Friday, September 14, 2007

Drug Companies Paying Docs To Over-Prescribe Psych Drugs

The New York Times found that psychiatrists who took the most money from makers of antipsychotic drugs tended to prescribe the drugs to children the most often. These and other stories have helped to fuel a growing interest among state and federal officials to document and restrict payments to doctors from drug makers.

A new federal bill called the "Physician Payments Sunshine Act of 2007" has been filed.

New York Times
Senators Seek Public Listing of Payments to Doctors

September 7, 2007

WASHINGTON, Sept. 6 — Makers of drugs and medical devices would be required to report publicly nearly all payments and gifts to doctors under legislation introduced Thursday in the Senate.

“Right now, the public has no way to know whether a doctor’s been given money that might affect prescribing habits,” said Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee and one of the bill’s authors.

Senator Herb Kohl, Democrat of Wisconsin, said drug and medical device makers had long defended their payments and gifts to doctors as appropriate.

“If that is the case, full disclosure will only serve to prove them right,” Mr. Kohl said.

Ken Johnson, senior vice president at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, said, “A new law is not necessary when pharmaceutical marketing is already heavily regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.”

The F.D.A. does not regulate the gifts or consulting arrangements drug and device makers routinely provide doctors, and it reviews only a fraction of the scripted marketing talks doctors make on companies’ behalf.

The bill results from growing concerns that free meals and consulting payments — which in some cases have exceeded $100,000 annually — lead doctors to prescribe more expensive drugs and devices, increasing the costs of health care and sometimes endangering patients.

Minnesota and Vermont require disclosures, and the legislatures of Maine and West Virginia have passed measures that may soon require them. Other states are considering similar measures.

The bill introduced Thursday is more comprehensive than any state measure. It includes medical device companies, not just drug makers, and has a more inclusive list of gifts and benefits that must be disclosed.

For instance, any payments or benefits made “directly, indirectly, through an agent, subsidiary or other third party” would have to be disclosed. That could include payments by universities and an array of small companies that, with industry financing, set up conferences for influential doctors at expensive hotels. Such payments have never been disclosed on a widespread basis.

The bill would also require the disclosure of financing for continuing medical education. Drug and device makers now underwrite much of the continuing education that is required of nearly all doctors.

Companies with at least $100 million in annual revenues would have to make quarterly disclosures of gifts or payments that exceed $25, and the reports would be posted on a Web site. Companies failing to make the disclosures — and many have not complied with the laws in Minnesota and Vermont — would be fined at least $10,000 per infraction.
Under the bill, the provision of free drug samples and financing for clinical trials would not have to be disclosed.

Rob Restuccia, executive director of the Prescription Project, a nonprofit group that works to eliminate conflicts of interest in medicine, said some academic medical centers already restricted gifts to faculty members. Greater disclosures would lead to more such restrictions, Mr. Restuccia said.

22,975 petition signatures against TeenScreen: Video:

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Message From (Owen Wilson Data Included)

A Message From

We have learned that the Psychiatric and Drug Companies want to repeal the Black Box Suicide Warning that we all worked so hard to obtain. Trusting parents believed that placing their loved ones onto antidepressants was the right thing to do. No one ever told them about the deadly side effects of antidepressant-induced suicide. We only have to look at the recent Suicide Attempt of Owen Wilson, who was being treated with ANTIDEPRESSANTS to understand the fact that antidepressants are ineffective and dangerous. ("he did not overdose, "an attorney for Wilson told Access Hollywood. The attorney also said the actor did not have his stomach pumped. The attorney said Wilson had been taking antidepressants, but was not aware of any other drugs in his system at the time of the incident.). We need to ensure that the Black Box Warning remains on this product. We can no longer believe slanted studies paid for by those who profit from the very same product they are trying to sell. We question the findings of this study based on the fact that toxicity reports on the suicide victims were not release nor their medical records to indicate whether they were already using antidepressants. Take a moment for all suicide victims and take the vote. Should the Black Box be repealed or should it remain on the product?

A quick vote: Do you think the Drug Companies and Psychiatric Industry should be allowed to repeal the Black Box Warning. Vote Here

Thank you for all of your support and donations !


Sheila Matthews

Copyright 2001- 2007 Ablechild (Parents for Label and Drug Free Education). All rights reserved.
Ablechild is a nonprofit, tax-exempt, Section 501(c) (3) charitable organization,
and donations are deductible under the provisions of the IRS Tax Code.
Ablechild and the Ablechild logo is a Trademark of Ablechild, Inc.