invincible summers

in the middle of winter I at last discovered that there was in me an invincible summer. (albert camus)

paging Bill Maher and Sen. Grassley April 5, 2009

thanks to Stan for alerting me of this new information and here’s a snippet from the Philadelphia Inquirer:

AstraZeneca P.L.C. paid Florida child psychiatrist Jorge Armenteros to talk to other doctors about prescribing Seroquel, the company’s powerful antipsychotic.

And until yesterday, Armenteros also was listed as the chair and a voting member of a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee with a lot of power over Seroquel, which generated $4.45 billion in sales last year for AstraZeneca, whose U.S. headquarters are in Wilmington.

On Wednesday, the advisory committee is expected to decide whether to expand dramatically the use of Seroquel XR, an extended-release version of the drug, which is used to treat depression and anxiety. But five members – including Armenteros, who did not return a call to his Coral Gables, Fla., office seeking comment – will not be voting.

Why not?

Paul Pennock and Steve Sheller, lawyers who are suing AstraZeneca and other makers of antipsychotics on behalf of patients who say the drugs triggered their diabetes, say it’s because they uncovered company documents revealing potential conflicts of interest.

AstraZeneca said yesterday it had no say regarding which committee members vote, and referred questions to the FDA.

Company spokesman Tony Jewell said, “AstraZeneca believes the Advisory Board and the FDA will make the appropriate scientific and medical determination concerning the benefit-risk profile of the company’s supplemental new drug applications for Seroquel XR in major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder.”

FDA spokeswoman Sandy Walsh said that temporary members sometimes replace standing committee members but that the agency does not say why such substitutions occur. Armenteros remains the chair of the standing committee until his term expires in June, she said.

So, this news seems to debunk my Bob Dylan, the times they are a changin’ theory. We can’t trust anyone. Why am I surprised? This news is extremely disturbing and I take it personally because well, I took Seroquel. I continue to see doctors push it. My grandmother died from complications of diabetes and she’d been on psych meds most of her life. This is not a game. We are not guinea pigs. We are human beings.

I’d like to see Senator Grassley on this committee. Also, let’s see, um, Bill Maher. And the millions of patients that have taken Seroquel. Sure some of us may have a conflict of interest but it would be something desperately needed here: THE TRUTH.


3 Responses to “paging Bill Maher and Sen. Grassley”

  1. stan Says:

    You can trust me now after all! I Happen to have this great deal on some pristine swamp land in Flor-a-Duh that is right up your ally. I can surely make you a special deal since I know some insiders pretty well {wink wink}.

    I anticipate your speedy response with a huge check soon to follow {Laughing}

    You’re always looking out for you, investor Friend,

  2. Ana Says:

    I liked the new look.
    Just to say hello!
    Take care,

  3. Stephany Says:

    The FDA Advisory committee has been corrupt since 2005 with the Chair MD/child psychiatrist, paid by AstraZeneca to tell doctors to prescribe Seroquel.

    The fact that Pfizer paid 1 million dollars$ for box seats to the DNC speaks much of what I think about Obama. He ran a slick campaign, same as pharma runs slick marketing schemes re-packaging old meds and attempting to increase sales (for example Seroquel xr for depression and anxiety).

    The FDA seems only to be concerned NOW, with regard to broadening the use of Seroquel, yet the FDA says the health risks that concern them are ok for bipolar and schizophrenia.

    Something is totally wrong with this equation, and Grassley is the lone voice in the midst of a crisis that no one is paying attention to, because the economy rules the headlines.

    AstraZeneca OWNS this country, whether people believe it or not, politics IS tied to pharma, more than anyone can imagine, it’s all corrupt.

    These drugs are dangerous, and as far as I am concerned we all have lawsuits. The FDA endangered my life by having a conflicted doctor on a panel of advisory for them, and they almost did again, within days of the meeting, this guy gets busted!

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