By Kelly Preston
Kirstie Alley and I recently supported 20 doctors from various health care fields, including family physicians, pediatricians, psychiatrists, researchers, nutritionists and surgeons in a letter to the FDA calling on it to strengthen its warnings on stimulants and antidepressants, especially when prescribed to children.
This was in response to the FDA’s recent warning that not only do antidepressants cause hostility and suicidal behavior in children, but also stimulant drugs [June 28 FDA advisory]. The doctors’ letter states: “We can no longer sit back and let the clock tick, waiting for more deaths, suicides or people driven to violent acts by psychotropic drugs. The FDA must continue to be vigilant, to root out other substances that have — one way or the other — slipped under the radar screen, and are now wreaking havoc with the nation’s youth.”
New York Times, by Gardiner Harris
WASHINGTON, Aug. 3 — An influential Republican senator says he will propose legislation requiring drug makers to disclose the payments they make to doctors for services like consulting, lectures and attendance at seminars.
The lawmaker, Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the senior Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, cited as an example the case of a prominent child psychiatrist, who he said made $180,000 over just two years from the maker of an antipsychotic drug now widely prescribed for children.
I am the mother of a 16-year-old autistic son. First, autism is not a mental illness. There are physical situations that precede the condition. The best definition I ever heard came from Bob Doman, the founder of the National Association for Child Development, when he told me he referred to autism as “brain toxicity.”
The ‘atypical’ dilemma
By Robert Farley, Times Staff Writer
More and more, parents at wit’s end are begging doctors to help them calm their aggressive children or control their kids with ADHD. More and more, doctors are prescribing powerful antipsychotic drugs.
In the past seven years, the number of Florida children prescribed such drugs has increased some 250 percent. Last year, more than 18,000 state kids on Medicaid were given prescriptions for antipsychotic drugs.
By Ed Silverman
For the past three years, the controversy over antidepressants has largely centered on exploring links between the pills and suicidal behavior, particularly in youngsters. But there has also been considerable chatter about homicidal thoughts.
Several killings around the country have prompted defense lawyers to blame an antidepressant for a killing. Most famously, this occurred in South Carolina, where 12-year-old Chris Pittman claimed Pfizer’s Zoloft prompted him to kill his grandparents. And one of the Columbine killers was prescribed Luvox.
WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley is asking the drug maker, Eli Lilly and Company, for information related to the risks and marketing of the anti-psychotic drug Zyprexa.
Grassley made this request in response to allegations that the company downplayed safety risks and engaged in other improper marketing practices that may be jeopardizing patients’ health. The text of Grassley’s letter follows here.
By Milt Freudenheim, The New York Times.
Drug advertising aimed at consumers, a fast-growing category that reached $4.5 billion last year, will face hard scrutiny in the new Congress, according to industry critics in both the House and Senate.
The consumer ads will be on the griddle early in this session at hearings on the user fees that manufacturers pay to speed the reviewing of new drugs by the Food and Drug Administration. The user fee law will die in the fall unless Congress acts to renew it.
In a resounding affirmation of personal liberty and freedom, the Alaska Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Myers v. Alaska Psychiatric Institute today. The court found Alaska’s forced psychiatric drugging regime to be unconstitutional when the state forces someone to take psychiatric medications without proving it to be in their best interests or when there are less restrictive alternatives.
Faith Myers, the appellant in the case, reacted to the decision saying, “It makes all of my suffering worthwhile.”
By LINDA A. JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer
Accidental overdoses and side effects from attention deficit drugs likely send thousands of children and adults to emergency rooms, according to the first national estimates of the problem.
Scientists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated problems with the stimulant drugs drive nearly 3,100 people to ERs each year. Nearly two-thirds — overdoses and accidental use — could be prevented by parents locking the pills away, the researchers say.
Joseph Rhee Reports:
ABC News has learned that a Massachusetts hospital is currently recruiting pre-schoolers to test the safety and effectiveness of a powerful antipsychotic drug called Quetiapine. (SEROQUEL AstraZeneca – Vince)
The study, conducted by the Department of Pediatric Psychopharmacology at Massachusetts General Hospital, is testing subjects from four to six years of age with Bipolar Disorder. An earlier Massachusetts General study of the antipsychotic drugs Risperidone and Olanzapine recruited children as young as three years old.