Friday, September 07, 2007

The Truth About Increases In Suicide

There is a lot of "noise" running in the press about how suicides have gone up since the black box warnings for antidepressants were issued. It is total B.S.

The CDC (Center for Disease Control) reports an increase in youth suicide from 2003 to 2004 and some "experts" are blaming this increase on the decline in antidepressant use among youth. However, the Black Box Warning on SSRI-Class psychiatric drugs was not approved until September 2004, didn't go into affect until Jan/Feb 2005.

From Rosie Mysenberg (SSRI stories):

1) Across the country, the media are publishing an article concerning statistics on antidepressant use among youth in 2003 and 2004. They report a decrease in antidepressant use among youth and an increase in suicides. However, the report which came out from the American Psychiatric Association in 2004 reported an increase of 8% in antidepressant use among 19's and under. This statistic was for the first six months of 2004. [Note: the Black Box Warnings were not approved until September 2004]

2) Paragraph 11 reads: "In 2003, U.S. physicians wrote 15 million antidepressant prescriptions for patients under age 18, according to FDA data. In the first six months of 2004, antidepressant prescriptions for children increased by almost 8 percent, despite the new drug labeling." [Again, the Black Box Warnings were not approved until September 2004]

3) This is data from Medco Health Solutions, which manages pharmacy benefit programs. on 2005-2006. Notice the numbers.

List of growth in prescription drug claims for 2001-2006 in girls and boys aged 10-19:


  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drugs. Up nearly 74% for girls and 37% for boys
  • Antidepressants. Up more than 9% in girls and less than 1% in boys
  • Antipsychotics. Up more than 117% in girls and almost 71% in boys
  • Sleep aids. Up more than 80% in girls and about 64% in boys

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Back To School: Pencils, Pens and Meds

Full story here:,1,5517982.story?coll=la-headlines-business-advert
Los Angeles Times
August 20, 2007
Pencils, pens, meds
As kids head to class, pharmaceutical companies ramp up their drug marketing

Back-to-school season is in full swing. Time to pick out a backpack, sneakers and a stimulant medication for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Nearly 2 million children in the United States are diagnosed with ADHD...

Besides time off from school, many kids with ADHD get a summer "vacation" from the prescription medications...

Children in the U.S. are 10 times more likely to take a stimulant medication for ADHD than are kids in Europe.

The U.S., ...consumes about 85% of the stimulants manufactured for ADHD.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

More: Drug Companies Employ Ethics-Challenged Docs

The St. Petersburg Times exposed a couple of Florida psychiatrists today in an article entitled:
Who's judging drugs?
St. Petersburg Times
September 2, 2007
"You might think that when pharmaceutical companies hire a doctor to test new drugs, they automatically would reject someone disciplined for "gross or repeated malpractice." You would be wrong. A St. Petersburg Times analysis of public databases identified several doctors who have conducted clinical trials despite run-ins with the Florida Board of Medicine. "
Clinical trial - a process in which a medication or other medical treatment is tested for its safety and effectiveness

The Times wrote about:
Psychiatrist Serge Vilvar of North Miami Beach
Reprimanded, fined $50,000, suspended for 6 months, and put on a 1 year probation after the Florida Health Department found that he gave $3-million worth of unnecessary therapy to at least 14 patients. He worked on clinical trials after the Health Department initiated disciplinary action.

Psychiatrist Abbey Strauss of Boca Raton
Fined $15,000 for prescribing painkillers to a patient in excessive and inappropriate quantities which endangered the patient's health
Strauss has also conducted clinical trials after the Health Department initiated disciplinary action.