Zantac Lawsuit

Researching drug company and regulatory malfeasance for over 16 years
Humanist, humorist

Friday, February 23, 2018

Media Frenzy - Antidepressants Are Safe!

Lead author, Andrea Cipriani

Like hungry sharks, today the "mainstream" media feasted on lies and half-truths as it dutifully regurgitated a new study analysis by Andrea Cipriani et al. The so-called "study," heavily promoted by "mental health" organizations, claims to determine drugs marketed as "antidepressants" are safe and effective.

Twitter pill-pushers, the Royal College of Psychiatrists and other "mental health" campaigners backslapped each other throughout the day. I even received a few emails from family and friends inquiring if this is the definitive study.

No, it is not. And I don't state this because of the large boxes of substantial evidence I've compiled as a drug safety blogger for 12 years. Instead, the timing of this self-proclaimed "study" and the critical info it intentionally omits is basically the smoking gun that points to fraud.

The study, which was merely a "research" team reviewing 522 trials of "antidepressants," claims to show "antidepressants" work better than placebo. What the Twitter pill-pushers failed to declare is that out of the 522 trials examined by "researchers," 78% of the studies were funded by drug companies. The 522 trials lasted only eight weeks. This pooled "study" doesn't determine that long-term use of "antidepressants" is safe or effective. But this question was intentionally left out as drug company studies--and researchers who profit from drug companies--typically never ask questions to which they already know the answers. Also, nowhere in the study does it discuss the dangers of SSRIs nor note that these drugs were never intended for long-term use.

Taking to Twitter, the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) gleefully seemed to wet its pants as it tweeted false claims. One taunting RCP tweet to BBC investigative journalist, Shelley Jofre, read...

The RCP looks foolish for such immature tweets, and I'd state this even if this "study" were accurate.

Nevertheless, Jofre previously investigated "antidepressants" and showed that many consumers suffered severe withdrawal and suicidality caused by ADRs. She has also highlighted that these drugs can and do cause violence and deadly harm to self and others.

RCP's Professor Pariante further claimed, "This meta-analysis finally puts to bed the controversy on antidepressants." I doubt Pariante's pie-in-the-sky wishes will come true, but his apparent delusions include the belief that if he makes loud and frequent proclamations, the public will eventually accept them as truth.

I'm unsure if Pariante's proclamation refers to his delusion that "antidepressants" work better than sugar pills taken for 8 weeks. Or is Pariante claiming "antidepressants" don't cause suicidal thoughts, actions and suicide itself? Is Pariante stating akathisia, a condition that can and does lead to suicide, is of no concern?  Does he believe horrendous withdrawal effects people suffer when trying to come off them are merely consumers' delusions? Or perhaps Pariante may have been talking about the birth defects and infant deaths SSRIs cause?

Pariante pranced around on various TV and radio shows throughout the day making his outlandish claims based on a study that used data funded by drug companies. To diminish this fact, Pariante, like many other pill pushers, claimed drug-funded studies are unbias. Today on Science Media Centre's website, he proclaimed "...the paper analyses unpublished data held by pharmaceutical companies, and shows that the funding of studies by these companies does not influence the result, thus confirming that the clinical usefulness of these drugs is not affected by pharma-sponsored spin."

Really? Such a claim is outlandish whether one is talking about dangerous drugs or a study funded by CocaCola claiming Coke tastes better than Pepsi.

Dr. David Healy, a professor of psychiatry at Bangor University, had this to say:
Bizarrely, Helen Stokes-Lampard, who is Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, tweeted about the new analysis:
Begs the question why Cipriani et al decided to pull data from studies that lasted just 8 weeks if these types of drugs are supposed to be taken for 'at least six months.'

For Americans reading this, a general practitioner is your average doctor. It's general practitioners who prescribe more SSRIs than psychiatrists. Now, it seems, they have something to hang their hats on to.

Pattern of Deceit

So, anyway, back to my theory about the timing of today's "news."

I've been blogging about drug safety for more than a decade and have seen patterns emerge when public opinion begins to sway regarding "antidepressants" safety and effectiveness. In the past year, several authors have released books regarding the dangers of antidepressants. While this isn't new news as many authors have exposed dangerous drugs and pharma/psychiatric industry fraud, today social media more quickly disseminates info directly to the public when promoting new books. One example is that Johann Hari, who recently gained media attention when extracts from his new book, 'Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions', were published in The Observer. Hari was also given a platform on various radio and TV shows. Hari, was shut down by the RCP and the various lickspittles hired by the Science Media Centre. (More on them later)

It seems large bureaucratic "mental health" organizations & their spin doctors aren't agile enough to keep up their lame rebuttals; hence, today they joined the media circus to make a loud splash with their new carefully planned spin.

The public has also recently seen increased attention regarding the link between prescription drugs and violence as more info unfolds regarding two high-profile cases of mass shootings. A recent autopsy report on Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock noted he had "anti-anxiety" drugs in his system at the time of death. (1) Meanwhile, Henderson Behavioral Health, an independent organization, has released information noting that Florida shooter, Nicolas Cruz, was "receiving mental health treatment services and that he was taking medication." (2)

After both of these mass shootings, the public began asking whether or not the shooters were taking prescription drugs. They asked because it is increasingly becoming more difficult for prescribers to deny the link between prescription drugs and violence given that the majority of these massacres have been carried out by someone under the influence of prescription drugs.

This threatens the financial livelihood of members of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and other "mental health" organizations. When more people question the safety of "antidepressants" psychiatrists whose jobs increasingly rely on lucrative prescribing, will lose their livelihood or be forced to provide meaningful therapy.

The timing of this new "study" was carefully crafted by those who financially benefit from promoting "antidepressant" consumption. This includes the pharmaceutical companies who paid for a large portion of the studies pooled by Cipriani. The lead author was, today, busily answering prepared tweets today from industry admirers who are thrilled to see Cipriani prancing around. Pay no mind to the fact that Cipriani is really an emperor with no clothes.

Science Media Centre: Heavy on the Media, Soft on Science

So, how does a canned "study"on such an old subject attract heavy media attention? The Science Media Centre (SMC) to the rescue. SMC is a self-proclaimed think tank of spin doctors disguised as scientists. You can read more about them here. When I first started blogging, it was primarily the job of pharmaceutical reps and opinion leaders to promote drug use. Now, it seems, SMC and social media PR staff are doing the job for them. Despite large PR budgets and staff, I anticipate more people will question the safety of these drugs as more school children are violently killed by former classmates. RCP knows this, too.

But back to today's sharks and their bloody feeding frenzy: Do you know that Bull sharks eat other sharks including juvenile members of their own species? Present-day psychiatry knows it's a dying field and with the promotion of today's new analysis by all those at the RCP, it would suggest that they will always be the silent bystanders as many people struggle at the hands of these drugs.

Finally, I want to leave the last word to the study authors. One has to bear in mind here, that suicide figures are rising as prescriptions for "antidepressants" increase. Here's the death warrant they promoted today in the British media:

"More people should be offered medication when suffering from mental health problems."

Bob Fiddaman

(1) Las Vegas shooter had anti-anxiety medicine in system, autopsy says
(2) Parkland Shooting Suspect Was Receiving Treatment, Medication When Probe Closed

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