from mercola.com: Most of the atypical antipsychotics were approved in the 1990’s, at which time they were reserved for a very small minority of serious mental illnesses; primarily schizophrenia and bipolar disorder – diseases afflicting an estimated three percent of Americans. More recently, some atypical antipsychotics have also been approved for the treatment of severe depression. Shockingly, children as young as 18 months are now receiving antipsychotic drugs, despite the fact that the diseases they’re designed to treat rarely develop before adolescence. Drug makers are increasingly getting caught in the act of illegal marketing of this class of drugs. In July, GlaxoSmithKline was found guilty of the largest health fraud in US history, and was fined $3 billion after pleading guilty to three counts of criminal misdemeanor and other civil liabilities relating to a number of different drugs, including Paxil and Wellbutrin, in June, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $2.2 billion for illegally marketing its drug Risperdal. In 2009 Eli Lilly was fined $1.4 billion for the illegal marketing of its antipsychotic drug Zyprexa. Bristol Myers Squibb was fined $515 million in 2007 to settle charges of illegal marketing of Abilify to child psychiatrists. Pfizer paid $301 million for illegal marketing of its drug Geodon, and AstraZeneca has paid out $520 million to settle illegal marketing charges of Seroquel. In each of these cases, the drug manufacturers were targeting children, despite the fact that none of the drugs in question were approved for use in that age group. To understand how effective these illegal marketing schemes are, consider that sales of antipsychotic drugs to children have increased eight-fold since 1993. Sales to teens have quintupled, while adult sales doubled in the same time frame. In 2008 alone, an estimated $6 billion was spent on off-label antipsychotics in the US, of which $5.4 billion was for uses based on uncertain evidence!
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