Generalized Anxiety Disorder,
Social Anxiety Disorder,
BE AFRAID – BE VERY AFRAID!
Tabacco: Remember Thalidomide? The medicine for pregnant women that produced deformed babies – “Thalidomide Babies”! Well, it’s back as a treatment for some condition in men. Medicines, that fail to cure or help one condition, are kept on the shelf until they find another condition they can prescribe it for. Sometimes they make up a condition that has no basis in fact so they can sell you that failed remedy.
Lots of time and money, spent on R&D (Research & Development), ruins the pharmaceutical companies’ P&L sheet unless they find a disease for which their failed remedy can be successfully marketed.
Politicians & lobbyists, doctors, priests & preachers, contractors, wedding photographers, landlords, fake TV news stories, the food industry genetically engineering your food without your knowledge or consent, the petroleum industry manipulating oil prices before elections, war profiteers including elected officials, email cons, scams targeting the elderly, prisons as a capitalist tool for profit, For Profit Businesses & Not For Profit Businesses: Everywhere you look, capitalism rears its ugly head – Caveat Emptor. And the GOP wants to remove the restrictions on business – DEREGULATION? GIVE ME A BREAK! Only a fool or a self-centered Capitalistic Politico would NOT watch Big Business’ every move and tighten the controls and penalties for Corporate malfeasance.
Pharmaceutical Companies have discovered the CURE, or at least the CONTROL, for the most prevalent medical condition of the 21st century: HYPOCHONDRIA!
The CURE is whatever pill, capsule or failed remedy that is lying unsold on their shelves in some warehouse. HYPOCHONDRIA is the DISEASE for EVERY MEDICINE! Sugar is passé! No more placebos – we can’t charge you big time for sucrose. If we can’t cure your pain, maybe we can kill you! Either way, your problem days are over.
Being uncomfortable does not necessarily mean you have a medical condition. But the Medical Profession cannot make much profit by turning “CUSTOMERS” away and saying,
“There is really nothing wrong with you that I can cure”.
Big Bucks, Big Pharma: Marketing Disease & Pushing Drugs
Friday, January 19th, 2007
The new documentary “Big Bucks, Big Pharma: Marketing Disease & Pushing Drugs” looks at how illness is used, manipulated, and in some instances created by pharmaceutical companies to make greater profits. We play an excerpt. [includes rush transcript]
We end today’s program with a look at how illness is used, manipulated, and in some instances created by pharmaceutical companies to make greater profits. This is an excerpt of the new documentary “Big Bucks, Big Pharma: Marketing Disease & Pushing Drugs.” It was produced by the Media Education Foundation.
* Excerpt of “Big Bucks, Big Pharma: Marketing Disease & Pushing Drugs.”
This transcript is available free of charge. However, donations help us provide closed captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing on our TV broadcast. Thank you for your generous contribution.
Donate – $25, $50, $100, more…
AMY GOODMAN: This is an excerpt of a new documentary called Big Bucks, Big Pharma: Marketing Disease & Pushing Drugs. It was produced by the Media Education Foundation. I narrated it.
DAN RATHER: Your blood pressure may have gone from normal to high overnight. New government guidelines mean millions need a check-up. Do you?
AMY GOODMAN: At the same time that drug advertising is pushing people to their doctors, experts are busy redefining what it means to be sick.
MARCIA ANGELL, MD: All you have to do is change the definition of high blood pressure, and you can increase that market by tens of millions of people, or change the definition of high cholesterol.
REPORTER: If you didn’t have a cholesterol problem yesterday, you may have one now.
REPORTER: The new guidelines call for a huge boost in use of cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins. The new numbers mean millions of Americans may be taking statin drugs for the rest of their lives.
KATHARINE GREIDER: In some cases, it is a question of, hey, more people are getting treated for this, and this is great. In some cases, even more people should get treated probably. But what’s always muddying the waters here is that a major source of information to consumers and to doctors alike is that the industry that stands to profit from these medicines.
REPORTER: The guidelines were written by nine experts on cholesterol. The National Institutes of Health, which sponsored the report, now says six of them have financial ties, such as speaking fees, research grants or other funds with drug companies, which make the most widely used medications.
AMY GOODMAN: In recent years, Big Pharma has begun promoting more than just its treatments and products. Drug companies now increasingly advertise health conditions themselves. As a result, Big Pharma normalizes even the most obscure health disorders and presents them as common.
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BOB GOODMAN, MD: Of all the things that industry does, this is probably the one thing that I think could be labeled as evil, that in order to make a profit, you’re disease-mongering — in other words, making population medicalizing something that is just really part of everyday life.
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BOB GOODMAN, MD: So, in other words, a person who is not yet a patient, who is actually feeling quite good, sits down to watch the evening news, and after seeing a few commercials, says to him or herself, “You know, I’m not quite as healthy as I thought.”
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KATHARINE GREIDER: You have this huge phenomenon then, a huge increase in prescriptions. And there’s this debate about, what is this problem? You know, has it always been around? Is it a problem of behavior? Is it really a biomedical problem?
BOB GOODMAN, MD: What’s happened now is, you’ve taken a healthy person and medicalized something that was not medical, and this person may very soon end up on prescription medication.
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AMY GOODMAN: Because patent life can be extended if new indications are approved, companies are constantly searching for new diseases to treat with old drugs. Antidepressants of the Prozac variety, or SSRIs, are a good example of this practice. Originally approved for major depressive disorder, these drugs are now prescribed for a variety of mood and anxiety disorders. Each new indication approved promises increased profits and must therefore be promoted heavily to the public. A striking example is how Paxil was revitalized as a treatment for Social Anxiety Disorder. Its company hired a public relations firm to frame this condition as a major and common medical problem, and the firm launched a multifaceted campaign that moved beyond advertising to get stories about Social Anxiety Disorder placed in print media and on television.
REPORTER: This morning, we begin a special two-part series on Social Anxiety Disorder. Many of us have suffered from shyness or fear of social situations at some point in our lives, but for millions of Americans, their anxiety could be debilitating.
AMY GOODMAN: Paxil’s award-winning product director was quoted as saying, “Every marketer’s dream is to find an unidentified or unknown market and develop it. That’s what we were able to do with Social Anxiety Disorder.”
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ELIZABETH PRESTON, PhD: When people begin to critique these advertisements and these campaigns, I think it’s a little easy to actually forget about the people who do suffer from Social Anxiety Disorder, who suffer from major depression, who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorders. You know, there are people who suffer from these conditions and whose lives are radically transformed by the medications, and I think that it’s actually important to remember that. That doesn’t mean that at the same time we’re not sort of creating a culture of the worried well. People who might have this problem are sort of suddenly concerned that they have this problem.
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LARRY SASICH, PharmD: If we take shyness, which is probably a part of the personality of most of us in some situations — you know, it’s an appealing part of people, part of their personality — and we turn it into a new entity and we call it Social Anxiety Disorder, now you’ve increased the size of the market, now you can go out and you can advertise Paxil for Social Anxiety Disorder for somebody being shy.
ELIZABETH PRESTON, PhD: The Paxil CR ad reads to me a little bit like medicalizing normal experience.
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ELIZABETH PRESTON, PhD: You have people who look mostly comfortable, but, you know, they’re a little uncomfortable in a social setting, and we’re turning that into a condition that needs significant treatment. You know, the SSRIs have a million side effects. They are not clean drugs. And to suggest that if you have a tough time going into a meeting and introducing yourself to people, you should be on an SSRI, I think, is problematic.
CHARLES GIBSON: We are going to take a closer look tonight at the possible link between antidepressants and suicide.
LARRY SASICH, PharmD: The other disturbing aspect of this class of antidepressants was the fact that these drugs were being prescribed to a large number of children.
ABC NEWS REPORTER: About 1 million children under eighteen take such drugs now with doctors writing three times as many prescriptions as they did a decade ago.
LARRY SASICH, PharmD: And we don’t know if the drugs were being used appropriately, if they were being used in children with major depressive disorder or they were being used on a 12- or a 14-year-old boy that didn’t make the football or the basketball team, and he felt sad.
AMY GOODMAN: Big Bucks, Big Pharma: Marketing Disease & Pushing Drugs. It was produced by the Media Education Foundation.
Tabacco: Do you recognize these TV commercials? It’s hard to miss them. If you are tired, have chronic pain or psychological problems – TAKE A PILL! PHARMACEUTICALS CAN CONTROL ANY MEDICAL CONDITION. JUST TAKE 2-A-DAY FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE OR UNTIL YOU DIE – WHICHEVER COMES FIRST!
Big Bucks, Big Pharma pulls back the curtain on the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry to expose the insidious ways that illness is used, manipulated, and in some instances created, for capital gain. Focusing on the industry’s marketing practices, media scholars and health professionals help viewers understand the ways in which direct-to-consumer (DTC) pharmaceutical advertising glamorizes and normalizes the use of prescription medication, and works in tandem with promotion to doctors. Combined, these industry practices shape how both patients and doctors understand and relate to disease and treatment. Ultimately, Big Bucks, Big Pharma challenges us to ask important questions about the consequences of relying on a for-profit industry for our health and well-being.
Featuring interviews with Dr. Marcia Angell (Dept. of Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Former Editor New England Journal of Medicine), Dr. Bob Goodman (Columbia University Medical Center; Founder, No Free Lunch), Gene Carbona (Former Pharmaceutical Industry Insider and Current Executive Director of Sales, The Medical Letter), Katharine Greider (Journalist; Author, The Big Fix: How the Pharmaceutical Industry Rips Off American Consumers,), Dr. Elizabeth Preston (Dept. of Communication, Westfield State College), and Dr. Larry Sasich (Public Citizen Health Research Group).
Click Here to support the distribution of this film.
“Drug companies now spend more than $12 billion a year hawking the newest, most expensive brand-name drugs to patients and doctors in the U.S., regardless of whether those drugs are truly needed or any better than what’s been available for years. Big Bucks Big Pharma is an incisive exposé of how marketing has infected everything doctors and patients learn about drugs, and a much-needed antidote to the tidal wave of self-serving drug company propaganda that dominates the airwaves. Anyone who ever prescribes or takes a pill should see this documentary.”
– Alex Sugerman-Brozan, the PAL Project
· Angell, Marcia, THE TRUTH ABOUT THE DRUG COMPANIES: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It.
· Greider, Katharine, THE BIG FIX: How the Pharmaceutical Industry Rips Off American Consumers.
· Robinson, Jeffrey, PRESCRIPTION GAMES: Money, Ego, and Power Inside the Global Pharmaceutical Industry.
· Moynihan, Ray and Alan Cassels, SELLING SICKNESS: How the World’s Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies are Turning us all Into Patients.
· Abramson, John, OVERDOSED AMERICA: The Broken Promise of American Medicine.
· Kassirer, Jerome, ON THE TAKE: How Medicine’s Complicity with Big Business Can Endanger Your Health.
· Avorn, Jerry, POWERFUL MEDICINES: The Benefits, Risks, and Costs of Prescription Drugs.
· Wolfe, Sidney, Larry Sasich, and Peter Lurie, WORST PILLS, BEST PILLS: A Consumer’s Guide to Avoiding Drug-Induced Death or Illness.
· Law, Jacky, BIG PHARMA: Exposing the Global Healthcare Agenda.
Recommended Documentaries and Films:
Dangerous Prescription Produced and directed by Jon Palfreman and Barbara Moran, Written by Jon Palfreman; Aired on Frontline. More than a dozen dangerous drugs have been pulled off the market since 1997. Why were they approved in the first place? An Investigation of America’s drug safety system.
The Other Drug War Written, produced and directed by Andrew Liebman; Aired on Frontline. America’s war over prescription drugs has dragged on for nearly twenty years. Why are the drugs so expensive? And can prices be controlled without jeopardizing innovation?
Selling Sickness: An Ill for Every Pill Directed by Catherine Scott, Produced by Pat Fiske, Co-Written by Ray Moynihan, and Distributed by First Run Icarus Films. Selling Sickness exposes the unhealthy relationship between society, medical science and the pharmaceutical industry.
Side Effects Written and directed by Kathleen Slattery-Moschkau. A coming of age comedy whose main character is a drug company sales rep, based on the director’s decade-long experiences employed by the pharmaceutical industry.
The Drug Pushers, by Carl Elliott in The Atlantic Monthly.
Public Library of Science, Issue on Disease Mongering.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor / SSRI
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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“SSRI” redirects here; for other uses, see SSRI (disambiguation).
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a class of antidepressants used in the treatment of depression, anxiety disorders and some personality disorders. Studies have also found that SSRIs, as a side effect of their action, may cause in many people either a delay of sexual climax or anorgasmia, so they can be used to develop drugs specifically targeted to treat premature ejaculation.
SSRIs increase the extracellular level of the neurotransmitter serotonin by inhibiting its reuptake into the presynaptic cell, increasing the level of serotonin available to bind to the postsynaptic receptor. They have varying degrees of selectivity for the other monoamine transporters, having little binding affinity for the noradrenaline and dopamine transporters.
They are chemically similar to methylenedioxymethamphetamine and other reuptake inhibiting drugs. They act in a similar way by allowing chemicals to stay in synapses longer.
List of SSRIs
Many drugs in this class are familiar in the USA through advertising, including the following:
(Trade names in parentheses)
* citalopram (Celexa, Cipramil, Emocal, Sepram, Seropram)
* escitalopram oxalate (Lexapro, Cipralex, Esertia)
* fluoxetine (Prozac, Fontex, Seromex, Seronil, Sarafem, Fluctin (EUR))
* fluvoxamine maleate (Luvox, Faverin)
* paroxetine (Paxil, Seroxat, Aropax, Deroxat, Paroxat)
* sertraline (Zoloft, Lustral, Serlain)
* dapoxetine (no known trade name)
Escitalopram is simply the left-handed s-enantiomer of the racemic citalopram. It had been introduced to the market just before the patent protection for citalopram had expired.
 Other types of antidepressants
It is commonly thought that the primary action of St. John’s wort is as an MAOI.
Venlafaxine and duloxetine (Cymbalta) are both members of the SNRI class of antidepressant medication. SNRIs (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) work on the norepinephrine and serotonin neurotransmitters.
Note that trazodone is not a typical member of the SSRIs – while it is a serotonin reuptake inhibitor, it is believed that its anti-depressant properties may be due to some of its other pharmacokinetic properties rather than its effect on serotonin reuptake inhibition. That said, it does still share many properties of the typical SSRIs, especially the possibility of the so-called ‘discontinuation syndrome’ (see the section on this below).
 Medical indications
The main indication for SSRIs is clinical depression. Apart from this, SSRIs are frequently prescribed for anxiety disorders like social anxiety, panic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and eating disorders. Though not specifically indicated by the manufacturers, they are also sometimes prescribed to treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Additionally, SSRIs have been found to be effective in treating premature ejaculation in up to 60% of men. All SSRI’s are approved in conjunction with psychiatric disorders as outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV).
Different SSRIs have different approval uses in different countries dependent on the overseeing medical branch of government in charge of regulating drugs. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) makes these approvals after trials have been submitted by pharmaceutical companies. Most other countries make their approval decisions based on FDA decisions, but not always.
 Contraindications / drug interaction
SSRIs are contraindicated with concomitant use of MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors). This can lead to increased serotonin levels which could cause a serotonin syndrome. People taking SSRIs should also avoid taking pimozide (a diphenylbutylpiperidine derivative). The atypical opioid analgesic tramadol hydrochloride (or Ultram, Ultracet) can, in rare cases, produce seizures when taken in conjunction with an SSRI or tricyclic antidepressant.
Tabacco: I am NOT a doctor, and I don’t play one on TV; but my medical advice is this:
Be very suspicious of any disease
or condition and its respective
“cure” or “treatment”, advertised
on TV! When they call it a
“Syndrome” (AIDS, Chronic
Fatigue) or a “Disorder” (Attention
Deficit), and prescribe a Drug that
will get you a prison term in the UK
(Ritalin) if you sell it, it’s time to do
your own Research and not just
listen to your doctor! Doc is a
In the BBC documentary entitled Kids On Pills, screened earlier this year, Baldwin described the effect of Ritalin on children: “Apparently the child is improving but what’s really happening is there is less behaviour and the emotion is cut off and the feeling is cut off, and what we’re left with is children that behave like robots and zombies.
Tabacco: I consider myself both a funnel and a filter. I funnel information, not readily available on the Mass Media, which is ignored and/or suppressed. I filter out the irrelevancies and trivialities to save both the time and effort of my Readers and bring consternation to the enemies of Truth & Fairness! When you read Tabacco, if you don’t learn something NEW, I’ve wasted your time.
Tabacco is not a blogger, who thinks; I am a Thinker, who blogs. Speaking Truth to Power!
In 1981′s ‘Body Heat’, Kathleen Turner said, “Knowledge is power”.
T.A.B.A.C.C.O. (Truth About Business And Congressional Crimes Organization) – Think Tank For Other 95% Of World: WTP = We The People