Psychiatry – “We have a CREDIBILITY problem….” Oh REALLY??

From the President of the American Psychiatric Association…
Big Pharma and American Psychiatry: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Steven S. Sharfstein, M.D.

Go Here

Quotes from article….(which for this psychiatric survivor who was Forced to take toxic chemicals for fourteen months; Dr. Sharfsteins analysis and recomendations are far too little…too late!!!)

My responses are in italics:

“APA’s annual meeting is one of the largest medical meetings in the United States and the largest psychiatric meeting in the world. There is something for everyone at our wonderful meeting, but many have commented to me on the extraordinary presence of the pharmaceutical industry throughout the scientific programs and on the exhibit floor.”

Sorta embarassing, isn’t it???

“The U.S. pharmaceutical industry is one of the most profitable industries in the history of the world, averaging a return of 17 percent on revenue over the last quarter century. Drug costs have been the most rapidly rising element in health care spending in recent years. Antidepressant medications rank third in pharmaceutical sales worldwide, with $13.4 billion in sales last year alone. This represents 4.2 percent of all pharmaceutical sales globally. Antipsychotic medications generated $6.5 billion in revenue.”

Yes, and let’s talk about antipsychotics….the FACT that anti-depressants CAUSE many people to become psychotic is sort of win/win for the industry. It really is an amazingly brilliant marketing ploy. We get millions of people to take anti-depressants, and then whamo, we have guaranteed business for life with those sicko crazies needing anti-psychotics for the rest of their lives!

“When the profit motive and human good are aligned, it is a “win-win” situation. Pharmaceutical companies have developed and brought to market medications that have transformed the lives of millions of psychiatric patients.”

I think this statement needs to read…”win-win-loss of freedom for the patient.” Big Pharma – WIN! Psychiatrists – WIN! Patient? Sorry, you lose. Your life is now transformed into toxic hell and you will never get your credibility or your life back…$$$cha ching cha ching$$$….sorry.

“The profession of psychiatry aims to provide the highest quality of psychiatric care to persons who suffer from psychiatric conditions. There is widespread concern of the over-medicalization of mental disorders and the overuse of medications.”

Oh Really? And let’s define quality of psychiatric care…hmmm. You take the drugs…if you don’t take the drugs…we will force you to take the drugs….if you refuse, we will take that refusal as evidence that you are REALLY crazy, and… we will lock you up and still force you to take the drugs….or maybe we will just put you under house arrest and make you take the drugs in your own home, and if you run away, then we will lock you up…and force you to take the drugs. If you decide you want to come off the drugs, we will offer you no help in the weaning process, and when you crash into mania and psychosis, then again, we will lock you up and force you to take the drugs.

“APA has strict guidelines for the industry-sponsored symposia presented at our annual meetings; sanctions are applied when our rules are broken.”

I had to take a break from blogging to go puke after reading this line. Sanctions? What sanctions? What pharma company has EVER been forced to stop marketing to psychiatrists? Heck, they run the medical schools, write the textbooks, and even pay to sit in on patient/doctor therapy sessions to give “counsel” and “advice” to the doc.

“There are examples of the “ugly” practices that undermine the credibility of our profession. Drug company representatives will be the first to say that it is the doctors who request the fancy dinners, cruises, tickets to athletic events, and so on. But can we really be surprised that several states have passed laws to force disclosure of these gifts?

So-called “preceptorships” are another example of the “ugly”; that is, drug companies who pay physicians to allow company reps to sit in on patient sessions allegedly to learn more about care for patients and then advise the doctor on appropriate prescribing.”

Payment from the drug company, payment from the patient, payment from Medicare because the patient has become disabled using toxic drugs and now must have the taxpayer foot the bill for his “illness”. $$$cha ching cha ching$$$ I’m feeling nauseated again…

“Drug company representatives bearing gifts are frequent visitors to psychiatrists’ offices and consulting rooms. We should have the wisdom and distance to call these gifts what they are—kickbacks and bribes.”

Wow Stephen, you better be careful, or you just might find yourself out of a job…

“Here are several suggestions for remedies in our relationship with the industry.
We need to embrace a new professional ethic. The doctor-patient relationship should not be a market-driven phenomenon.
Preceptorships should be considered unethical.”

How about ILLEGAL???

“Enticements, gifts, parties, and so on should be reined in because patients must believe that their doctor has their best interests in mind when a prescription is handed to them.”

Reined in? How about grounds for loss of license???

“We must re-evaluate single-sponsored medical education events and phase them out in favor of more general support for CME along with a careful policing of these events for bias.”

Re-evaluate? How about open up the industry to Orthomolecular Doctors, Aromatherapy, Naturopathy, Chiropractic, and Aryurvedic, not to mention Homeopathics, which I and many psychiatric survivors have used with Great success to heal from emotional illness as well as de-tox from the drugs we were forced to take!

“The amount and support received by individual clinicians and researchers from industry should be transparent and the information readily available.”

And when it becomes obvious a doctor is prescribing based on kickbacks from companies, he should be publicly humiliated, his license taken away, and then as final punishment electroshocked and forced to take the very medicine he was prescribing at maximum dose for the rest of his or her life! (Only partially sarcastic!)

“When we attend lectures at annual meetings and other educational events, and read journals and textbooks, we should know very clearly about the industry support given to presenters and authors.”

And when we learn just how much those presenters and authors are being paid, all of their credibility should be immediately revoked and all books, pamplets, and four color advertising brochures should be burned.
As I said in the beginning this is far too little, too late…and for many “patients” rather than being promised reform, doctors and pharmaceutical companies should be prosecuted for being a legal drug syndicate that seeks to detroy the lives of innocent men, women, and children for PROFIT.

Jenny Hatch

Read the Introduction to this Blog

UPDATE August 25, 2005

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