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Tropical_Man 67M
6573 posts
12/25/2007 12:14 pm
A Pharmaceutical Insider Speaks Out


A Pharmaceutical Insider Speaks Out

Dear Editor,

In reviewing the overwhelming media “hype” put out on the spate of senseless violent crimes--of which the Virginia Tech incident is the latest on a growing chain of events with documented similarities that are rarely discussed in the media---the public has been done a tremendous dis-service and is being distracted from ever knowing the complete truth about what really caused these catastrophes.

Recent articles attempt to sum up the misinformation campaign by suggesting that lax laws and human rights movements against involuntary commitment practices and forced psychiatric drugging contributed to the murderous rampage at Virginia Tech.

Excuse me, but being a veteran pharmaceutical rep who sold psychiatric drugs, I'd like to say that this bit is getting a little old. The tiresome rhetoric of attack against Dr. Thomas Szasz and the Church of Scientology, who co-founded CCHR (Citizens Commission on Human Rights), is the oldest Pharma diversion tactic around. I was taught to use it by a manager when I sold Haldol (haloperidol) over twenty years ago and, apparently, that smear campaign is still alive and well today. Can't anyone come up with any new angles?

The truth is, the psycho-pharmaceutical interests do not dismiss these watch-advocates lightly and Pharma's media "spin" machine is in constant motion counteracting their vigilant efforts...among others. Therefore, I was not surprised to see the cheap stabs at this organization in superfluous articles appearing in the Wall Street Journal and the Tampa Tribune -- just bored with them. However, it initially made me suspect a possible financial conflict of interest on the part of the authors, as I know Pharma often pays hefty sums of money for the penning of articles such as these in times of controversy.

The manufacturers of antidepressants are constantly working overtime to convince the public that we are being protected by their humanitarian efforts rather than railroaded by their profiteering deception; and that their drugs are safe and effective products having only mild and transient side effects. This is truly science fiction copy where antidepressants are concerned!

If I sound skeptical, this is why: Cho was reported to have been detained, evaluated and treated for depression in 2005. It was never clear according to reports whether this detention was voluntary or involuntary on Cho's part.

However, psychiatric evaluation and treatment nearly always equal drug intervention, so it is safe to assume that drug therapy was instituted at that time. Cho's roommate reported seeing him take his prescription medication (for psychological problems) at 5 a.m. the morning of the shootings. Therefore, it is also logical to assume that Cho was still under a psychiatric outpatient maintenance program and taking his medication. Why wasn't he improving then?

Cho's behavior was said to have deteriorated over the past several months as he became more and more isolated and bizarre. His roommate told reporters Cho slept restlessly, grunting and tossing and turning in his sleep; that he was up and down throughout the night, and often gone by dawn. He left behind a ranting, rambling, multi-page letter of grievances and mailed a menacing video to NBC brandishing guns and other weaponry before the camera. Could Cho have been exhibiting manic reactions to his medication that manifested in symptoms of sleep disturbance, anxiety, grandiosity, and eventually frank psychosis? Was his total lack of emotion or expression as he shot his victims at point-blank range indicative of the emotional blunting caused by antidepressant drugs?

All these effects have been well documented with antidepressant toxicity, especially in the newer category of drugs called the SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). Another point of interest, as a drug rep I was trained that Asians metabolize many drugs differently than the general population causing an increased accumulation of drug levels to occur in many.

This recently prompted the FDA to request warning label changes and a recommended reduction in dose for Asians using the cholesterol drug Crestor. Because Asians were recorded to have twice the blood plasma levels of the drug at the same 10 mg. starting dose. Could Cho's medication have accumulated to toxic levels because of his inability to metabolize and clear it properly?
These are some of the legitimate questions currently being asked by medical doctors, mental health experts, psycho-pharmacology researchers–and the human rights activists of CCHR.

In addition, while much "to do" is being made about the latest meta-analysis released in a recent Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), which concluded that antidepressants are safe and effective for treating anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, and major depressive disorder in and adolescents (and coincidentally released the same day as reports that Cho was being treated for depression), hardly anything has been reported on two other concurrently published articles.

One study appears in the New England Journal of Medicine and concluded that antidepressants are less effective than placebos in treating bipolar disorder; and the other is a study in this month's Archives of General Psychiatry which found that 1 in 4 people who were treated with antidepressants were not clinically depressed at all, but were dealing with the mental repercussions of a recent emotional blow, such as death, divorce, job loss, etc. Only a small percentage was found, in fact, by the researchers' definition, to be clinically depressed.

Therefore, the authors concluded that the standard definition of depression should be redefined to exclude reactions to normal stressful life events, thus avoiding unnecessary stigma and misdiagnosis along with the unnecessary prescribing of antidepressant drugs.

How, then, can anyone educated about psychotropic drugs and their potentially toxic effects possibly suggest that increasing forced commitments and drugging on the population would have prevented this latest disaster?

In fact, the overuse and abuse of psychotropic drugs is what has unleashed this dangerous situation on an unsuspecting society in the first place. The problem exists in where we are getting our information about these drugs from--the marketing departments of pharmaceutical companies that have a financially vested interest in selling them!

Pharmaceutical companies want to expand what are currently saturated markets for their multi-billion dollar depression drugs.

They need to increase market share in order to increase their bottom line and pay stock investors dividends. They cannot afford the negative publicity brought on by events such as the VT shootings, that might prompt a more thorough investigation into the number of school shooters who were actually taking or withdrawing from antidepressants (or other psychotropic drugs) at the time of their crimes; and the possible dangers of these drugs--not only to the people who take them--but to the public at large.

If the treatments are found to have a causal effect and to be the real problem at hand, then additional forced treatment with these defective, dangerous chemicals will cease to be the answer in the future. Plus, all of the affected parties would be entitled to financial recompense…think about it.

As for the psycho-pharmaceutically promoted fear tactics to support more involuntary commitments and forced drugging, I think our time would be well spent revisiting Nazi Germany. We are obviously in need of a significant history lesson on this issue!

Gwen Olsen

A veteran 15-year pharmaceutical sales rep and author of

Confessions of an Rx drug Pusher: God's Call to Loving Arms

(Ginny )
3657 posts
12/25/2007 2:46 pm

Oh Gosh, can't even speak right now.

I will if I ever come up with something to say but can't right now.

I'm all over the place and can go in 15 direction with things to say, but I won't.

Taking a break.

Probably be back.

* Sin is sin. Careful what comes across your lips & out your finger tips!!!
* We are all the Body of Christ. Let's treat each other as such, with the same respect we give to HIM!!
* Relationship advice: DO NOT make someone a PRIORITY, when they ONLY make you an OPTION!!
* A woman's heart should be so lost in God, that a man has to seek HIM in order to find her!!

Tropical_Man 67M
6389 posts
12/25/2007 3:36 pm