invincible summers

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

Breaking news in the Seroquel debacle May 21, 2009

Filed under: antipsychotics,big pharma,corruption — clementine @ 4:07 am
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I’ve been following this for far too long…I had to post something. PLEASE click on this link as Furious Seasons has been covering this story in great detail for quite a long time.

FS sums it up best: AstraZeneca Exec Admits “Fuck-Ups” In Seroquel Study, Published Article.

I wish I could comment more, but I can’t. I’m about to delve into some heavy sexual abuse therapy. I have found a wonderful, loving, compassionate place and I’m feeling very hopeful for the first time in a long time. I’ll be facing the trauma/rape I experienced at 15. Although this will be a very painful process, my hope is, I will come out stronger, healthier and happier. I am still traveling the alternative path after ‘waking up’ and seeing/experiencing the dangers of the many medications I have been prescribed and taken for nearly 20 years. Seroquel being the worst. You can find my experiences with Seroquel by simply searching here but first, please click on the link mentioned above and well, yeah, just do it.

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Senator Grassley is not backing down April 6, 2009

Filed under: corruption,news — clementine @ 3:29 pm
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Thanks to Gianna and Duane for this amazing news. According to this report at Bloomberg, Senator Chuck Grassley is now investigating NAMI. Excellent! I would write more but I need a nap and I need to let this sink in:

April 6 (Bloomberg) — U.S. Senator Charles Grassley expanded his investigation into drug company influence on the practice of medicine by asking a nonprofit mental-health- advocacy group about its funding.

In a letter sent today to the National Alliance for Mental Illness, based in Arlington, Virginia, Grassley asked the nonprofit group to disclose any financial backing from drug companies or from foundations created by the industry.

The Iowa Republican, in a series of hearings and investigations, has focused on financial ties between the drug industry, doctors and academic institutions. His efforts have led New York-based Pfizer Inc. to begin disclosing consulting payments to U.S. doctors, and Harvard Medical School in Boston to reexamine its conflict-of-interest policies. Now Grassley is expanding his inquiries to nonprofit groups.

“I have come to understand that money from the pharmaceutical industry shapes the practices of nonprofit organizations which purport to be independent in their viewpoints and actions,” Grassley wrote in his letter.

Officials at the National Alliance for Mental Illness didn’t return calls for comment.

of course they didn’t

The group identifies itself as the largest grassroots organization in the U.S. for people with mental illness and their families. The group came under scrutiny in 1999, when the magazine Mother Jones reported that 18 drug companies gave the group $11.7 million from 1996 to mid-1999. The article reported that at one point an executive of Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly & Co. worked out of the nonprofit group’s headquarters.

A 2007 annual report showed that the group’s corporate partners at that time included Madison, New Jersey-based Wyeth; London-based GlaxoSmithKline Plc; Eli Lilly, which makes Prozac; and the Washington-based trade group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

Financial Report

A separate financial report shows the National Alliance for Mental Illness brought in $10.5 million in contributions in the year that ended June 30, 2007. The donors aren’t broken out.

Vera Sharav, president of the Alliance for Human Research Protection, a New York-based nonprofit that promotes ethical research, said the National Alliance for Mental Illness may have drawn Grassley’s attention because it lobbies Congress for mental-health funding.

“Academics and physicians give an appearance of authority,” Sharav said by telephone. “Industry gives them the money. Grassley has been going after each group systematically, and the dots are being connected.”

click the Bloomberg link above to continue reading….

 

Seroquel and diabetes

Filed under: big pharma,corruption,evil corporations,FDA — clementine @ 12:52 am
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So, in case you don’t know (and if you’re a regular reader, yes, I know you do) Seroquel is linked to diabetes and a host of other illnesses and ailments. We know that the maker of Seroquel, AstraZeneca, buried studies for nearly 10 years in regards to all of this. Of course I’m disgusted by this. We all are.

And something that is equally disturbing, which I have voiced here before, the makers of these drugs that lead to weight gain and diabetes almost always have a drug that treats diabetes.The FDA is considering two new drugs to improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes. And you guessed it, AstraZeneca is behind this. Their new drug to treat diabetes? ONGLYZA™.

Once again, I’ll end with Bill Maher:

The government isn’t your nanny-they’re your dealer….
There’s no money in healthy people.

 

now is the time to act April 5, 2009

Now is the time. It was a phrase President Obama used frequently that inspired me, gave me hope.

If you google “Obama now is the time” you will find:

Obama: Now Is The Time For Iraq Withdrawal

Now is the time to protect our planet: Obama

Obama: “Now Is The Time For Congress To Act”

and this speech truly inspired me:

Today I must wonder-was it just a speech? Smoke and mirrors? I am beginning to question the man I voted for. A man who I believed wanted to unite Americans, end the war, fix the economy, create a transparent government and on and on. Now, believe me, I know that our current President has one hell of a mess to clean up. I wouldn’t want his job in a million years but…

Right now this is what I’m seeing: questionable cabinet appointments like Tim Geithner. Focusing on a war in Afghanistan when we need to focus on our country and get out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama is a man who once said, “I don’t oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war.” Well, during these incredibly tough economic times I do not see how moving troops (slowly) out of Iraq and sending them to Afghanistan is smart. I personally feel it is dumb. Our troops are exhausted. They need to come home. We are not going to end the “war on terrorism” by moving into another country-those that do hate our country and want to attack us will just move somewhere else. We can’t hunt them down in this manner. It is absolutely absurd. No wonder we are hated by so many countries-we keep attacking them! The fact of the matter is: war is a money-making business and it seems our President is going back on his word. sad. And then there was the 62% federal cigarette tax increase effective on, of all days, April Fool’s Day. This is what his administration had to say: (more…)

 

paging Bill Maher and Sen. Grassley

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.

 

Biederman and 2 other Harvard researchers subpoenaed! March 28, 2009

Filed under: big pharma,corrupt doctors,corruption — clementine @ 11:37 pm
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Hmmm…maybe Biederman will get what he deserves.

According to this NY Times article he has been subpoenaed:

Federal prosecutors have issued a subpoena seeking information about the work and statements of three prominent Harvard researchers who have been the focus of a Congressional investigation into conflicts of interest in medicine.

The researchers — Drs. Joseph Biederman, Thomas Spencer and Timothy E. Wilens — are named in the subpoena, which was sent on Wednesday to Fletch Trammel, a lawyer who represents state attorneys general in lawsuits that claim makers of antipsychotic drugs defrauded state Medicaid programs by improperly marketing their medicines.

The three researchers have advocated increased use of antipsychotic medicines in children and have accepted lucrative consulting agreements from the drugs’ makers. Senator Charles E. Grassley, an Iowa Republican investigating conflicts of interest in medicine, found that each of the researchers had failed to report much of his consulting income to Harvard. Mr. Grassley has also said that Dr. Biederman and Dr. Wilens might have violated federal and university research rules. The controversy led Dr. Biederman to suspend his work with the drug industry.

The subpoena was issued by the Federal District Court for the Massachusetts District; it was sought by the United States attorney in Massachusetts, Michael J. Sullivan, and by the Health and Human Services Department inspector general, Daniel R. Levinson. The subpoena seeks all documents produced in litigation relating to the three researchers as well as transcripts of any depositions of them.

Mr. Trammel said he would “comply with the subpoena and facilitate the U.S. attorney’s investigation in any way I can.”

Peter Spivack, a lawyer for Dr. Biederman, and Mark Paoletta, a lawyer for Dr. Wilens and Dr. Spencer, said they were unaware of a subpoena.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Sullivan declined to comment on the investigation.

 

Robert Whitaker on Madness Radio

Gianna at Beyond Meds posted an incredible interview with Robert Whitaker on Madness Radio. I encourage you to click on the link above to listen to the interview in its entirety and pass it along to everyone you know or link to it at your site.

Here are my thoughts/ramblings on it, which I posted in the comments section:

Gianna, thank you so much for posting this! Well worth 50 minutes of my time. Bob had so many wonderful things to say and I’m really looking forward to his new book!

I would like to see Bob and others like him on shows like, say, The Today Show. If he’s been on this show or similar shows, my apologies, I don’t watch them. People listening to Madness Radio or NPR are not necessarily the crowd that needs to be addressed although there is nothing wrong with it, don’t get me wrong. We need voices like this more than anything right now to pass along this strong and crucial message. However, the majority of us listening to Madness radio, etc already know these facts. We know the problems. We want the Biedermans and Goodwins in jail (well, at least I do!) Part of our problem is simple, the corporations own the networks, they own everything and voices like Bob’s are often silenced. The FDA has issues and on and on… (more…)