This is the fourth in a series of essays on the YKAS blog.
The original article – Your Kids Aren’t Sick – can be read here.
Let’s Call Them Chemicals
If you’ve read my prior essays, you may have noticed by now. I don’t refer to them as “medications” or “drugs.” I call them what they are: chemicals. I’ll continue to use that term, so, please, while you may consider Valium or Xanax or Mellaril as medication, I refer to them as chemicals. Likewise, you may think of heroin, cocaine, and marijuana as drugs. Here, all illicit drugs are called chemicals too. In that way, we don’t have to be concerned about why you take them or where you get them, and whether they are legal or illegal. Instead, we only need to know what effects these chemicals have on people.
Does it Work?
The selling of psychiatric diseases and the chemicals that treat them is as much a political issue as it is a for-profit commodity. A Big Pharma company prepares a sophisticated and detailed application to seek approval from the United States Government’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA). New cancer chemicals, for example, must provide some evidence of success, or what is referred to in scientific circles as “efficacy” – as in “efficient.” Doctor’s and their clients – you and I – need to know if the chemical is “efficacious.” In other words, does it work? After all, we pay taxes to make sure the chemicals created by business really do what they say they do, and to ensure business and government work together to produce safe products.
That’s the good news.
However, and maybe you don’t know this, once a chemical is approved for cancer, for example, the newly approved “efficacious” chemical can be prescribed by a doctor for any human malady, regardless of what it was originally designed to treat.
If a pharmaceutical “rep” shows the doctor a “study” that “suggests” this same cancer chemical is effective for, let’s say carbuncles, then the doctor can prescribe the cancer chemical to his patient to battle carbuncles. Despite the fact the chemical was thoroughly scrutinized by the FDA specifically for cancer treatment and nothing else, once approved a doctor can prescribe it for anything, and no one will bat an eye. In the business, this is called “Off-Label Use.” From Wikipedia here:
- The FDA does not have the legal authority to regulate the practice of the medicine, and the physician may prescribe a drug off-label. Contrary to popular notion, it is legal in the United States and in many other countries to use drugs off-label, including controlled substances such as opiates.
What does this mean to you? While the FDA is strident to ensure any new chemical they approve meets very rigid standards, once approved, any chemical can be prescribed for any human need by any doctor, anywhere, anytime.
So much for “efficacy.”
You can thank Big Pharma lobbyists and our bought-and-paid-for legislators working in tandem for this too clever and excessively obvious tactic to get around FDA scrutiny. Together they made this practice “legal,” and there is no recourse for you or me. Why do they do it? Why do you think? To widen their customer base. Here’s an example.
Zoloft – The Miracle Chemical
If you’re not familiar with Zoloft, you should be. In 2007, nearly 30 million prescriptions for Zoloft were written. The chemical name is Setraline Hydrochloride. It was created by Pfizer and approved by the FDA in 1991 as an “antidepressant.” Once approved to treat depression, and thanks to that beneficial law, Pfizer got busy.
In the mid 90’s, by way of their self-financed “studies,” they “discovered” Zoloft was “better than a placebo” for treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. The “discovery” of this new use didn’t need the FDA’s approval or oversight. Pfizer just declared it, and their sales force provided doctors with their “evidence.” (By the way, the phrase “better than a placebo” is common in these studies. More about that, and an explanation of the scientific-sounding-yet-phony phrase “double-blind studies” will follow in the essay “Psychi-Babble.”)
Pfizer was just getting started. From the late 1990’s through the present, other amazing “discoveries” were made about this chemical – through Pfizer financed “studies.” Take a look:
- By 2000, they tell us, “in four large double-bind studies setraline was shown to be superior to a placebo for the treatment of panic disorder.”
- By 2003, “studies” showed setraline was “successfully used for the treatment of social anxiety disorder.”
- Around this same time, and through the same means, setraline was found to be “effective” for Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder.
- And, though not nearly done, this same miracle chemical was subjected to two “double-blind studies” that “confirmed the efficacy of setraline for severe chronic Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) in civilians.”
Let’s Keep Score
This one miraculous chemical can treat 1) depression – the original approval – as well as; 2) obsessive-compulsive disorder; 3) panic disorder; 4) social phobia; 5) premenstrual dysphoric disorder and; 6) posttraumatic stress disorder. You’d think that would be enough, as ridiculous as this already is.
Think again. There’s more to come.
There are “indications,” we are told, from the latest “placebo-controlled double-blind clinical trials,” that Zoloft may also be useful for: 7) Generalized Anxiety Disorder; 8) binge eating disorder; 9) night eating syndrome; 10) bulimia nervosa; 11) syncope (fainting) in children and adolescents and – who would have thought; 12) premature ejaculation.
That’s six official uses now, with six more on the horizon. An even dozen. We’re told more “studies” are needed to confirm these “indications.” Do you think Pfizer will make sure the studies get done? What do you think the outcomes will be when they do? (For more information about Zoloft, see Setraline here.)
Business As Usual
This is how it’s done. It’s an “efficacious” business practice for all of Big Pharma.
If you create a toothpaste and you “discovered” a little later that the toothpaste was good for cuts and bruises too, as well as a lubricant for doorknobs, and it’s a good quick drying glue on top of that, my goodness, think of all the customers you’d have.
You’d be rich.
(You can read about PsychRights and attorney Jim Gottstein’s ongoing strategic litigation campaign against forced psychiatric drugging, electroshock and off-label use in the United State here.)
NEXT: A Most Valued Customer – Your Child