www.antipsychiatry.org - most recent articles added March 26, 2004
British government bans most SSRI antidepressants for persons under 18
Insight on the News magazine reports that the British government has "contraindicated" or effectively banned the use of SSRI (so-called) antidepressant drugs except Prozac in persons under the age of 18 because of increased suicide risk among those who take the drugs. The decision was made by the British Committee on Safety of Medicines, a branch of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, which is the British equivalent of the USA's Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
The British ban on SSRI antidepressants except Prozac and only for children raises some obvious questions: If people commit suicide because they are extremely unhappy or "depressed," and if people are more likely to commit suicide while taking a so-called antidepressant drug, doesn't this suggest the "antidepressant" drugs aren't really antidepressant in nature, contrary to the claims of the drug companies and of psychiatrists who profit from selling or prescribing them? Doesn't the banning of these drugs for children suggest they are not beneficial to adults, either? Why would these drugs be harmful to a 17 year old but not to a 30 year old? And why would Prozac be less harmful than other SSRI (so-called) antidepressants?
On this last question, one theory might be that people who stop taking Prozac are less likely to have severe withdrawal symptoms because Prozac takes longer to be eliminated from the body than other (so-called) SSRI's (or supposedly Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) when a person stops taking the drug abruptly. However, the article quotes Andy Vickory of the Houston law firm Vickory and Waldner, who has "spent nearly a decade representing families who believe they have been harmed by SSRIs" saying "It is astonishing that the U.K. didn't ban Prozac" as well because of evidence it is the most harmful SSRI antidepressant. He cites an article in the British Journal of Psychiatry reporting on a "large-scale study" that found that Prozac creates "the highest risk of deliberate self-harm." (Kelly Patricia O'Meara, "Will British Ban Spur FDA to Act?", Insight on the News, February 17-March 1, 2004, pp. 26-28.)
Physicians in U.S.A. kill more people than either heart disease or cancer
The March 2004 issue of Life Extension magazine reports that "It is now evident that the American medical system is the leading cause of death and injury in the United States." The magazine reports that "the total number of deaths caused by convenional medicine is an astounding 783,936 per year. ... By contrast, the number of deaths attributable to heart disease in 2001 was 699,697, while the number of deaths attributable to cancer was 553,251." According to the report, "the number of people having in-hospital, adverse reactions to prescribed drugs" is 2.2 million people per year.
In his book Commonsense Rebellion (Continuum, New York, 2001, pp. 98-107), psychologist Bruce E. Levine, Ph.D., makes a similar argument. He says "In 1994, an estimated 104,000 Americans died from medications that were administered properly, making this the fourth leading cause of death. More than two million had serious side effects. ... The risk of being severely injured in an auto accident in one's lifetime: 2 in 100. The risk of being severely injured by prescrition drugs in one's lifetime: 26 in 100. ... Iatrogenesis is defined as a doctor-inflicted injury, illness, or disease. ... malpractice is only one kind of clinical iatrogenesis and is actually the least of our worries. Most of the damage inflicted by modern medicine occurs within the standard of care of ordinary practice."
Life Extension magazine announced the following conclusion on the cover: "FDA APPROVES DRUGS IT KNOWS ARE DANGEROUS". The article discusses a Frontline television documentary revealing that "the FDA conspires with the drug industry to approve dangerous drugs" and that "the FDA allows toxic drugs to remain on the market even after injuries and deaths are reported."
A regulatory agency serving the interests of the industry it is supposed to regulate rather than the public's is often the result of what has been called "regulatory capture": Government regulatory agencies typically are unduly influenced or captured by the industries they are supposed to regulate. In the case of the FDA, one way this is accomplished is hiring former FDA officials into the managements of drug companies at enormous salaries and letting current FDA officials know they too will be rewarded with generous job offers if they help the drug company get approval for its harmful or ineffective drugs. This problem will probably continue until officials in government regulatory agencies are required as a condition of employment to sign contracts prohibiting them from accepting employment in the industry they will be regulating for at least ten (10) years after leaving the agency.
Life Extension magazine also claims "It is an open secret within the pharmaceutical industry that most of its products are ineffective in most patients . . . not only are many dangerous drugs wrongfully approved, but they often are only minimally effective!" (William Faloon, "Dangerous Medicine," Life Extension magazine, March 2004, pp. 9-12)
None of these reports are specifically about psychiatry, although injury and death from psychiatric drugs and other psychiatric "treatment" such as electroconvulsive brain damaging are probably included in the statistics. The significance of these reports is they disprove the widespread myth that physicans, including psychiatrists, can be trusted to help rather than harm people. It is this false assumption that underlies forced mental health treatment laws. If legislators realized the Number One cause of death in the USA is medical treatment or "health care," not heart disease, they would be less inclined to enact forced mental health treatment laws that subject people to forced drugging and electroshock. If judges realized this, they would be less likely to commit people involuntarily to mental "hospitals" for forced "medical" treatment and less likely to subject people to "outpatient commitment" in which they order people to take psychiatric drugs that are not just ineffective but toxic and too often deadly.
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