Would you want a doctor prescribing a strong, dangerous drug for you or your child, or raising your dosages, on the basis that it would bring him some financial benefit and praise from a drug company representative who visits him every week? Would you want him choosing a drug for you or your child based on extra money he would receive from the company that makes the drug? Would you like your child’s dose being raised because this would mean a bigger financial kickback from the drug company to your child’s doctor? Maybe he would raise the child’s dose because he knows the drug rep from the company would be pleased and smile at him. Is this medicine? It’s how it’s often been practiced by thousands of psychiatrists and real medical doctors for decades.
Would you expect your doctor to warn you of the major short- and long-term unhealthy side effects of the drug he’s prescribing for you or your child?
Biggest Legal Settlements in U.S. Justice Department History
Psychiatric drug companies have a lengthy history of purposely deluding the general public by conducting fraudulent marketing, even when executives in the companies knew it was going to lead to innocent lives being lost due to some of the deadly side effects of their drugs.
To exemplify this assertion one can look at some of the records concerning these types of drugs, including three of the largest financial settlements with the U.S. Department of Justice in history, each with a separate psychiatric drug company.
Eli Lilly covered up data that came to light in drug trials on Prozac in the late 1980’s in Germany. The research showed the drug increasing the rate of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in some of its test subjects. Instead of disclosing this information accurately to the FDA, the data about these cases were re-characterized as the Germans having concern about the drug causing some patients “organ damage.” (This data came out in the trial that occurred in Louisville, Kentucky in 1994 regarding the shooting of 20 people by Joseph Wesbecker, 33 days after starting on Prozac.)
In 2004, after over a decade of many suicides and instances of violent behavior from people taking Prozac or other modern antidepressants, including the new phenomenon of mass shootings in our schools by students, the FDA finally had an analysis done of the drug studies that were performed on some of these drugs before they were approved for sale in the U.S. It was discovered that the studies showed that the modern antidepressants approximately doubled the rate of suicidal thinking and actions in young people with depression. As a result, in 2004 the FDA started requiring Black Box Warnings on antidepressant literature about the suicide danger of the modern antidepressants to children and adolescents. In 2005 they expanded the warning to apply to young adults up to the age of 25.
Eli Lilly also withheld from the broad public that their antipsychotic drug Zyprexa often caused patients to suffer rapid weight gain and raised blood sugar levels, sometimes causing them to gain over 100 pounds, become diabetic and suffer early deaths. The company purposefully minimized this information to doctors and the public. In 2007 Eli Lilly settled civil claims for $500 million from 18,000 patients regarding the fact that their antipsychotic drug Zyprexa had been causing the patients to gain weight and contract diabetes.
In 2009, Lilly settled legal claims against the company by the U.S. Department of Justice for over $1.42 billion for various illegal activities, especially the illegal marketing of Zyprexa for treatments it hadn’t been approved for by the Food and Drug Administration. The press release put out by the U.S. Department of Justice stated at that time that the criminal part of the fine was the “Largest Individual Corporate Criminal Fine in History.”
In July, 2012, the British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline(GSK) was forced to settle legal claims against the company from the United States Department of Justice for a sum of 3 billion dollars for multiple charges, among them being the illegal marketing of two antidepressants, Paxil and Wellbutrin, and a third drug, Avandia, for diabetes.
Below are a few of the verbatim statements from the U.S “Department of Justice GlaxoSmithKline Settlement Fact Sheet.” You will note that there are multiple references to the covering up of the fact that the drug Paxil didn’t really work as an antidepressant on children and adolescents and yet it was marketed and sold for that purpose. The word “protocols” in the quote from the Justice Department below refers to the procedures and guidelines as to how conduct a particular research study.
“The FDA has never approved Paxil for any purpose for treating patients under age 18.
“From 1999 to 2003, during sales calls, dinner meetings, spa programs, lavish weekend conferences to places such as Puerto Rico and Hawaii, through a false and misleading medical article, and through the distribution of free samples for patient use, GSK promoted Paxil to doctors for the treatment of depression and, to a lesser extent, obsessive-compulsive disorder in patients under age 18.
“GSK conducted three placebo-controlled clinical studies to study Paxil’s safety and efficacy in treating depression in patients under age 18. In all three studies, GSK failed to demonstrate efficacy on the endpoints identified in the study protocols.
“Nevertheless, GSK hired a contractor to write an article on one of the studies that was published in July 2001 in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP). The article stated that Paxil ‘is generally well tolerated and effective for major depression in adolescents.’ The article did not explicitly state that the study failed to demonstrate efficacy on either of its primary endpoints or on any of the secondary endpoints that had been identified in the study protocol.
“GSK’s marketing team distributed the JAACAP article to all of the Paxil sales representatives with a cover memo that stated that Paxil had demonstrated ‘REMARKABLE Efficacy and Safety in the treatment of adolescent depression.’ Some GSK sales representatives used the article to urge doctors to prescribe Paxil to treat patients under age 18.”
Not only did three initial drug trials on Paxil show that it failed to help adolescents with depression, the drug actually markedly increased the percentages of the patients in the drug trials who became suicidal. In spite of this finding, key executives of GlaxoSmithKline decided they would go ahead and market Paxil using inaccurate information without informing the FDA, doctors or patients about the dangerous suicide side effect. In a sense the people who indulged in the cover-up of the suicide side effect of this drug became murderers.
In 2013 Johnson & Johnson settled with the U.S. Department of Justice for “more than 2.2 billion dollars to resolve criminal and civil investigations.” The following paragraphs given below are presented verbatim from the Department of Justice’s press release on the settlement. “Janssen” is a subsidiary company owned by Johnson & Johnson. The term “kickbacks” means hidden payments of money to someone or some entity for helping to arrange financial transactions.
“Washington – Global health care giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and its subsidiaries will pay more than $2.2 billion to resolve criminal and civil liability arising from allegations relating to the prescription drugs Risperdal, Invega and Natrecor, including promotion for uses not approved as safe and effective by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and payment of kickbacks to physicians and to the nation’s largest long-term care pharmacy provider. The global resolution is one of the largest healthcare fraud settlements in U.S. history, including criminal fines and forfeiture totaling 485 million and civil settlements with the federal government and states totaling $1.72 billion.”
“In a related civil complaint filed today in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the United States alleges that Janssen marketed Risperdal to control the behaviors and conduct of the nation’s most vulnerable patients: elderly nursing home residents, children and individuals with mental disabilities. The government alleges that J&J and Janssen caused false claims to be submitted to federal health care programs by promoting Risperdal for off-label uses that federal health care programs did not cover, making false and misleading statements about the safety and efficacy of Risperdal and paying kickbacks to physicians to prescribe Risperdal.”
“The complaint further alleges that J&J and Janssen were aware that Risperdal posed serious health risks for the elderly, including an increased risk of strokes, but that the companies down played these risks. For example, when a J&J study of Risperdal showed a significant risk of strokes and other adverse events in elderly dementia patients, the complaint alleges that Janssen combined the study data with other studies to make it appear that there was a lower overall risk of adverse events.”
“The complaint also alleges that Janssen knew that patients taking Risperdal had an increased risk of developing diabetes, but nonetheless promoted Risperdal as ‘uncompromised by safety concerns (does not cause diabetes).’ When Janssen received the initial results of studies indicating that Risperdal posed the same diabetes risk as other antipsychotics, the complaint alleges that the company retained outside consultants to re-analyze the study results and ultimately published articles stating that Risperdal was actually associated with a lower risk of developing diabetes.”
“In addition to promoting Risperdal for elderly dementia patients, from 1999 through 2005, Janssen allegedly promoted the antipsychotic drug for use in children and individuals with mental disabilities. The complaint alleges that J&J and Janssen knew that Risperdal posed certain health risks to children, including the risk of elevated levels of prolactin, a hormone that can stimulate breast development and milk production. Nonetheless, one of Janssen’s Key Base Business Goals was to grow and protect the drug’s market share with child/adolescent patients. Janssen instructed its sales representatives to call on child psychiatrists, as well as mental health facilities that primarily treated children, and to market Risperdal as safe and effective for symptoms of various childhood disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and autism.”
“The government’s complaint also contains allegations that Janssen paid speaker fees to doctors to influence them to write prescriptions for Risperdal. Sales representatives allegedly told these doctors that if they wanted to receive payments for speaking, they needed to increase their Risperdal prescriptions.”
“The civil settlement also resolves allegations that, in furtherance of their efforts to target elderly dementia patients in nursing homes, J&J and Janssen paid kickbacks to Omnicare, Inc., the nation’s largest pharmacy specializing in dispensing drugs to nursing home patients. In a complaint filed in the District of Massachusetts in January, 2010, the United States alleged that J&J paid millions of dollars in kickbacks to Omnicare under the guise of market share rebate payments, data-purchase agreements, ‘grants’ and ‘educational funding.’ These kickbacks were intended to induce Omnicare and its hundreds of consultant pharmacists to engage in “active intervention programs” to promote the use of Risperdal and other J&J drugs in nursing homes.”
Those who committed the acts for money and fame that resulted in illnesses and sometimes deaths in the name of medicine
In all of these above cases of drug company fraudulent and illegal marketing, there were some individuals in each of the companies who knew they were marketing and selling products that were leading to the ill health and deaths of considerable numbers of patients and yet they persisted in their marketing, trying to meet sales quotas, lying and often using bribes to thousands of doctors across the country, while purposefully and actively covering up the full dangers of the drugs. The antidepressants would cause some patients to become suicidal and/or violent, even murderous. The antipsychotics would cause loss of brain tissue and often cause patients to gain weight, develop diabetes and die considerably younger than if they were not taking the drugs.
What’s also true is that many psychiatrists and real medical doctors accepted the bribes and kickbacks and other inducements. They prescribed the drugs to more patients, increased the dosages of the drugs to please the drug companies and told other doctors how wonderful the drugs were in order to get more money, personal benefits and a false sense of their own importance.
Psychiatry is not really medicine. It is an embarrassment to the field of medicine. Psychiatrists vote their “mental disorders” into their insurance bible, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, instead of finding them in the bodies of patients. They diagnose by opinion, without using medical or scientific testing. Their drugs always cause health damage, and often premature deaths.