DON'T BE A BIG PHARMA VICTIM - USE COMMON SENSE
Carolyn Dean, MD, ND and
A study called �Effectiveness of Antipsychotic Drugs in Patients with Chronic Schizophrenia�, published in The New England Journal of Medicine in September 2005, compared how well some of the newer psychiatric drugs stacked up against their older competitors. Some interesting and unexpected findings were revealed.
The study showed that people diagnosed as �mentally ill� operate with common sense. Specifically, the study found that 74 percent of patients receiving antipsychotic drugs for chronic schizophrenia stopped taking their medications due to intolerable side effects or because they just weren�t working.
The test compared the older drug perphenazine (Etrafon, Trilafon) with olanzapine (Zyprexa), quetiapine (Seroquel), risperidone (Risperdal), and ziprasidone (Geodon).
These drugs are labeled for schizophrenia but are also being used to treat manic depression and psychosis. It�s interesting to note that more and more of our elderly population are being labeled psychotic in a nursing home environment, and these drugs, often in combination with other drugs, are being used as chemical straightjackets to control patients.
What makes this study different from the run-of-the-mill drug studies is that it was not created, financed, and/or promoted by the drug industry. It was initiated by the National Institutes of Health to provide psychiatrists (and presumably their patients) with real information about the effectiveness of these drugs as well as a comparison between them.
Due to huge marketing efforts, use of these drugs has exploded and, according to a Wall Street Journal article covering this study, has reached a $10.1 billion a year sales ticket in the US alone. Also noted in the Wall Street Journal article, some psychiatrists and researchers have been critical of how drug companies developed and promoted these drugs. Hooray!
Our investigation of prices for the average dosage of the newer drugs found that a month�s supply of Zyprexa (15mg) costs around $390, Seroquel (400mg) $350, Geodon (40mg) $260, and Risperdal (4mg) $230. Whereas, the older drug, perphenazine is much cheaper, under the name Etrafon it costs about $27.99 for a thirty-day supply of 10 mg tablets but the same drug under the brand name of Trilafon (16mg) costs $187.99.
If our modern medical system ran with as much common sense as the mentally ill demonstrated in this study, taxpayers would take seriously the fact that the drugs used in this study also account for 90 percent of all antipsychotics sold nationally. They are, in fact, a huge drain on Medicaid programs that spend a whopping $3 billion or more a year on these drugs, more than for any other class of drug. In short, we taxpayers are far from getting much of a bang for the buck picking up the tab for these drugs.
We urge you to take some time to rummage through the website of PsychRights � Law Project for Psychiatric Rights psychrights.org/index.htm and not only read the New England Journal of Medicine article about this schizophrenia drug study in its entirety, but also check out the array of other articles covering similar issues regarding the abusive and forced drug treatment of people diagnosed as mentally ill.
In particular, please make an effort to read Allen Jones' Full Whistle-Blower Report on Drug Company influence on states' drug purchases. As taxpayers, we all need to know, in detail, just how Big Pharma buys its way into framing public policy and law without our knowledge or consent. Jones is a former investigator in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Office of Inspector General, Bureau of Special Investigations. He was fired for doing his job properly because he wanted to expose the payola and other corruption between Big Pharma and state officials in the implementation of Big Pharma�s �model program� called the �Texas Medication Algorithm Project� (TMAP) in Pennsylvania.
TMAP is being touted as a national model under the President�s New Freedom Commission. The New Freedom Commission�s mission is to ensure mental health screenings for all Americans so that those diagnosed with mental illness can be prescribed approved drug-based treatment protocols, which, as Jones pointed out, are designed by Big Pharma.
As you can see, Elissa and I are not alone in our belief that what goes on in modern medicine makes as much sense as Alice found falling down that famous rabbit hole into Wonderland. No, we aren�t just trying to sell you cheaper antipsychotic drugs, we want you to be aware of an ever-growing army of health freedom advocates who also happen to promote common sense in health matters as well as the use of natural healing arts products and services. Therefore, we thought we would share some useful information about what is happening in the world of Orthomolecular Medicine vis-�-vis treating chronic schizophrenia, manic depression, and psychosis. We want to illustrate what other choices you have, should you or some loved one have mental health symptoms and don�t want to be a victim of Big Pharma.
So, what is Orthomolecular Medicine, you ask? First of all, two-time Nobel Prize-winner, the late Linus Pauling and Dr. Abram Hoffer, who is still alive-and-kicking, defined Orthomolecular Medicine as the treatment of disease by the provision of the optimum molecular environment, especially the optimum concentrations of substances normally present in the human body. Orthomolecular Medicine uses safe, effective nutritional therapy to fight illness.
As it happens, I sit on the peer-review board of Orthomolecular Medicine News Service (OMNS), a service that publishes peer-reviewed press releases for the benefit of the medical community. One of their most recent releases is a paper entitled, �Mental Health Treatment That Works.�
The October 7, 2005 OMNS press release, written by Dr. Andrew Saul, is reprinted in its entirety. Feel free to print out our complete article including the press release below and give it to your own MD and others in your circle of acquaintances, who might be interested in health care issues.
Mental Health Treatment That Works Orthomolecular Medicine News Service (OMNS) Dr. Andrew Saul
�Doctors report that mental health problems including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, ADHD, anti-social and learning disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorders often have a common cause: insufficient nutrients in the brain. Nutritionally-oriented physicians assert that the cure for these problems is to give the body the extra nutrients it needs, especially when under abnormal stress.
Orthomolecular medical researchers say the future of psychiatry is in nutrition because nutrition has such a long, safe and effective history of correcting many mental problems. Nutrients such as the B-vitamins are most successful when taken regularly, taken in relatively high doses, and taken in conjunction with vitamin C, the essential fatty acids (EFAs), and the minerals magnesium and selenium.
A summary of what has worked for many people follows below. The safety of vitamins and minerals is extraordinary, and the expense of trying them is much less than the cost of hazardous pharmaceutical drugs. These nutrients can be purchased in a discount or heath store.
Taking 1,000 mg of vitamin B-3 three times a day often cures mild to moderate depression. Dramatic results are often achieved within one week of beginning this nutritional program, especially in alcoholics.
Sometimes a simple deficiency of vitamin D causes depression. 3,000 I.U./day from all sources can alleviate the problem. 3,000 mg/day or more of niacin (vitamin B-3), along with the same quantity of vitamin C, taken in divided doses throughout the day can successfully treat both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Vitamins B-3, B-6, C and the minerals magnesium and zinc frequently produce a good response in ADHD and autistic children.
Vitamins B-6, folate, and B-12 taken together lower elevated homocysteine levels in the elderly while improving mental function.
As pointed out by chemistry professor and vitamin discoverer Roger J. Williams, PhD, each individual has different nutritional needs and responds differently to nutrients. Are you tired of being depressed, suffering from anxiety, paying huge prescription drug bills for unsafe prescriptions that don�t solve the problem or produce undesirable side effects? Are you tired of the piece-meal trial and error approach to finding a solution to your mental or emotional problems? If so, adults should consider the following nutritional protocol, which will bathe your brain and nerves in natural nutrients and may well produce dramatic results. The cost of trying the program below is less than the cost of a typical doctor�s office visit. It is safe and convenient. All of these nutrients can be purchased at large discount stores.
After the morning meal take:
After the midday meal:
After the evening meal: A multivitamin tablet 1,000 mg of vitamin B-3 1,000 mg of vitamin C One B-complex tablet 100 mg of vitamin B-6
All of the above supplements are safe in the recommended amounts, as well as inexpensive and convenient. There is not even one death per year from vitamins. Pharmaceutical drugs, properly prescribed and taken as directed, kill over 100,000 Americans annually. Hospital errors kill still more.
Restoring health must be done nutritionally, not pharmacologically. All cells in all persons are made exclusively from what we drink and eat. Not one cell is made out of drugs.
The most common mistake made by people who take vitamins is they fail to take enough vitamins.
The reason one nutrient can cure so many different illnesses is because a deficiency of one nutrient can cause many different illnesses. www.orthomolecular.org
The peer-reviewed Orthomolecular Medicine News Service is a non-profit and non-commercial informational resource.
Editorial Review Board: Abram Hoffer, M.D., Harold D. Foster, Ph.D., Bradford Weeks, M.D., Carolyn Dean, M.D. N.D., Erik Paterson, M.D., Thomas Levy, M.D., J.D.
W. Saul, contact person.
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References for further reading:
Hoffer A. Vitamin B-3: Niacin and its amide. www.doctoryourself.com/hoffer_niacin.html
Also: Cheraskin E, Ringsdorf WM and Brecher A. Psychodietetics. Bantam
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Dr. Carolyn Dean is a medical doctor, naturopathic doctor, herbalist, acupuncturist, nutritionist, as well as a powerful health activist fighting for health freedom as president of Friends of Freedom International. Dr. Dean is the author of over a dozen health books, the latest of which is "Death By Modern Medicine".
Elissa Meininger, is Vice President of Friends of Freedom International and co-founder of the Health Freedom Action Network, a grassroots citizens' political action group. She is also a health freedom political analyst and can be heard on the natural health radio show SuperHealth, broadcast weekly on station WKY (SuperTalk AM 930) in Oklahoma City.
It�s interesting to note that more and more of our elderly population are being labeled psychotic in a nursing home environment, and these drugs, often in combination with other drugs, are being used as chemical straightjackets to control patients.