Antidepressant Safety Review Set for September


"Once again I ask as I have so many times in the past decade and a half, "How many more innocent victims do we allow to die before we do something about this drug-induced nightmare?" - Dr. Ann Blake Tracy, Ph.D. http://www.drugawareness.org

What people may not realize is that if we address FULLY one of the most critical issues facing our country - the well being of our nation's youth, which is NON-PARTISAN - and we become successful with it, it will set in motions a number of things that will make it more effective for us to address the others we have concerns with. Can we see that?

Please, read the article below, which Dr Tracy provided - it addresses just one issue - antidepressants - among the many that are putting our children at risk, such as toxic vaccinations and obesity. Then scroll down to see my additional comments and links that could, finally, makes us realize what is at stake here...FOR ALL OF US!

Jack Topel


Posted on Mon, Aug. 02, 2004
Delayed hearing could be deadly

The garage where Julie Woodward took her life is gone now, bulldozed by her grieving parents, as though that could erase what happened there.

Just over a year ago, on July 22, 2003, the 17-year-old North Penn High School junior hanged herself in the garage behind the family's house in North Wales. Her father found her body the next morning.

No parent can understand a child's suicide, but Julie's death was particularly puzzling. A bookworm who studied Latin, Julie had always been cautious and reserved and never impulsive. "She had no history whatsoever of self-harm or suicide," her father, Tom Woodward, said last week.

Julie was planning to leave on a college-hunting trip with her family later that week. In her journal, found after her death, she dreamed of a happy future of marriage and babies.

"She was just a very bright, self-preserving kid," her mother, Kathy, said.

What could lead such a child to kill herself? The day after Julie's death, the Woodwards got a possible clue. Their neighbor, North Wales Mayor Douglas Ross, shared information he had spent the night gleaning off the Internet. It linked a class of antidepressant drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) with suicidal impulses in children.

A difficult transition

Julie, a pretty girl with sand-blond hair that fell to her shoulders, had been not only a child model but, as her parents describe her, a model child.

But the year before her death, she transferred from a small all-girls school to sprawling North Penn High, where she struggled to fit in. She became unhappy, withdrawn and irritable. Her parents took her to a psychiatrist, who diagnosed depression and prescribed the antidepressant Zoloft.

Tom Woodward said doctors assured him that Zoloft was "mild, very safe, and essential to her treatment."

Seven days after she began the medication, Julie killed herself. Her parents are convinced there's a link. "If Julie had never taken Zoloft, she would be alive today," Tom Woodward said. "I am 100 percent sure of that."

They found a champion in U.S. Rep. James Greenwood, a Bucks County Republican and longtime children's advocate. As chairman of the subcommittee on oversight and investigations, Greenwood had led high-profile probes into Enron, Martha Stewart and human cloning.

Six months after Julie's death, Greenwood announced that his committee would investigate the link between antidepressants and youth suicide.

The hearing was scheduled for July 20, and the Woodwards planned to attend. "We were looking at this as a watershed moment," Tom Woodward said.

An abrupt change of plans

But the day before the hearing, Greenwood informed the Woodwards that the hearing was being postponed for unspecified reasons.

Only later would they learn that, a few days earlier, Greenwood had quietly decided to leave Congress to accept a $650,000-a-year job - that's more than four times his congressional salary - as president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, a trade group that represents numerous pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer, maker of Zoloft, the drug Julie took before her death. A Pfizer vice president serves on the group's 46-member board of directors, which selected Greenwood.

The Woodwards felt betrayed and called the job offer on the eve of the hearing "very suspicious."

In a telephone conversation with Greenwood on the anniversary of Julie's death, Kathy Woodward accused Greenwood of allowing the pharmaceutical industry to buy his silence. "I think he sold out all the victims and future victims," she said.

Greenwood, in a 90-minute interview with me Friday, strongly denied any nefarious undertones to his new career choice. He defended his actions as ethical and said the Woodwards' accusations are based on a groundless conspiracy theory that began circulating on the Internet after he announced his new job.

Besides, he added, the hearing was merely postponed until after the August recess. In tomorrow's column, I will let Greenwood explain in detail.

As for the Woodwards, they believe every day Congress delays is a day another Julie could end up dead.

MY COMMENTS AND LINKS (please, click on the links to, at least view the headings)

Then CBS news reported: "Prozac Cleared For Kids"!!!

While Health Canada strengthens antidepressant warning
http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2004/06/03/antidepressant040603 just across our borders.

What do Canadians know (and so many other countries) that the American people are not being told...AND WHY! Worst yet, what's hurry, why the furor to push these dangerous drugs upon Americans - specially our nation's youth?

Why the strong pitch?

...To the point that: "pharmaceutical companies have sought to influence state government officials with trips, perks, lavish meals, and other payments" from companies such as: "...Janssen is the subsidiary of healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson that markets risperidone, the atypical antipsychotic medication widely used in the treatment of schizophrenia...along with other drug companies that make new antipsychotics,

How can these companies get away with this for so long? Maybe because their employees are too scared to talk. Why: "Whistleblower removed from job for talking to the press" http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/bmj;328/7449/1153

And, does one think for a second that they'd be happy with targeting, primarily, the young and the elderly? No, they want the WHOLE COUNTRY! Maybe this is why: "Bush plans to screen whole US population for mental illness"

And, how can Bush justify this "insanity"? A very convenient U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends it be done!: "The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends screening adults for depression in clinical practices that have systems in place to assure accurate diagnosis, effective treatment, and followup".
http://www.ahcpr.gov/clinic/uspstf/uspsdepr.htm Well, lets do it!

But, should you be diagnosed with a mental health problem not everyone commits suicide - some just develop brain tumors "Scientists find Prozac 'link' to brain tumors"

I know what, lets accuse Pharmaceutical companies of committing genocide in a world court like the Hague!...this will surely curve, at least, some of their acts. No, we can't do that - it has already tried to no avail: "Pharmaceutical corporations accused of Genocide before ICC in The Hague"

Also, suing pharmaceutical companies in a world court would not be fair to them. It would make it so much difficult for them to find human guinea pigs to test their drugs on: "Patients used as drug 'guinea pigs'".

"GlaxoSmithKline was using Adams to study its anti-depressant Paroxetine,..an investigation by The Observer suggests the problem of GPs using patients as guinea pigs without their consent is more widespread. Some 3,000 doctors each year are paid £1,000 per patient, drug companies are spending £45m on getting doctors onside."

I could go on and on with another dozen or so links that point to what is being perpetrated upon humanity by certain aspects of the Pharmaceutical special interest cabal. Let us not wait until it touches, personally, before we decide to become civically active in addressing this tragedy, If we do, it may get to be too late.

Congressional & FDA Hearings Set For September

The US Congress Oversight and Investigation Committee will hold a Hearing on "Antidepressants and Children" on Thursday, September 9th in Washington, D.C.

They will be investigating what was known by government authorities at the FDA and the pharmaceutical makers on the safety of antidepressants before warnings began to be issued earlier this year on safety.

This is the hearing that was suppose to take place July 20, 2004 but was postponed at the last minute. Two days before the hearings we were notified that they would not take place on July 20th. The following day the Congressman in charge of the hearings took a position with a Pharmaceutical firm. The story is contained in the article to follow this e-mail about Tom and Kathy Woodward, our directors from PA. It is in today's issue of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Then on September 13 & 14 the FDA will hold their second hearing this year on the same issue. This Open Public Hearing will be held again at the Holiday Inn in Bethesda, Maryland.

The Columbia University Report on Children & SSRIs will be presented at the hearing. See more details in the article below.

For those wishing to speak at the FDA Hearing, that portion of the meeting will be held on the afternoon of the 13th. To speak you should call Anuja Patel at 301-827-6790.

For those wishing to submit a written report, call 800-741-8138 ex.
3014512544 or go to http://www.fda.gov, slide about half way down the page and click on References. Then go to Dockets. This on-line report may not be ready for a few days as the FDA has just announced this procedure today.

Ann Blake Tracy, Ph.D.
Executive Director, International Coalition For Drug Awareness
Author: Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? - Our Serotonin Nightmare & audio tape on safe withdrawal: "Help! I Can't Get Off My Antidepressant!"

Order Number: 800-280-0730
Website: http://www.drugawareness.org

Antidepressant Safety Review Set for September

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. advisory committee will meet in September to once again consider whether antidepressants raise the risk of suicide in children and teenagers, regulators announced on Monday.


Background on Postponed Congressional Hearing

Below is the article I just mentioned in the last e-mail from the Philadelphia Inquirer. This will explain what happened to cause the postponing of the Congressional Hearing on Antidepressants that was supposed to happen July 20, 2004.

And I would like to make a comment about the following statement by Greenwood:

"Besides, he added, the hearing was merely postponed until after the August recess. In tomorrow's column, I will let Greenwood explain in detail."

What he left out here is what a very advantageous move this was by the pharmaceutical companies. These antidepressants bring in about $100 million per day. Multiply about 51 days by $100 Million and subtract the $650,000 they will pay Greenwood as his start up pay and you see what an incredible investment this was for them. So Greenwood should not be allowed to get away with a statement like this to appease us.

As for me I concur fully with our PA directors, Tom and Kathy Woodward. They have stated my feelings on this from the minute I heard on July 18 in Washington, DC while awaiting the hearing: "As for the Woodwards, they believe every day Congress delays is a day another Julie could end up dead."

Thank you Tom and Kathy for an excellent article. Thank you for sharing your pain so that others will not have to go through what you have.

Once again I ask as I have so many times in the past decade and a half, "How many more innocent victims do we allow to die before we do something about this drug-induced nightmare?"


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