who associate with those who take them.

I hope that my testimony today shows you that you need to take action immediately before more innocent people like me, and you, do not get hurt or die horrible deaths as a result.

As Americans we should have the right to feel safe and if you were doing your job we would be safe. Why are we worrying about terrorists in other countries when the pharmaceutical companies have proven to
be our biggest terrorists by releasing these drugs on an unsuspecting public?

How are we suppose to feel safe at school, at home, on the street, at church or anywhere else if we cannot trust the FDA to do what we are paying you to do? Where were you when I and all of my classmates got shot at Columbine?

You say that antidepressants are effective. So why did they not help Eric Harris before he shot me?

According to Eric they “helped” him to feel homicidal and suicidal after only six weeks on Zoloft. And then he said that dropping off Luvox cold turkey would help him “fuel the rage” he needed to shoot everyone. But he continued on Luvox and shot us all anyway.

So, why did these so called antidepressants not make him better? I will tell you why. It is because they do not work!

We should consider antidepressants to be accomplices to murder.

_____________________________

To listen to Michael Moore’s statement about the cause of the Columbine tragedy after making the movie “Bowling for Columbine” – go to http://www.drugawareness.org/michael-moore-cause-of-columbine/

______________________________________

“Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibior [SSRI]
Drugs: More Risks Than Benefits?”

Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons: Volume 14: number 1: Spring 2009, there is an article by Joel M. Kauffman, Ph.D., [Professor of chemistry emeritus at the University of the Sciences, Philadelphia, Pa.]
In regard to the International Coalition for Drug Awareness, the study reads on page 10: “The International Coalition for Drug Awareness in cooperation with the Prozac Survivors Support Group has produced a website on which about 1,600 [now 3,000] violent incidents associated with SSRI use are described (www.ssristories.drugawareness.org/index.php).”
In regard to SSRI Stories www.SSRIstories.net documenting the link between thousands of cases of multiple murder/suicides and antidepressants, Dr. Kaufmann made the following statement on page 10: “Since no clinical trial involving multiple homicides is ever likely to be run, no firmer evidence is likely to be found. Healy noted that much of the evidence for suicide and murder came from the efforts of journalists and lawyers”.To read the full article and see the data go to the journal’s websitehttp://www.jpands.org/jpands1401.htm or http://www.jpands.org/vol14no1/kauffman.pdf

975 total views, 3 views today

PAXIL: 85 Year Old Man Kills Wife: No History of Violence

PAXIL: 85 Year Old Man Kills Wife: No History of Violence

Wed Nov 12, 2008 7:26 pm

“Paul Deyoub, a forensic psychologist with the Arkansas State Hospital in Little Rock, testified for the state that he didn’t believe Basham was delirious when he killed his wife.

“He said he didn’t believe Basham’s contention that he didn’t remember anything about the killing, and that his first memory that day was waking up in the hospital. He said nearly all defendants charged with domestic homicide that he has evaluated claim to have no memory or some loss of memory of thecrime.”

Well Mr. Forensic Psychologist just for your information (which I am sure drug companies have paid enough to your institution of higher learning to assure you never learn), the reason that ” . . . nearly all defendants charged with domestic homicide [that you have] evaluated claim to have no memory or some loss of memory of the crime” is because the large majority of those
defendants charged with domestic homicide are on SSRI or SNRI antidepressants which affect memory so adversely that “amnesia” is listed as a frequent side effect. WAKE UP!!! If they cannot even remember who they are, how can they remember what happened?!!!

And if this case was prosecuted by the same prosecutor I went up against in Fayetteville a few years ago, who could not make one statement without first reading it from the SSRI Prosecutor’s How to Manual, it is no wonder the courts’ time is still being wasted prosecuting such cases when they should be immediately dismissed and apologis and settlements issued directly from the
drug manufacturers to these families! How very tragic for this poor old man and his family!!!

[The SSRI Prosecutor’s manual is distributed by the drug manufacturers in criminal cases to make sure that anyone who commits a crime, while under the influence of their drugs, goes immediately to jail . Why? So that their drugs remain “innocent” and therefore lucrative because who would want to use a drug that a court has just said produced a suicide or murder or other violent crime? Is providing such a manual illegal? No, but probably should be. Is it unethical? Without a doubt!!!!

But it was obvious to me when testifying in these cases that this manualexisted due to prosecutors asking the same questions of me, almost word for word in every case, no matter which SSRI was involved or where in the country the case was tried. So, while working as the defense attorney on Christopher Pittman’s case, Andy Vickery asked for the manual as evidence and got a copy
for us. If anyone would like to waste their time reading it let me know and I will gladly send you a copy.]

Now back to this elderly man’s case:

As you read through the next two paragraphs understand why I gasp when I hear that this man was given an SSRI while suffering from anxiety, pneumoniaand sleep apnea. You see, anything that increases serotonin – as the SSRI antidepressants are designed to do and all antidepressants do – shuts down the lungs thereby cutting off oxygen to the brain. This is how these drugs produce brain damage, the cutting off of the oxygen supply.

[If you would like to test out this idea on your own, do what I do. Every time you see someone who is not elderly, but generally is overweight and is
carrying around an oxygen tank, ask them which antidepressant they have been on and how long. Then explain to them that the main function of serotonin is the
constriction of smooth muscle tissue which includes the lungs and bronchial tubes [and all major organs] which is why they now need oxygen. And then give
them our website because they are going to want to know what else these drugs have done to their health. But always stress that abrupt or rapid
discontinuation of the drug/drugs is very dangerous.]

Paragraph 4 reads: “Ross testified that in an attempt to explain how Basham, who never had a reputation for violence and always got along with his
wife, could have committed such a bizarre act, she concluded that Basham suffered from delirium.”

Paragraph 7 reads: “Ross pointed out that Autry Basham had pneumonia, took the drug Paxil for anxiety

and suffered from obstructive sleep apnea. All those factors, which were present on the day of Marie Basham’s death, inhibited his ability to get
oxygen to his brain. A lack of oxygen can trigger delirium, she said, especially in the elderly.”

Congratulations are in order for Dr. Ross for being able to understand the real reason for Autry Basham’s delirium was lack of oxygen!!! I wish more
doctors would work a little harder to see what is actually happening in these cases to produce such out of character behavior rather than following the old
school where the drugs involved were very different. Perhaps lack of oxygen leading to delirium is an easier conclusion to arrive at in an elderly patient,
but it does happen in all age groups and is a huge contributing factor in these tragic cases. It is also another reason why hyperbaric oxygen treatment
is so very helpful after using these drugs and subsequently suffering from elevated serotonin levels.

There should be grave concern in our country about such tragic cases as this one where a couple has had a long and loving marriage relationship and in an
instant it is ended in such horror because of what we call “medication”! For those of you who are younger and sadly may not be aware, things like this
DID NOT HAPPEN in the world we grew up in!!!! Cases like this (which I now see far too often) were basically non-existent before the widespread use of
serotonergic drugs.

As it states on the front cover of my book, these drugs have literally turned our world upside down! For this we owe the younger generation and those
generations to come our deepest apologies for the extensive damage we have allowed to occur. I fear we have left you a terrible, terrible legacy that at
this point I do not know if we can make restitution for 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.nwanews.com/adg/News/241972/
(http://www.nwanews.com/adg/News/241972/)

SEBASTIAN COUNTY : Sides dispute delirium led to husband’s killing of wife
BY DAVE HUGHES

Posted on Thursday, October 30, 2008

GREENWOOD ­ A Fayetteville psychiatrist said Wednesday that 85-year-old Autry Basham suffered from delirium brought on by pneumonia and a sleep
disorder when he slashed the throat of his 83-year-old wife last year.

The testimony of Dr. Robin Ross in Sebastian County Circuit Court in Basham’s first degree murder trial bolstered the defense’s contention that Basham of
Mansfield is innocent of murder because of a mental disease or defect at the time he killed his wife of 64 years, Lola Marie Basham, on Aug. 27, 2007.

The jury trial before Circuit Judge James Cox began Monday and is expected to wrap up today.

Ross testified that in an attempt to explain how Basham, who never had areputation for violence and always got along with his wife, could have
committed such a bizarre act, she concluded that Basham suffered from delirium.

She said tension and anxiety Basham may have been feeling over the falling out between his wife and son Jerry Basham didn’t play a role in triggering
the delirium.

Prosecutors have told jurors they believe Basham killed his wife after they argued the weekend before about her failing memory and her belief that their
son didn’t pay as much attention to them as he should, given the financial and other help they gave him over the years.

Ross pointed out that Autry Basham had pneumonia, took the drug Paxil for anxiety and suffered from obstructive sleep apnea. All those factors, which
were present on the day of Marie Basham’s death, inhibited his ability to get oxygen to his brain. A lack of oxygen can trigger delirium, she said,
especially in the elderly.

Delirium was defined as a disruption of consciousness and a change in perception that can come on rapidly and can come and go over time. It would
have been possible for Basham, she said, to be delirious and still carry out a sequence of events in killing his wife.

In rebuttal, the prosecution called Little Rock forensic psychiatrist Raymond Molden who testified there was no direct evidence that Basham suffered
from delirium.

He said the fact that Basham called his son and daughter-in-law before killing his wife and then carried out the series of actions in killing his wife
showed that he took steps in a logical sequence to bring about a result.

Following a logical sequence of steps, he said, was inconsistent with aperson suffering from delirium.

Paul Deyoub, a forensic psychologist with the Arkansas State Hospital in Little Rock, testified for the state that he didn’t believe Basham was
deliriouswhen he killed his wife.

He said he didn’t believe Basham’s contention that he didn’t remember anything about the killing, and that his first memory that day was waking up in
the hospital. He said nearly all defendants charged with domestic homicide that he has evaluated claim to have no memory or some loss of memory of the
crime.

As you read through the next two paragraphs understand why I gasp when I hear that this man was given an SSRI while suffering from anxiety, pneumoniaand sleep apnea. You see, anything that increases serotonin – as the SSRI antidepressants are designed to do and all antidepressants do – shuts down the lungs thereby cutting off oxygen to the brain. This is how these drugs produce brain damage, the cutting off of the oxygen supply.

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Sen. Grassley: Drug Companies “Bamboozled the FDA” on SSRI Antidepressants

Mon Nov 10, 2008

The following information should go out to every reporter and every other
human on the planet. Please. Please. Please help us get this information out to
as many as possible as a warning. [BUT in doing so always remember to warn
of the extreme potential danger of abrupt withdrawal with the FDA warning that
such can cause suicide, hostility or psychosis.

Please give them our 800 order line or website to download or order my CD, “Help! I Can’t Get Off My
Antidepressant!” so that they will have the formula for safe and almost
painless withdrawal and methods of recovery from the damage they have suffered.]
Now if you have read my book most of this will sound all too familiar and
old. But now the cold hard facts are coming out to the public with Iowa’s own
Senator Grassley leading the way because these drugs grabbed his attention
after overseeing many of the hearings on children and antidepressants. THANK
YOU

SENATOR GRASSLEY FOR YOUR EFFORTS!!!
Some of the most important points in the article to file in your memory
banks and repeat as often as possible to as many as possible are as follows:

#1 US HIGHEST USER OF ANTIDEPRESSANTS & ANTIDEPRESSANTS ARE AMERICA’S
MOST WIDELY PRESCRIBED DRUGS:

“Antidepressant prescribing is more rampant in this country than any other.
The US accounted for 66% of the global market in 2005, compared to 23% in
Europe and 11% for the rest of world, according to a December 2006 report by
Research and Markets.
“A June 2007 survey by the Centers for Disease Control of doctor and
hospital visits in 2005 showed that the most commonly prescribed drugs were
antidepressants, with 48% of the prescriptions issued by primary care
physicians. They have remained in the number one position ever since. Last year, 232
million prescriptions were filled for antidepressants worth nearly $12 billion,
according to a March 2008 report by IMS Health. . . .


#2 YET THE MANUFACTURERS KNEW AND HID THE FACT THAT THESE DRUGS INCREASE
THE RISK OF SUICIDE:

“For fifteen years, the SSRI makers fought against adding a warning about an
increased risk of suicidality, knowing all the long that the risk existed.
[We had the data in court cases for years but could not get the press to cover
it.] Now, the companies are making the irresponsible argument (in defense of
lawsuits claiming they failed to warn doctors and the public of the risk)
that the FDA did not require them to add a warning, so they are immune from
liability. . . .

#3 SINCE 1989 THE MANUFACTURER OF PAXIL KNEW THAT THIS DRUG INCREASES SUICIDE ATTEMPTS BY EIGHT TIMES MORE THAN PLACEBO!

“The report shows that Glaxo [makers of Paxil] knew in 1989, long before
Paxil was FDA approved, that people taking the drug were 8 times more likely to
engage in suicidal behavior than people given a placebo, or sugar pill. Now,
it stands to reason that even the most depressed person would decline to take
Paxil if given these facts. Also, parents certainly would decline if they
were told about the risks. . . .

“The FDA approved Paxil on December 29, 1992, with no warning to doctors or
patients of the significant increased risk of suicidal behavior,” he writes.
. . .

#4 SENATOR GRASSLEY FINDS THAT PAXIL MAKER “BAMBOOZLED” THE FDA PUTTING
PATIENT SAFETY AT RISK

“Senator Grassley has also asked the FDA to go back and review the clinical
trial data submitted on Paxil. In a statement on the Senate floor on June 11,
2008, he said: “Essentially, it looks like GlaxoSmithKline bamboozled the
FDA.”
“We cannot live in a nation where drug companies are less than candid, hide
information and attempt to mislead the FDA and the public,” he stated. “These
companies are selling drugs that we put in our bodies, not sneakers.”
“When they manipulate or withhold data to hide or minimize findings about
safety and/or efficacy they put patient safety at risk,” Senator Grassley said.
“And with drugs like Paxil, the risks are too great.”
Now I need to note here that the only reason Paxil is taking so much heat
and the only reason we have all of this inside information on Paxil is because
of the information obtained during the Wyoming murder/suicide case of Donald
Schell. Before that these companies were settling cases so that they did not
have to go to court and disclose all of this information to the attorneys
working in our behalf.
After waiting three long years for one attorney to decide if he would take
the case, it went to Andy Vickery’s office. Andy took the case and Glaxo
allowed it to go all the way into court instead of settling the case. The jury
heard and saw enough to rule that the two pills of Paxil that Donald Schell
took before getting up one morning and shooting his wife, his daughter and his
baby grand daughter before shooting himself was the main cause.
Glaxo did all they could to seal that information back up again, but it was
too late. The cat was out of the bag. And it is long past time to let the cat
out of the bag on all these other antidepressants as well!
#5 THE RESULTS OF SENATOR GRASSLEY’S INVESTIGATION OF THE LARGE PAYMENTS
AND KICKBACKS TO DOCTORS BY DRUG MAKERS

“According to Senator Grassley’s June 4, 2008 statement in the Congressional
record, although conflict-of-interest disclosure forms make it appear that
the Harvard psychiatrists only received a couple hundred thousand from drug
companies over the past 7 years, the true figures show Dr Biederman received
over “$1.6 million,” Dr Spencer “over $1 million” and Dr Wilens “over $1.6
million” in payments from the drug companies.

“Based on reports from just a handful of drug companies,” he states, “we
know that even these millions do not account for all of the money.”
“Senator Grassley also notes that Dr Schatzberg owns stock worth more than
$6 million in one drug company. Ed Silverman reports on Pharmalot that there
are “30 or so physicians at two dozen universities which the Senate Finance
Committee is probing concerning disclosure of grants from drugmakers.” The
names of those 30 doctors, along with the research mills they operate out of,
need to be made public. . . . .


#6 RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS AND ACADEMIA ON THE TAKE FROM DRUG MAKERS AS WELL
ACTING AS “APOLOGISTS FOR COMMERCIAL SCIENTIFIC FRAUD” – SENIOR ACADEMICS
PROSTITUING MEDICINE.

“It is no longer a case where Americans need only be concerned about the
amount of money the academics are pulling in. The pharmaceutical industry also
has a stronghold on most major research institutions in this country. Many
could not exist if the drug companies withdrew all their research funding, a
state of affairs that did not occur by accident.

“In fact, according to Dr Aubrey Blumsohn, who publishes the Scientific
Misconduct Blog, when all is said and done:

“The chief villains remain our academic institutions and medical leadership.
They have colluded with and have acted as apologists for commercial
scientific fraud. They have tolerated the telling of lies by senior academics.
They have encouraged the prostitution of medicine. They have allowed abuse of the
most fundamental safeguards of science. Most importantly, they have set
terrible examples for our students.”

#7 WHO TOOK THE MONEY TO PUSH ANTIDEPRESSANTS TO CHILDREN?

“. . . . While Dr Keller took the lead on pushing Paxil for children and
adolescents, Dr Emslie was the main man on the Prozac trials, and Dr Wagner was
the queen bee on Zoloft studies. The co-authors of papers that appear in the
medical literature encouraging the use of SSRI’s for kids include Drs
Biederman, Schatzberg, Wilens and, of course, Charles Nemeroff.
“Dr Nemeroff was recently forced to resign as chairman of Emory’s psychiatry
department after Senator Grassley’s investigation revealed that he failed to
disclose to his university more than a million dollars in drug industry
income. All total, Nemeroff had earnings of $2.8 million from drug companies
between 2000 and 2007, but failed to report at least $1.2 million. . . . .


#8 YET AMAZINGLY ENOUGH . . . .

“Shrinks on the take are so addicted to industry money that it’s impossible
to embarrass them. Last year, the press ran major stories when this report
came out, highly critical of how much money they were making. This year, the
average amount rose by 25%.

Now for some hard questions. . . .

*** When Glaxo knew in 1989 that Paxil was inducing suicide at a rate EIGHT
TIMES HIGHER than with a placebo and did not warn, is that not at least
negligent homicide?

Or is it not in some way contributing to a premeditated loss of life?

How often do we read in criminal cases where someone has died and someone
else did not assist that person in need but instead allowed the death to happen
and that person has then been prosecuted and given a prison term?

What is the difference here? The only difference I see is that these people
at Glaxo made a lot of money by keeping quiet and allowing these deaths to
continue!!

*** I have been asking this question for a very long time. Why is it okay
for our academic institutions to peddle drugs and use our students as guinea
pigs in studies?

Why is it okay for them to make so much money from drug companies? Much of
their operating expenses come from this drug company blood money.

Why would anyone be surprised, when seeing this close financial situation
with the drug companies and the academic institutions, that so many students
are placed on these same drugs by campus health centers often addicting them to
the drugs for many years to come?

*** How can shrinks be so stupid, or just plain “in your face” with it, as
to take even more money from these companies while they are already in the
process of being investigated for doing so???

Oh, that’s right we already know the answer to that one – they take more of
these mind altering drugs than just about anyone else! The psychiatric nurse
attending my lecture last year estimated that at least 75% of her colleagues
are on these drugs.

And why are they on these drugs? Because the drug reps are telling them all
that they are in a stressful profession and that sooner or later they are
going to be hit by the anxiety or depression that comes with the stress . . .
so they need to start on the drugs now so as to ward off “the pending
inevitable” anxiety or depression.

Of course then we need to ask the question, “How could they have fallen for
that old sales pitch?” That alone makes you wonder about their sanity!

But then you must ask if it is okay for a drug user to then be a drug pusher
even when we are discussing “legal” drugs? Because that is exactly what we
are seeing happen with this situation with antidepressants – doctors on the
drugs pushing them to others – no different than what you see in street drug
use where those hooked on the drugs are the ones pushing them to others. When
you see how similar in action these antidepressants are to LSD or PCP that
whole scenario becomes totally transparent.

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!!! ()

_atracyphd1@…_ (mailto:atracyphd1@…)

_http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0811/S00080.htm_
(http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0811/S00080.htm)

Pharmaceutical Industry Hustlers – Part I
Thursday, 6 November 2008, 1:25 pm
Column: Evelyn Pringle
Pharmaceutical Industry Hustlers – Part I
SSRI Antidepressants Pushers

By _Evelyn Pringle_
(http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/print.html?path=HL0811/S00080.htm#a)
After twenty long years, it appears that the epidemic in mental disorders in
America might be coming to an end. It won’t happen because of any great
medical breakthrough but rather because the perpetrators of the greatest
healthcare fraud in history are finally being exposed. The demolition of the
giant “psycho-pharmaceutical complex” appears to be on the horizon.
For far too long, the focus has been on the drugmakers only. In recent
months, the spotlight has shown where it belongs – on the highly-paid
opportunists responsible for fueling the epidemic in prescribing of psychiatric drugs by
doctors in every field of medicine and the research institutions that enabled
the process.
The antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or
SSRI’s, such as Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa and Lexapro are at the center of
the storm. These drugs have been prescribed to more Americans than any other
class of medications over the past two decades. Cymbalta, Effexor and
Wellbutrin are often referred to as SSRI’s, but they are slightly different
chemically. However, the drugs all carry similar side effects and warnings.
The top sales pitch for SSRI’s has been the “chemical-imbalance-in-the-brain”
myth.

“There is no evidence whatsoever that depression is caused by a
biochemical imbalance,” says Dr Peter Breggin, one of the world’s leading
experts on psychiatric drugs and author of the new book, “Medication Madness.”
People take for granted pronouncements such as, “You have a biochemical
imbalance,” and “mental disorders are like diabetes,” he explains in the book.

“In reality,” Dr Breggin writes, “these are not scientific observations –
they are promotional slogans, so adamantly repeated in the media and by
individual psychiatrists that people assume them to be true.”
“The psycho-pharmaceutical complex fosters these falsehoods in order to
promote the widespread use of their products,” he says. “Reluctant patients by
the millions are pushed into taking drugs by doctors who tell them with no
uncertainty that they need medication.”

“If you have got a biochemical imbalance in your brain,” Dr Breggin advises
in the book, “the odds are overwhelming that your doctor put it there with a
psychiatric drug.”

All Eyes on Glaxo
At the moment, all eyes are on Paxil maker, GlaxoSmithKline (formerly
SmithKline Beecham), due to reports that the company is under investigation by
the US Department of Justice, as well as the Senate Finance Committee, with
Iowa’s Senator Charles Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Committee,
leading the charge.

The report that led to the investigation by Senator Grassley was generated in
litigation and was only recently made public after it was unsealed by the
court. It was submitted by Dr Joseph Glenmullen, a Clinical Instructor in
Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and author of “The Antidepressant
Solution”

and Prozac Backlash: Overcoming the Dangers of Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, and
Other Antidepressants with Safe, Effective Alternatives.” He was retained as
an expert by the Los Angeles-based law firm of Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman.
The litigation involves several Paxil-induced suicide cases, including a 13-year-old child.

The report shows that Glaxo knew in 1989, long before Paxil was FDA approved,
that people taking the drug were 8 times more likely to engage in suicidal
behavior than people given a placebo, or sugar pill. Now, it stands to reason
that even the most depressed person would decline to take Paxil if given
these facts.

Also, parents certainly would decline if they were told about the
risks. Dr Glenmullen explains that, by submitting what he refers to as “bad” Paxil
numbers to the FDA, Glaxo was able to avoid adding a warning about suicide to
the label when the drug was approved. “GlaxoSmithKline’s ‘bad’ Paxil numbers
carried the day: The FDA approved Paxil on December 29, 1992, with no warning
to doctors or patients of the significant increased risk of suicidal behavior,” he writes.

Instead, Glaxo listed suicide and suicide attempts that took place during the
“run-in” period of the studies as if they happened in the placebo group. The
run-in period, also called the “wash-out” phase, occurs when all patients
are taken off their existing drugs to let the old drugs wash out of their
systems, and all patients are given placebos. The rationale for washing out old
drugs is to prevent them from confusing the results of the study, so that
patients start out in a similar condition, according to the report.
The official trial only begins after the wash-out phase, once the patients
are assigned to receive either the antidepressant or a placebo. The patients
who continue to receive the placebo are referred to as the placebo group.

“Confusing the pre-study placebo wash-out phase with the placebo group in the
actual study is improper,” Dr Glenmullen writes, “especially when the
concern is a potentially lethal side effect.”

The “correct data shows that suicide attempts in patients on Paxil occurred
at a rate eight times higher than the rate in patients on placebo,” he notes.
Senator Grassley has also asked the FDA to go back and review the clinical
trial data submitted on Paxil. In a statement on the Senate floor on June 11,
2008, he said: “Essentially, it looks like GlaxoSmithKline bamboozled the
FDA.”

“We cannot live in a nation where drug companies are less than candid, hide
information and attempt to mislead the FDA and the public,” he stated. “These
companies are selling drugs that we put in our bodies, not sneakers.”
“When they manipulate or withhold data to hide or minimize findings about
safety and/or efficacy they put patient safety at risk,” Senator Grassley said.
“And with drugs like Paxil, the risks are too great.”

A good start as the Glaxo scandal unravels, the public will learn that other
antidepressant makers such as Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Wyeth and Forest Laboratories
are equally guilty. Likewise, there are many more supposedly independent academic
doctors who have been receiving substantial financial benefits from drug
companies than are currently identified in the media as being under investigation.

Exposing Harvard University’s Joseph Biederman, Thomas Spencer, Timothy
Wilens, Stanford’s Alan Schatzberg, Brown University’s Martin Keller, Melissa
DelBello at the University of Cincinnati, and Drs Karen Wagner and John Rush,
who operated out of the University of Texas, might be a good place to start, but
the trail of Big Pharma’s funding academic research for marketing
purposes certainly does not end with a handful of psychiatrists.

According to Senator Grassley’s June 4, 2008 statement in the Congressional
record, although conflict-of-interest disclosure forms make it appear that the
Harvard psychiatrists only received a couple hundred thousand from drug
companies over the past 7 years, the true figures show Dr Biederman received
over “$1.6 million,” Dr Spencer “over $1 million” and Dr Wilens “over $1.6
million” in payments from the drug companies.

“Based on reports from just a handful of drug companies,” he states, “we know
that even these millions do not account for all of the money.”
Senator Grassley also notes that Dr Schatzberg owns stock worth more than $6
million in one drug company. Ed Silverman reports on Pharmalot that there are
“30 or so physicians at two dozen universities which the Senate Finance
Committee is probing concerning disclosure of grants from drugmakers.” The names
of those 30 doctors, along with the research mills they operate out of, need
to be made public.

The new book, “Side Effects: A Prosecutor, a Whistleblower, and a
Best-selling Antidepressant on Trial,” by investigative journalist Alison Bass,
provides the inside scoop on the fraudulent SSRI research conducted at Brown
University by Dr Keller.

The book also supplies background information on the financial ties between
the so-called “opinion leaders” in psychiatry and the other antidepressant
makers. For instance, Ms Bass explains that Drs Schatzberg and Keller worked as
a team a decade ago to promote Bristol-Myers Squibb’s antidepressant Serzone.

In 1998, Dr Schatzberg was paid to moderate an industry-sponsored symposium
that touted the benefits of Serzone, and Dr Keller was one of the paid
speakers at the event. The same year, Dr Keller received $77,400 in consulting
fees from Bristol-Myers, Ms Bass points out.

Dr Keller later published a study in the New England Journal of Medicine also
touting the benefits of Serzone. The drug was removed from the market in
2004 after it was found to cause liver damage but not before a number of
patients died.

Ms Bass reports that Keller did not report any income from Glaxo on his 1998
tax return. But during her research for “Side Effects,” she discovered he had
earned personal income from Glaxo in 1998, as well as subsequent years.
Keller admitted as much during a September 2006 deposition for a lawsuit filed
against Glaxo, she says.

It is no longer a case where Americans need only be concerned about the
amount of money the academics are pulling in. The pharmaceutical industry also
has a stronghold on most major research institutions in this country. Many could
not exist if the drug companies withdrew all their research funding, a state
of affairs that did not occur by accident.

In fact, according to Dr Aubrey Blumsohn, who publishes the Scientific
Misconduct Blog, when all is said and done:

“The chief villains remain our academic institutions and medical leadership.
They have colluded with and have acted as apologists for commercial
scientific fraud. They have tolerated the telling of lies by senior academics.
They have encouraged the prostitution of medicine. They have allowed abuse of the
most fundamental safeguards of science. Most importantly, they have set
terrible examples for our students.”


U
niversities keep corrupt academics on board for good reason. “Side Effects”
reports that, between 1990 and 1998, “Martin Keller brought in nearly $8.7
million in research funding from pharmaceutical companies.”
The clinical trial industry itself provides a perfect slush fund. Spending in
the U.S. was an estimated $25 billion in 2006 and is expected to reach about
$32 billion by 2011.

Most of the money for trials comes from private
industry, and federal funding assumes a second place position, with the
National Institute of Health budgeting $3 billion for clinical trials in 2006, according
to the paper, “State Medical Board Responses To An Inquiry On Physician
Researcher Misconduct,” by Dr Stefan Kruszewski, Dr Richard Paczynski and
Marzana Bialy, in the Journal of Medical Licensure and Discipline 2008: Vol 94 No 1.
Paxil Study 329 “Side Effects” also covers the whole sordid affair on Paxil Study 329, the
most infamous fraudulent pediatric trial of all time. The study “offers a
landmark for the point at which science turned into marketing,” according to Dr
David Healy.

Dr Healy is a Professor of psychiatry and Director of the North Wales School
of Psychological Medicine at the University of Wales, and an outspoken critic
of the psycho-pharmaceutical complex, with 21 books to his name, including
“The Creation of Psychopharmacology.”

He explains that, in 1998, Glaxo’s original assessment of Study 329 had
concluded that it and another study had shown Paxil did not work for children,
but that it would not be “commercially acceptable” to publicize this finding.
“Instead the positive findings from the study would be published; they were in
an article whose authorship line contains some of the best known names in
psychopharmacology (Keller et al., 2001),” Dr Healy writes in the 2007 paper,
“The Engineers of Human Souls & Academia.”

Dr Keller gets most of the credit for the study, which was completed in
the mid-90’s. Keller et al had some difficulty getting it published at first,
but finally found a journal willing to take the bate in 2001, the Journal of
the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. In all, 20 academics
allowed their names to be attached to this ghostwritten infomercial, and not
one has stepped forward to acknowledge wrongdoing or to admit that a mistake
was made.

Long before the paper was published, the authors of study 329 were fanned out
all the way to Canada giving lectures and presentations to prescribing
doctors at medical conferences and seminars to promote the off-label use of
Paxil for kids. More than any other paper, Study 329 led to an epidemic in
pediatric prescribing. “After its publication, the use of antidepressants for
children skyrocketed,” Dr Glenmullen notes.

These handsomely paid key opinion leaders all deserve to have their names
in lights, especially Drs Graham Emslie and Karen Wagner from the University
of Texas.

Between 2000 through 2005, Glaxo paid Dr Wagner $160,404, but the only
payment she reported to the university was $600 in 2005, according to Senator
Grassley. Dr Wagner also failed to disclose earnings of more than $11,000 from
Prozac-maker Eli Lilly in 2002.

On August 18, 2008, the Dallas Morning News reported that a state mental
health plan naming the preferred psychiatric drugs for children has been quietly
put on hold over fears drug companies may have given researchers consulting
contracts, speakers fees or other perks to help get their products on the
list.

The Children’s Medication Algorithm Project, or CMAP, was supposed to
determine which psychiatric drugs were most effective for children and in what
order they should be tried at state-funded mental health centers, the Morning
News explains.

The academics who developed the CMAP include Drs Wagner and Emslie. Records
show Dr Emslie may have made up to $125,000 from drug companies since
2004, according to the report in the Morning News. While Dr Keller took the lead on
pushing Paxil for children and adolescents,Dr Emslie was the main man on the Prozac
trials, and Dr Wagner was the queen bee on Zoloft studies.

The co-authors of papers that appear in the medical
literature encouraging the use of SSRI’s for kids include Drs Biederman,
Schatzberg, Wilens and, of course, Charles Nemeroff.
Dr Nemeroff was recently forced to resign as chairman of Emory’s psychiatry
department after Senator Grassley’s investigation revealed that he failed to
disclose to his university more than a million dollars in drug industry
income. All total, Nemeroff had earnings of $2.8 million from drug companies
between 2000 and 2007, but failed to report at least $1.2 million.

A complete list of academics who should to be investigated can be found among
the authors of the SSRI papers and studies highlighted in the 2006 Third
Edition of, “Essentials of Clinical Psychopharmacology,” described as “a
synopsis and update of the most clinically relevant material from ‘The American
Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Psychopharmacology,'” by none other than Drs
Schatzberg and Nemeroff.

Keep Following the Money
On July 10, 2008, Senator Grassley extended his investigation to include
psychiatry’s top industry-funded front group with a letter to Dr James Scully,
Medical Director and Chief Executive Officer of the American Psychiatric
Association, asking for “an accounting of industry funding that pharmaceutical
companies and/or the foundations established by these companies have provided to
the American Psychiatric Association.”

The Senator wants records from January 2003 to the present. According to the
July 12, 2008, New York Times, in 2006, the “industry accounted for about 30
percent of the association’s $62.5 million in financing.”
A factor rarely discussed in this debate is the amount of money doctors who
prescribe SSRI’s make during brief office calls charged at regular rates. This
practice has taken a tremendous toll on public healthcare programs and has
resulted in higher insurance premiums and overall healthcare costs for all
Americans.

In fact, the bilking of public healthcare programs is what led to the current
investigations by the Finance Committee, which has the responsibility of
overseeing spending in Federal programs. When doctors prescribe drugs for
unnecessary uses, public programs not only have to pay for the drugs, they must
also pay the fees of the prescribing doctors and for the medical care for
injuries caused by the drugs. Government spending tied to the prescribing of
psychiatric drugs has gone through the roof in the past decade.

While testifying before the House Committee on Oversight and Government
Reform on February 9, 2007, Lewis Morris, Chief Counsel at the Department of
Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General, discussed kickbacks to
doctors and told the panel:

“Kickbacks potentially increase the costs to Federal programs because they
encourage overutilization and may encourage the prescribing of more expensive
drugs when clinically appropriate and cheaper options (such as generic drugs)
may be equally effective.”

Mr Morris explained that, “kickbacks offered to prescribing physicians by
pharmaceutical manufacturers take a variety of forms, ranging from free samples
for which the physician bills the programs to all-expense-paid trips and sham
consulting agreements.”

Vermont is a rare state in requiring the pharmaceutical industry to disclose
the money paid to doctors. On July 8, 2008, Vermont’s Attorney General
William Sorrell released the state’s annual report on “Pharmaceutical Marketing
Disclosures,” which lists the payments made by drug companies in 2007. Of the
top 100 recipients, once again, psychiatrists received the highest payments.
Eleven psychiatrists received a total of $626,379, or about 20% of the total
value of payments made, according to the report.

Shrinks on the take are so addicted to industry money that it’s impossible to
embarrass them. Last year, the press ran major stories when this report came
out, highly critical of how much money they were making. This year, the
average amount rose by 25%.

The report also analyzes the payments based upon the drugs being marketed. Of
the top 10 drugs for which disclosures were reported, five are used to treat
mental illness and include Lilly’s Cymbalta and Forest Lab’s Lexapro.
Ironically, Cymbalta sales are also up 25%, according to Lilly’s latest SEC
filing.

Overall, estimates indicate that the drug industry spends $19 billion
annually on marketing to physicians in the form of gifts, travel, meals and
other consulting fees, according to a May 22, 2008, press release by Senator
Grassley’s office. In the November 1, 2007, New England Journal of Medicine
paper, “Doctors and Drug Companies Scrutinizing Influential Relationships,” Dr
Eric Campell, associate professor at the Institute of Health Policy at
Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, writes:

“Individual physicians can take some steps to maximize the benefits for
patients and minimize the risks associated with their own industry
relationships. They can start by recognizing that such relationships are designed to
influence prescribing behavior and by carefully considering the potential
effects that their own associations may have on their patients.”

“And they can bear in mind,” he says, “that the costs of industry dinners,
trips, and other incentives are passed along to their patients in the form of
higher drug prices.” Antidepressant prescribing is more rampant in this country than any other.
The US accounted for 66% of the global market in 2005, compared to 23% in
Europe and 11% for the rest of world, according to a December 2006 report by
Research and Markets.

A June 2007 survey by the Centers for Disease Control of doctor and hospital
visits in 2005 showed that the most commonly prescribed drugs were
antidepressants, with 48% of the prescriptions issued by primary care
physicians. They have remained in the number one position ever since. Last year, 232 million
prescriptions were filled for antidepressants worth nearly $12 billion,
according to a March 2008 report by IMS Health.

The top dogs in the pharmaceutical industry are literally laughing all the
way to the bank. For example, in 2007, Pfizer CEO Jeff Kindler’s pay package
was worth $9.5 million, according to the March 14, 2008, Wall Street Journal. A
previous CEO, David Shedlarz, left last year with an “exit package” worth
over $34 million. In 2007, the total value of Wyeth’s then-CEO Robert Essner’s
pay package was $24.1 million, the Journal reports.

In the meantime, state Medicaid programs are going bankrupt as a result of
the mental illness epidemic occurring only in the US. Attorneys General all
over the country are using consumer fraud statutes to sue the drug giants to
recoup the money lost due to the illegal off-label promotion of psychiatric
drugs and the concealment of their side effects.

For instance, Baum Hedlund has been litigating Private Attorney General
consumer fraud class-action lawsuits against Glaxo since 2004, on behalf of
individuals and entities such as insurance companies in California, Florida,
Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio and
Washington.

The cases are based on documents showing Glaxo promoted Paxil for kids, fully
aware that Paxil failed to out-perform a placebo in the clinical trials and
had higher suicidality rates. A national class settlement of individual
claims was reached in April 2007 in which Glaxo agreed to reimburse parents for
all of the money paid for Paxil prescriptions for their children. A national
class settlement on behalf of third party payors (insurance companies) was just
approved in September 2008.

If not for the few law firms willing to stay the course, the truth would
never have been revealed. Baum Hedlund has been pursuing the SSRI makers for
nearly two decades. Most recently, it has taken up the fight for babies born
with birth defects caused by SSRI’s.

Because the industry was so successful at keeping the original SSRI trial
data hidden, the drugs most serious side effects largely became public only
as a result of the bravery and integrity of such medical experts as Dr Healy, Dr
Glenmullen and Dr Breggin, who could not be bought and could not be bullied.

For fifteen years, the SSRI makers fought against adding a warning about an
increased risk of suicidality, knowing all the long that the risk existed.
Now, the companies are making the irresponsible argument (in defense of
lawsuits claiming they failed to warn doctors and the public of the risk) that the
FDA did not require them to add a warning, so they are immune from liability.
Worse yet, the industry-controlled FDA under the Bush Administration is
supporting this audacious preemption defense and siding with the SSRI makers
against private citizens in courts all over the country, telling judges to rule
in favor of the drug companies and throw out the SSRI cases before they even
make it to a jury.

Although not an SSRI case, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in a case
involving federal preemption, in Wyeth v Levine, on November 3, 2008.
*************
Evelyn Pringle
epringle05@…
(Written as part of the Paxil Litigation Round-Up, Sponsored by Baum,
Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman’s Pharmaceutical Litigation Department
_www.baumhedlundlaw.com_ (http://www.baumhedlundlaw.com/) )


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10 Year Old Son Committed Suicide while Taking Effexor

“Most doctors don’t even have a clue about this stuff!”

He was 10. Red headed, brown-eyed, full of life and laughter. His doctor spent 10 minutes with him and prescribed Effexor XR….said they would “ramp up” from 37.5 mg to 225 mg at which time his symptoms of ADHD would disappear.

They were RIGHT. Our son took 225 mg for exactly one day. We found him hanging in his closet by the belt of his new bathrobe that same night. Total time on Effexor: 27 days, each ramp up worse than the last in side effects. We were never told by the doctor nor the nurse that this drug could cause suicide or other very serious side effects.

We were never told to watch him closely. All I can say is don’t give this medication to your children unless you have all the facts, have been educated and feel you are making an educated decision for your child. Most doctors don’t even have a clue about this stuff! If I knew then what I know now, he would have NEVER been on Effexor or any other drug.

Please help us fight for complete transparency in the FDA and push for the pharmaceutical companies’ complete disclosure of all studies, both positive and negative. It is the only way we will ever be informed parents. Please do not let my son’s death be only for the pharmaceutical companies’ gain. Be informed or refuse the drug outright.

Be SAFE, your kids are depending on you.

d.eriksson@comcast.net
Richardson, TX

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