Robert Whitaker’s new book: Psychiatry Under the Influence


truthman30:

Hey Simon and Ben… maybe you should add this to your reading list?

Originally posted on Beyond Meds:

bob

Psychiatry Under the Influence: Institutional Corruption, Social Injury, and Prescriptions for Reform

Psychiatry Under the Influence investigates how the influence of pharmaceutical money and guild interests has corrupted the behavior of the American Psychiatric Association and academic psychiatry during the past 35 years. The book documents how the psychiatric establishment regularly misled the American public about what was known about the biology of mental disorders, the validity of psychiatric diagnoses, and the safety and efficacy of its drugs. It also looks at how these two corrupting influences encouraged the expansion of diagnostic boundaries and the creation of biased clinical practice guidelines. This corruption has led to significant social injury, and in particular, a societal lack of informed consent regarding the use of psychiatric drugs, and the pathologizing of normal behaviors in children and adults. The authors argues that reforming psychiatry will require the neutralization of these two corrupting influences—pharmaceutical money and…

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Seroxat And Other SSRI’s, The Marketing Of A Myth..


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3050380/Depression-NOT-caused-low-serotonin-levels-drugs-used-treat-based-myth-psychiatrist-claims.html

Depression is NOT caused by low serotonin levels and most drugs used to treat it are based on a myth, psychiatrist claims

  • David Healy is head of psychiatry at the Hergest psychiatry unit in Bangor
  • Claims the idea low levels of serotonin causes depression is a fallacy
  • Marketing of SSRI drugs like Prozac has been ‘based on a myth’, he claims 
  • Experts refute his claims saying ‘SSRIs work in the real world of the clinic’

The belief that the most popular antidepressant drugs raise serotonin levels in the brain is nothing more than a myth, a leading professor of psychiatry has claimed.

David Healy, head of psychiatry at the Hergest psychiatric unit in Bangor, North Wales, said the misconception that low levels of serotonin were responsible for depression had become established fact.

He suggested that the success of so-called SSRI drugs – which include Prozac and Seroxat – was based on the ‘marketing of a myth’.

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The idea that the most popular antidepressant drugs raise serotonin levels in the brain is nothing more than a myth, psychiatrist Professor David Healy argues. Pictured is Prozac, one commonly prescribed  SSRI

The idea that the most popular antidepressant drugs raise serotonin levels in the brain is nothing more than a myth, psychiatrist Professor David Healy argues. Pictured is Prozac, one commonly prescribed SSRI

The emergence of these serotonin reuptake inhibiting (SSRI) drugs in the late 1980s came after concerns about tranquilliser use to treat depression.

Even though they were weaker than old-style tricyclic antidepressants, they took off because of the idea that SSRIs restored serotonin levels to normal, ‘a notion that later transmuted into the idea that they remedied a chemical imbalance’.

In an editorial in the BMJ, Professor Healy said that in the 1990s, no one knew if SSRIs raised or lowered serotonin levels but there was no evidence that treatment corrected anything.

He said: ‘For doctors it provided an easy short hand for communication with patients.

‘For patients, the idea of correcting an abnormality has a moral force that can be expected to overcome the scruples some might have had about taking a tranquilliser, especially when packaged in the appealing form that distress is not a weakness.’

However, other psychiatrists have refuted the professor’s claims, saying the profession has moved on from a simplistic description of the pills correcting a chemical imbalance.

They warned the controversy might harm depressed patients if they were deterred from taking the drugs, which had been proved to work in trials and the ‘real world’.

COULD DEPRESSION BE AN INFECTIOUS DISEASE?

Depression should be re-defined as an infectious disease rather than an emotional disorder, argues one scientist.

The condition could result from a parasitic, bacterial or viral infection and future research into the condition should search for these micro-organisms, argues Dr. Turhan Canli, of Stony Brook University, U.S.

If his theory is true, he hopes a vaccination to protect against depression could be developed in future.

Writing in the journal Biology of Mood and Anxiety Disorders, Dr Canli said: ‘It is time for an entirely different approach.

‘Instead of conceptualising major depression as an emotional disorder, I suggest to re-conceptualise it as some form of an infectious disease.

‘I propose that future research should conduct a concerted search for parasites, bacteria, or viruses that may play a causal role in the etiology of major depression.’

Professor Sir Simon Wessely, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: ‘That antidepressants are helpful in depression, together with psychological treatments, is established. How they do this is not.

‘Most researchers have long since moved on from the old serotonin model.

‘Most important of all, SSRIs are safer if taken in overdose than the older tricyclics.

‘People should not change their current medication on the basis of this editorial alone.’

NHS Choices, the website which advises patients, says: ‘It would be too simplistic to say that depression and related mental health conditions are caused by low serotonin levels, but a rise in serotonin levels can improve symptoms.’

Professor Healy’s editorial says it is important to raise questions about the drugs.

He said: ‘In other areas of life the products we use, from computers to microwaves, improve year on year, but this is not the case for medicines, where this year’s treatments may achieve blockbuster sales despite being less effective and less safe than yesterday’s models.

‘The emerging sciences of the brain offer enormous scope to deploy any amount of neurobabble.

‘We need to understand the language we use. Until then, so long, and thanks for all the serotonin’, he concludes.

Professor David Taylor, Director of Pharmacy and Pathology and Head of Pharmaceutical Sciences Clinical Academic Group, King’s Health Partners, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, said: ‘Professor Healy makes a forceful but poorly supported argument against something which doesn’t and has never really existed: the idea that SSRIs ‘correct’ an ‘imbalance’ of serotonin in the brain.

‘Researchers and psychiatrists alike know that SSRIs are effective in a number of disorders but no one is sure exactly how they work. Their readily demonstrable effect is on serotonin but they have many indirect secondary effects in the brain.

Other psychiatrists warned the controversy might harm depressed patients if they were deterred from taking the drugs, which had been proved to work in trials and the ‘real world’

Other psychiatrists warned the controversy might harm depressed patients if they were deterred from taking the drugs, which had been proved to work in trials and the ‘real world’

‘Prof Healy fails to mention that SSRIs supplanted earlier tricyclics largely because of their relative safety in overdose, not because of any conspiracy concerning a theory of serotonin’s involvement in depression.’

Dr Paul Keedwell, Consultant Psychiatrist and Specialist in Mood Disorders, said: ‘In the real world of the clinic, SSRIs are undeniably effective in treating individuals with major depression.

‘They have become the first line treatment of choice because they have fewer troublesome side-effects than their predecessors, and are safer in overdose.

‘David Healy has previously claimed that SSRIs cause dependence or provoke suicide.

‘In so doing he has risked deterring individuals with severe depression from getting the help they need and this latest article just adds to this problem.

‘The risk of suicide from untreated depression is much greater than the risk of treating it with antidepressants, and yes, this includes SSRIs.’

Revisiting The GSK Chinese Corruption Scandal…


Taken From:

GAB | The Global Anticorruption Blog

Law, Social Science, and Policy

http://globalanticorruptionblog.com/2015/02/04/prosecuting-gsk-how-to-deal-with-being-second-in-line/

Prosecuting GSK: How to Deal with Being Second in Line

As followers of the anticorruption blogosphere know, China recently fined British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (“GSK”) $490 million for bribing Chinese doctors and hospital administrators. There is no need rehash here what many others have already said: this case is likely a watershed moment marking China’s emergence as a force in the global fight against corruption.

But there is another aspect of the story that has gone unnoticed: With rare exceptions, the U.S. Government’s corporate FCPA settlements have either preceded any foreign enforcement action (e.g., Total) or been announced as part of a coordinated global settlement (e.g., Siemens). But China’s prosecution of GSK has put U.S. regulators in a relatively unfamiliar position: that of the second mover. And in doing so, China has forced the Department of Justice to confront a difficult question: Should it care that China has already fined GSK for the same conduct that DOJ is investigating.

Because the United States does not recognize international double jeopardy, China’s action poses no legal obstacle to an FCPA prosecution. In fact, the only legal obligation imposed on U.S. authorities as a result of China’s prosecution derives not from domestic law but from the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) art. 42(5) and OECD Anti-Bribery Convention art. 4.3. But these sections only require the United States to consult with China regarding the two nations’ overlapping investigations, and even then, only “as appropriate.”

Nevertheless, it’s a safe bet that when it comes time to resolve the GSK matter, DOJ will (1) consider the impact of the prior Chinese penalty and (2) soften its settlement terms as a result. How do we know that? Well, to start, the U.S. Attorney’s Manual — in two relevant provisions (here and here) — advises federal prosecutors to consider the effect of another jurisdiction’s (realized or potential) prosecution when deciding whether it is necessary to charge a particular target. More importantly, though, whether we are speaking of the rare FCPA case where DOJ was the second mover (e.g., Statoil or Alcatel-Lucent) or the many instances where DOJ resolved an investigation as part of a global settlement (e.g., Siemens), on several occasions DOJ seems to have adjusted its settlement demands in order to accommodate penalties exacted by foreign enforcers.

But even if DOJ has done this sort of thing in the past, it’s worth considering why it makes sense to do it again here. After all, the GSK case is a world apart from the Statoil or Alcatel-Lucent resolutions, which followed foreign settlements totaling only a few million dollars. And unlike massive global settlements like Siemens, there was — perhaps unsurprisingly — no coordination here between U.S. and Chinese enforcers.

Stepping back, there are a few reasons to believe DOJ both will and should stick to its past practice and lower its settlement demands even in a case like GSK:

  1. Doing so may encourage additional demand-side prosecutions:  For years, the anticorruption world has decried the lack of demand-side enforcement. (This blog being no exception.) The good news is that a policy of accommodating foreign penalties may help address the problem, even if only marginally and only in the long term. This practice shows respect for a demand-side nation’s sovereignty and its interest in redressing harm caused to it by the defendant’s bribery. Furthermore, a regular and open practice of deference to foreign actions will encourage goodwill between demand- and supply-side authorities, possibly leading to greater coordination of future investigations. (If demand-side officials believe they’ll be afforded their due at the bargaining table, they may be more willing to cooperate with foreign authorities in the future.) Lastly, companies are more likely to cooperative with demand-side investigations when they know that any associated penalty will be taken into account in future supply-side settlement negotiations.
  2. Such reductions may be necessary to avoid overdeterrence:  While many of us would like to stamp out transnational bribery, there is a theoretical point at which enforcement penalties become so high as to pressure companies into taking inefficient precautions (or avoiding certain high-risk markets altogether). To the extent we care about cost-effective responses to corruption, the prospect of overdeterrence is worrisome. Keeping that concern in mind, one could argue that over the past few decades — an era in which U.S. enforcement was the only big game in town — FCPA penalties were inflated to account for harm done to both supply- and demand-side countries. If that’s true, then it makes sense to reduce penalties in FCPA cases that follow (e.g., GSK) or foreseeably precede (e.g., Akzo Nobel) demand-side prosecutions in order to avoid cumulative penalties disproportionate to the underlying conduct.
  3. In some cases, DOJ won’t have a choice:  At the end of the day, there are going to be some companies (e.g., Innospec) who would fold under the financial pressure of successive penalties for the same underlying bribery conduct. It’s not a stretch to say that in a post-Arthur Andersen world, that is an outcome rarely desired by prosecutors. Sure, there are closely-held corporations who will not survive FCPA prosecutions (e.g., Nexus), but more often DOJ officials will treat the policy requirement that they weigh the collateral consequences of initiating a corporate prosecution as reason not to push the boundaries of the defendant’s financial well-being. And even with a company as large as GSK, half of a billion dollars may be a penalty large enough to make DOJ officials worry about not pushing the business too far towards the financial breaking point.

At the end of the day, I wouldn’t be surprised if DOJ’s FCPA prosecutors never quite adjust to the prospect of being second-in-line. But for the health of the global effort to combat transnational bribery — and the reasons given above — it might be best for DOJ to get used to that position. I’ve got my fingers crossed, after all, that GSK is just the latest sign of a growing phenomenon: that of demand-side countries charging forward with their own enforcement actions, even before supply-side countries can do the same.

  • Interesting arguments. Is the Chinese subsidiary of GSK actually registered and trading on the US stock exchange, or is it the parent company; and is this or should it be relevant to the possibility of the same action being taken in multiple jurisdictions? In the case of this British company, what, if anything, would inhibit the UK from filing against this company for the same events pursuant to the UK Antibribery law? In this same line of thought, we have not only the risk of multinational companies being fined in two, but three or as many countries as may have similar antibribery laws and registered stock, which may or may not take such multiple fines into consideration depending upon their particular laws, jurisprudence and customs. Perhaps the time is coming near for a review of the reach of the FCPA.

    • I believe the US is asserting FCPA jurisdiction over GSK on the basis of its status as an issuer on a US exchange. I also believe that you are correct that, under the UK Bribery Act, the UK would also have jurisdiction, though the UK (unlike the US) recognizes the principle of international double jeopardy (ne bis in idem), and so wouldn’t be able to bring a prosecution after a US settlement, and is probably already barred from doing so by the Chinese settlement. (It’s possible I’m wrong, as I’m not an expert in this feature of British law, but I think that’s the case.)

      Your more general observation seems to me to be correct: We’re moving into a world in which multiple sovereigns may have jurisdiction to bring corruption charges against the same entities for the same underlying conduct: If a Korean subsidiary of a British company listed on the New York Stock Exchange pays bribes in China, then four country’s laws have been simultaneously violated, and in principle any of the four, or some combination, might be able to pursue criminal enforcement actions.

      I’m not sure I agree with your last sentence, though. I think it would be a mistake to narrow the reach of the FCPA, both because it remains by far the most robust and effective law against transnational bribery, and because if a foreign company avails itself of US securities markets or territory, than the US has every right to impose and enforce legal restrictions on that firm’s conduct. Rather than narrowing the scope of the law, I’d be more inclined to deal with the problem — as Jordan suggests — through formal or informal agreements between the DOJ/SEC and other countries’ law enforcement agencies about which country or countries should take the lead in which prosecutions, and how they should coordinate.

  • Great analysis (and comment). I’m going beyond the scope of your post here but, to pick up on something you touched upon briefly, one way for DOJ prosecutors to avoid being second-in-line is to coordinate investigations. There are obvious benefits to global coordination on actions against cross-border crime like bribery and a number of law firms have flagged the huge growth potential for such cooperation. In the GSK case, for instance, the SFO worked closely with Chinese authorities for the first time.

    For a variety of reasons, collaborating with demand-side jurisdictions seems markedly different from working alongside other supply-side authorities (although, if the Chinese government is serious about its anti-corruption campaign, maybe not as different as it first appears). At any rate, I don’t see Chinese and U.S. prosecutors cozying up to each other anytime soon.

    But, particularly given the likelihood that Chinese enforcement is on the rise, what do you think of the prospects for increased investigation and settlement coordination between the U.S. and China?

    • Absolutely, coordinated enforcement is the way to go in most of these cases. The cooperation between the US and German authorities in the Siemens case is a great example.

      The problem, as I understand it, in the GSK case is precisely the lack of coordination — due in part to lack of familiarity and lack of trust — between the Chinese and US authorities. (I don’t have a public source for this, but I’ve had informal conversations with lawyers on both the US and Chinese side about this, and they all made more or less that claim.) That’s not to say that this issue is unique to China, but I think it’s likely to be especially acute in that case. But your note about the degree of cooperation between the Chinese authorities and the SFO — which is something I wasn’t aware of — is perhaps encouraging.

  • This is a pretty basic question–just informational–but in relation to your first point and your references to fostering good will and demonstrating respect, is there a sense among demand-side countries that they would prefer the U.S. NOT prosecute for conduct for which the demand-side country has already secured a conviction? Assuming they’ve already received the fine they’ve assessed/been able to enact the punishment they’ve decided on, do they care what the U.S. does? If so, why? From their perspective, is it a matter of being afraid that the U.S. will (as you allude to in your third point) assess a penalty that causes the company to fold and not be able to pay the demand-side country? Just a philosophical matter of it seeming that the U.S. doesn’t view their legal decision as “real” enough to prevent further prosecution (i.e., basically objecting to the U.S. choice not to recognize international double jeopardy)?

The Irony… GSK working on Asbestos disease-drug…


https://truthman30.wordpress.com/2015/04/17/asbestos-contamination-at-a-gsk-plant-in-sligo-ireland/

Further to my post yesterday about GSK asbestos contamination in GSK drugs made at a GSK Stiefel Site In Sligo, and the whistleblowers who claim that they also have been affected from Asbestos contamination, it seems that GSK is making a drug to help ease the conditions from Asbestos related diseases… Ironic? Yes, Very…

http://www.mesorfa.info/drug-targets-cancer-caused-asbestos/

New Drug Targets Cancer Caused By Asbestos

May 26, 2014

Mesothelioma lung cancer can come to those persons who loved, and simply hugged their parent who worked around asbestos.  For example, now at age 45, Heather Von St. James recalls her father working as a building demolition employee around materials containing asbestos.  He would return home each day thoroughly covered by dirt and dust. She remembers how much she enjoyed hugging her father each night.

By age 36, Heather was diagnosed with mesothelioma, the deadly yet to be cured cancer connected with exposure to asbestos particles.  Mesothelioma can take decades to develop and it often kills within months after symptoms appear. Heather was a new mother to a 3-month-old daughter, and she was told her only chance to live was by having a lung removed.

In 2013, more than 107,000 people died worldwide from mesothelioma.  However, Heather opted for the surgery instead, and removed the disease in time to stay alive.   According to Ms. St. James, “There’s a lot of people who don’t.”

Fortunately for other people with mesothelioma, or those that will discover they have the deadly disease, a new wave of drugs developed and being tested are giving new hope that mesothelioma cancer may be slowed or stopped.  Drug researchers, like Verastem Inc. (VSTM), GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK), and Dr. Parkash Gill of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center have announced that they are testing new cancer fighting drugs.

Carolyn Buser-Doepner (VP for tumor signaling at Glaxo, the U.K.’s biggest drugmaker), there are plans to combine a new drug GSK2256098 with some other medicines to potentially make cancer treatments more effective.  In one early-stage trial, it will be paired up with Glaxo’s Mekinist, which is approved for melanoma.  She said, “The pre-clinical data are very encouraging. We’re very excited about it.”

Asbestos Contamination At A GSK Plant In Sligo Ireland?


Last year I received an e-mail from a whistle-blower based at the GSK (Stiefel) site who claimed that there was a major contamination problem at this GSK site in Sligo in Ireland. Allegedly, there was asbestos contamination which affected a few GSK drugs that are manufactured there (and also according to these claims- if they are true- some employees health has been affected by these health and safety breeches). I cannot verify with certainty if any of this is true or factual, as it seems the whistle-blower got cold feet and didn’t follow up after a few emails- (for one reason or other maybe they got scared, which is understandable considering GSK’s reputation). However, I happened to stumble upon this strange (locked) blog which is called gsksligo.blogspot.uk, and a number of posts on Google plus (screen-shots below) which seem to be from a Whistle-blower involved in somehow attempting to alert the public to the alleged various issues (contamination etc) at the GSK Stiefel Site in Sligo, Ireland.

As I said already- I have no idea if this story on the aforementioned blog is true or not, so I am not responsible for the accuracy of these allegations, I am merely relaying information which was e-mailed to me and posting from information I found online, but something certainly seems a little strange and if these allegations are true it seems that people’s health has certainly been put at risk. The screenshots below (and the blog) is stuff I stumbled upon while merely Googling, therefore, they are not my responsibility (nor am I endorsing their content)- anyone can find them with a simple Google search. However from the information contained in the e-mails I originally received, I have no reason to doubt their sincerity or the authenticity of the original whistle-blower (who will of course remain anonymous). I would like to post more, but I will await word from the whistle-blower before I reveal the list of products produced at this site which are allegedly contaminated with asbestos (that’s if the source makes contact again- they might not). In the meantime- If anyone has any further information on this, please contact me on truthman30@gmail.com, furthermore if there is interest from media/journalists etc about this story- (perhaps they know more about this story?, maybe there is a legal case? or maybe I can lead them to a contact in order to explore further)- please mail me on the same e-mail.

Thanks..

GSK Asbestos

GSK£GSK4

DFFs

GSSS

It is worth noting that GSK have had issues of contamination in other plants (that we are aware of) such as in Cork, and Puerto Rico. Their safety record  -or lack of it – (like a a lot of things GSK related- such as their ethics and morals) kind of speaks for itself.

See links for more…

http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/glaxosmithkline-team-ignored-test-results-

says-watchdog-264055.html

GlaxoSmithKline Ireland’s own quality control team ignored test results that could have indicated drug contamination at the Cork plant as far back as 2011,according to the US drugs watchdog.

http://www.in-pharmatechnologist.com/Regulatory-Safety/GSK-fined-750m-for-old-Puerto-Rico-plant-violations

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/worse-than-you-think-10-things-you-dont-know-about-glaxos-750m-paxil-settlement/

The FDA began investigating GSK in Puerto Rico in 2001, issuing a warning letter. The company thus had nine years to get its act together — but didn’t.

Peter J Gordon: 17 Years On Seroxat: “A Powerful Embrace”


http://pharmachronicles.blogspot.ie/2014/07/powerful-embrace.html?spref=tw

“Anxious I consulted my doctor.

This was 1997.

I was started on Seroxat (Paroxetine). In America this is Paxil.

Today (2014) I am still on Seroxat/Paxil (Paroxetine)

17 years: this has indeed been a “powerful embrace”.

After I made this film (in 2011) several of my consultant psychiatrist colleagues expressed concern. I had apparently brokered acceptable boundaries; my thoughts were loose and I was misguided, perhaps even “disordered”. Label upon label was how it felt to me.”

Chase The Blues Away..


Who needs SSRI’s when you have music like this..

songs for the soul..

Chase The Blues Away Lyrics

“Chase The Blues Away” was written by Tim Buckley.

Well, come along and walk with me
And learn the songs that lovers sing
When they believe

We’ll dance along the river’s edge
Just arm and arm along the moonlit shore
The midnight cries

Well, I just came to chase
The blues away
For a while

Just like a child, you’ll cling to me
From every sound along
That rushes near

It’s just the breeze
That licks your skin and rubs your breast
And as we lay our river’s flow away
Your woman fear

Well, I just came to chase
The blues away
For a while

With the morning sun, we’ll wake
And lift our eyes and watch the eagle fly
Up mountain high

Then on his wings, our love will climb
And never fail until he soars and dives
Oh, he’ll take your breath away

Oh, I just came to chase
The blues away
For a while

AS I PLEASE

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In the Wake of Suicide....trying to understand

I trust in you, O' Lord, my Savior, the One who died and rose again…. the One who brought me in and will carry me out, the Almighty waters and tides that bring us life. I come to You when there is no where else to turn, I come to You when there is. I look to You as my guiding Light, my Savior…. the One who created all I see- created my life and dreams before I knew myself~ created my talents and style before I knew the value~ I praise You and adore Your mystery. I will be strong and conquer as You would want for me. I beg of your blessings and miracles even though I am unworthy of Your power…. Yet, I trust in You~ and know You have already begun Your work. I love You. I don't know if that is a good enough word, "love"~ But I know You on a level---beyond words. Save me Lord. I will not let go of You. Hear me O' Lord. In Christ's Powerful Name Amen ~ By Brandon Heath

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