Monday, March 07, 2005

FDA Determined To Protect Reputation As Most Slimeball Government Agency

Let's move away for a moment from considering Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Luvox and the other psychiatric drugs designated as SSRIs. These drugs are the main focus of this blog because of the mind-numbing fact that although they cause insanity, they are being used to treat insanity.

But the underlying issue is the question of what the FDA is thinking when they approve killer drugs.

Many years ago, when Prozac was rejected in Germany and England because of its suicide-related side effects, the FDA happily approved it, breaking the back of what should have been a universal rejection of the drug. Soon thereafter, a top exec at the FDA retired to a posh job at Eli Lilly, the drug company that makes Prozac. This was the beginning of the FDA's slide into the gutter. At first it looked like a few unethical mavericks had managed to line their pockets by sliming an agency that had always had the respect of Americans. But as the years have gone by it becomes more and more obvious that the FDA has completely dropped any pretense of respectability. It now moves by night under dim street lights wearing a short skirt and no underwear and way too much lipstick.

Sincere people are trying to prop up the reputation of the FDA but every best effort is undermined by repeated episodes of the FDA staggering home after midnight smelling like cheap whiskey. The latest such episode is incredible. It has to do with the Vioxx-type painkillers. When it came out that Vioxx sharply increases the risk of heart attack and stroke, the FDA quickly tugged her skirt hems down in an attempt to achieve some level of respectability, and rushed to the microphone with furrowed brow. "We'll investigate!" she said, to a grateful nation.

The investigation was shortly completed shortly thereafter. "Vioxx and it's blood brothers Celebrex and Bextra have been thoroughly investigated and they are innocent," piped the FDA, "Our blue-ribbon panel has spoken! No charges will be filed."

But this isn't our first picnic. We didn't just fall off the turnip truck. So we take a look at the FDA's blue ribbon panel. Of the 32 people on it, 10 had close financial ties to the drug companies that make these drugs. How did this affect the proceedings? An example was the vote that cleared Bextra. The big pharma 10 voted 9-1 in favor. If it wouldn't have been for this lopsided side show, the vote would have shut the drug down.

The interesting comments came from panel members whose strings aren't being pulled by big pharma. One MD said that as many as 50 people per day are dying from taking these drugs.

But let's wind down this little FDA indiscretion. The truth is the only people who die from these painkillers are the people who use them. They may ruin a few lives and leave behind some devastated relatives -- at the rate of 50/day. But that's kid stuff to the ruined lives created by the epidemic of SSRI use. It's one thing to have Daddy die of a heart attack, and another thing altogether to have Daddy hang himself or blow his brains out -- or storm into his place of work and kill his boss and co-workers before killing himself. It's one thing to have Mother suffer a stroke and wake up with one side of her face not working. It's another thing altogether to have Mother drown her four kids in a bathtub or chop her children up -- two deeds done by SSRI-soaked U.S. mothers did. Or blow away grandma and grandpa with a shotgun as a 12-year-old on Zoloft did recently. SSRIs are criminal and so are the people who covered up their side effects. And so are the people in the FDA who put their personal gain ahead of the sacred trust they have abandoned.

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