|International Award Winning Film Director, Kevin P. Miller|
Yesterday I interviewed Internationally acclaimed filmmaker Kevin P. Miller.
Kevin has been instrumental in creating awareness regarding the way psychiatric prescription medications are handed out willy-nilly to patients whom are rarely informed about the side-effects.
In Kevin's ground-breaking first movie, Generation RX, he showed the infiltration of the DSM and FDA by pharmaceutical companies and the volume of people who seem to be profiting from the sales of these drugs.
Generation RX also challenged the labelling of children with psychiatric disorders and featured many experts who also challenged the model of using psychiatric medication as a first line treatment in children.
Footage was also shown from an FDA hearing where parents, husbands and wives, who had lost loved ones to suicide as a result of antidepressants, were given a chance [3 minutes] to try to convince the FDA that there was a suicide link with these drugs. It's well worth the watch and can be ordered here.
One would think, after watching Generation RX, that Miller had made his point. Job done so to speak. But Miller has more to say on the subject and his latest offering, Letters from Generation RX, is due for release next year.
I spoke with him yesterday about his new movie. The result of which is below.
BF: Firstly, congratulations on the success of Generation RX, It has received much critical acclaim, is this the reason that prompted you to make the second movie, Letters From Generation Rx?
KM: Thanks Bob. Letters From Generation RX really came about because I received about 2000 emails, letters and more from family members, teens, and others after I released Generation RX. Some said "Generation RX told the story of my life," others shared truly tragic tales of how their life went off the rails or loved ones died once they started using psychotropics. The outpouring of support and the avalanche of the emotional letters I received really motivated me to produce Letters From Generation RX.
BF: As an International award-winning filmmaker your work takes you all over the world. Do you feel that medicine regulators, such as the FDA, MHRA, Health Canada etc are doing enough to warn the public about the dangers of psychiatric medication?
KM: No I do not. What Generation RX revealed was that the FDA and others were actually helping the drug companies behind closed doors by strategizing to counter the negative publicity associated with the serious adverse events surrounding Prozac and the antidepressants in general. They plotted and schemed, even after they discovered the violence and suicidality these drugs can cause. That's what I really resent...that they would put all this energy and PR into protecting the drug companies without first rushing to make the public aware of the serious potential consequences. That is so unethical it's mind blowing. I've been following the FDA for 25 years. Over that time, I've constantly heard people say, "FDA does not have enough funding to do its job properly." What nonsense. Instead of protecting the public, FDA has colluded with the very groups they are charged to regulate. It is unconscionable.
BF: Have you faced opposition from medicine regulators, psychiatrists or the pharmaceutical industry?
KM: It's funny you ask that, Bob. On the first day that Generation RX was released, 12 drug companies and/or their PR firms purchased a copy of the film. So I knew immediately that the drug companies were going to do their utmost to try to discredit the film. They took the film apart like the competition does with a new iPhone, too see how it was assembled. They did their best to find inaccuracies and to deflect the science I included in GenRx. But they could not.
This is why it is so vital to produce films with integrity to force Pharma to deal with the cold, hard truths.
So, yes, I'm definitely on their radar. Do I care? No.
BF: There's been a lot of talk in the media over the years regarding the mass school shootings and the link to psychiatric medication. Does your new movie, Letters From Generation Rx, cover this subject?
KM: Letters From Generation RX does cover some of the tragic shootings over the past three years, but it is not the main emphasis of my new film. my main focus on real people and how their lives were altered by these drugs, in addition to what alternatives exist.
BF: Healthcare professionals, on average, spend about 5-10 minutes with a patient, more often than not they then use antidepressants as a first line treatment. How do you believe we can change the shift in healthcare professionals thinking?
KM: I had a scientist contact me recently who saw the teaser for Letters From Generation RX. She said she was moved to write because of the video. It was a long and effusive letter, a beautiful letter, truly. She said that my video forced her to examine the way her own science is conducted; how it affects patients’ outcomes...real people. I think that is the way forward. We need to move medical doctors and others who are prescribing these drugs to "put themselves and their neighbors shoes," or to at least to listen to the voices of their neighbors, and learn from them. Remove the arrogance from science.
There has been so much blow-back on psychiatric medicines since the release of Generation RX that many doctors are beginning to understand the unnecessary tragedies that are occurring and are questioning whether these drugs are appropriate for their patients. I don't think that's ever happened before on this kind of scale. In order to create meaningful change, this is vital.
BF: As an author and blogger I sometimes feel that I am preaching to the converted. In Letters From Generation Rx do you talk to people who were shocked when they learned the truth about some of the dangers with psychiatric medications?
KM: Absolutely. As a matter of fact, I always aim for the widest audience humanly possible. I often ask "how can I entice someone to examine this issue, particularly if they have no vested interest in it?" I have determined that it is through telling stories to the eyes of our neighbors.
BF: This time around your movie is accompanied by a book. Why did you decide to write a book and what is the book about?
KM: Again, I received 2000 emails and letters following the release of Generation RX. As you will see in the new film, so many of them are so powerful, so powerful, in fact, that I could not fit nearly the number of stories into the film that I wanted to. There will be dozens of other stories in the book, which will be released after the film has been completed. It’s just one more way to educate others and share stories that I think are so tragically important.
BF: Tell me a little bit about the Indiegogo campaign and how people can help with donations.
KM: We are in the middle of an Indiegogo campaign to raise the finishing funds for the film. This is the New Way, Bob. I have never enjoyed "Michael Moore budgets," so I must rely on real people who care about these issues. I see it as an opportunity for people to make their voices heard. I've never done this before, so it is a bit like throwing yourself at the feet of the public worldwide. It is daunting and humbling, because we are depending upon others to get involved so that we can finish the film. And make people proud they did so.
BF: Thanks for talking to me Kev.
Below is a trailer for Letters From Generation RX. It's a movie that will make pharmaceutical companies and medicine regulators squirm. It's a movie where those harmed by psychiatric medications or those left behind to pick up the pieces of a suicide get their chance to tell it like it is.
It's also a movie that should be seen by healthcare professionals. It's a wake-up call and the clear message is that this problem is not going to be tackled by the likes of the FDA or MHRA, it has to be tackled by the agents [doctors] who hand these drugs out blindly.
I've never really been a fan of global regulators, they've had many years to get their house in order and they have constantly failed on a huge scale to protect the public from unsafe drugs.
The only thing regulators seem to be efficient at is closing down websites that offer cheap generics because, apparently, these cheaper generics, are poorly made. They have no concern about the content of these drugs, they close down and target these websites because the pharmaceutical industry are losing money to such competition. If the regulators really cared about the content of these drugs then they would never have granted them a licence in the first place. They are also very good at telling us that safety committees have reviewed the evidence regarding the safety and efficacy of psychiatric medications. What they fail to tell us is that members of those committees have financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.
The British drug regulator, the MHRA, recently announced the retirement of its CEO Kent Woods. He was replaced by Ian Hudson. Hudson was World Safety Officer at SmithKline Beecham, who later became known as GlaxoSmithKline. It's almost like a movie itself. If you've ever watched The Omen trilogy you'll know exactly what I mean.
Miller's new offering, Letters From Generation RX, should be on your list of things to watch... if only to protect yourselves and your children from the harm these drugs can cause.
Here's the trailer. [Opens in new window]
Kevin P. Miller can be followed on Twitter here and the 'Letters' Facebook page is here.