- Personal ideology trumping science
- FDA and politicians bedding with pharmaceutical companies that make psychoactive drugs
Public health, pharmaceutical, and healthcare policies of the United States have put Caucasians–the major policy-makers in America for quite some time–on a different health trajectory than Germans, French, U.S. Latinos, British, Canadians, Australians, and Swedes.
Ted Talk version
Build More Prisons?" –Rick Steves
effect on substance use, but kills hundreds of thousands &
prevents valuable research of cannabis and hallucinogens
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Washington Post: How the war on drugs creates violence
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The UNODC calls for decriminalization?
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PBS Frontline: The Staggering Death Toll of Mexico’s Drug War
The FDA has a sordid history of pushing through mental health and psychoactive meds whose adverse effects are not fully known.
Can Americans trust that a new FDA commissioner would be wary of psychoactive drugmakers who are responsible for billions of dollars in fraud against the U.S. Department of Justice and the American taxpayer and have not made significant progress in preventing or treating mental illness and addiction in the past four decades?
The FDA has clearly not kept Americans physically safe from the effects of psychoactive drugs. Does the FDA keep patients and the American taxpayer financially safe? New mental health medications the past two decades have primarily been expensive "me too" drugs that have the same mechanism of action and efficacy of drugs that are already on the market. Putting these medications on the market does nothing to help patients. Does continued Big Pharma involvement in mental health research do more harm than good?
Prime example: Brintillex (vortioxetine). According to STAT News, "This antidepressant may be no better than cheaper alternatives. But demand could soon soar. Drug makers Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Lundbeck are counting on approvals to create new demand for the drug and new justification to convince insurance companies to pay for it ($290 for 30 days). The makers of this brand-name antidepressant are betting that they can win the first-ever regulatory approval for the treatment of cloudy thinking in people with depression."
Lack of Progress: FDA-Approved Drug Therapies vs Classic Hallucinogens to Treat Addiction
America's Most Admired Mental Health Lawbreaker: Over the course of 20 years, Johnson & Johnson created a powerful antipsychotic medication, promoted it illegally to children and the elderly, covered up the side effects, and made billions of dollars
NIMH Director: Taking the Long View on Antipsychotics
Jeffrey Lieberman, author of the NIMH-CATIE Schizophrenia Trial discusses the effectiveness of antipsychotic erugs in patients with chronic schizophrenia: Efficacy and Safety Outcomes of the CATIE Trial. "As a result of preferential use, the cost of this second-generation antipsychotics has gotten increasingly substantial to the point that now the US market is about $10 billion a year, the global market is $14 billion a year, and this, along with the cost of other drugs, has put a real strain on the budgets of Medicaid and other third party payers. We're over a decade into the second-generation antipsychotic drug era, and the efficacy claims are really not robustly or consistently substantiated. The side effect issue has become more complicated, as we're going to hear, and I'll say more about it in a second, and the improvement in long-term outcome really hasn't been demonstrated; as for cost-effectiveness, the data just plain ain't there...There are concerns and questions as to whether we simply traded neurologic side effects (tardive dyskinesia, EPS) for metabolic side effects (weight gain, diabetes) with the newer medicines." –Jeffrey Lieberman, MD
The NIMH-CATIE trial: What did we learn?
Author and Ex-DSM Task Force Chair Allen Frances says psychiatric overdiagnosis is hurting Americans: Expert tells Senate panel life's setbacks too often answered with medication
2 Legit 2 Quit Worsening Our Mental Health and Feeding the Stigma of Mental Illness: Psychiatrists established their financial legitimacy (ability to be paid by insurance) not by good work that they do, but through the expansion of the DSM and overdiagnosis. Despite all the diagnoses that are possible, there are still only 4 main classes of psychiatric medications.
Have we stopped giving subsidies to Big Pharma for providing educational materials that might be incorrect or misleading, especially for mental health and pain studies that have highly subjective and easily manipulated outcome measures?
Dr. Lieberman: "The one thing that I might share in common with Steven Jobs...is that we both feel that LSD was a very important, sort of, experience to have"
The longer these substances cannot be easily researched, the worse it will be considered yet another mental health and drug policy failure.
Policy failures have caused the opioid epidemic as well as the current state of America's broken mental health care system. Principal liability must go to the FDA; America's problem with psychoactive prescription drugs has lasted for decades.
In the case of opioids, investigations by the Justice Department, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Senate Finance Committee were too late to save lives. This epidemic is a powerful reminder that we need to base our public policies on strong research evidence.
“Overstated or unsubstantiated findings are not helpful for translating evidence into effective policy, and contribute to public, policymaker and media perceptions (often accurate) of unreliable, flip-flopping research findings,” Ross Koppel and Spencer Jones recently argued in Health Affairs.
Don't Hold Your Breath: Will "The Coming Boom" in Brain Medicines Include Mental Health?
NY Times: Even Talking About Reducing Drug Prices Can Reduce Drug Prices
Drug Industry Launches Ad Campaign Aimed at Lawmakers: Lobbies against efforts to rein in prescription costs
Fortunately, some efforts are underway to identify best approaches for containing the epidemic, preventing future overdoses, revisiting policies that may not be helpful, and formulating new ones that are. But a critical lesson is that policies do matter, and the social and economic costs of getting them wrong can be very high."
This applies to any psychoactive medication.
Notable comments on Twitter from psychiatrist Allen Frances, former Chair of the DSM-IV Task Force:
"Pharma spends fortunes persuading politicians high drug prices are great for patients & taxpayers- who have no say"
"Drug prices will be crazy til we the people end Pharma's stranglehold on politicians meant to represent us, not them"
"'Reefer madness' always myth. Pot pretty safe compared to legal drugs like alcohol, prescription opioids & benzos"
Significant progress in mental health will take a culture change and an end to FDA approval tricks that involve mental health medications.
– Archbishop Killed by his Government Closer to Sainthood
cost of the American opioid and drug war fiasco. Hepatitis C may lie latent for years and not cause harm to patients. However, when it become acute, it destroys the liver and kills those who have it. Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) is a new drug that can essentially cure hepatitis C. Made by Gilead Sciences, Inc., Sovaldi costs about $1,000 a pill, or about $84,000 for a patient on a standard, 12-week treatment schedule.
- Claiborne County, TN, jail says most inmates have hepatitis C
- Costly hepatitis C Drugs Threaten To Bust Prison Budgets
- Minnesota prison inmates sue to access to costly hepatitis C meds
The U.S. is unique among Western countries in that it doesn’t regulate drug prices. One nurse tells the story of what it’s like to watch patients get sicker when they can’t afford a pricey treatment.
Both have significant influence on circuitry related
to mental illness, addiction, and consciousness.
Holds American Healthcare to a Higher Standard
Epidemic that Medicine Made:
Prescription Opioids: Are Our
Pain Killers Killing Our Patients?
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Black Lung, Black Hearts:
Mining, Poverty, Addiction, Dis-Grace