February 21, 2013

More on the corruption of psychiatry
1.  Arguments against psychiatry: My position
2. "Big pharma often commits corporate crimes,
      and this must be stopped" (BMJ)

About ME/CFS


I am not very fit because I did not sleep enough, so I am pleased I can fill this Nederlog mostly by quoting, from myself and from others.

As my title says, this is once again "
More on the corruption of psychiatry", and in fact I had wanted to change that subject today to another, but then not only is it convenient to quote: The quotes I give are also quite good, and make some very important points, that I formulate as follows:

(1) at present both the leading pharmacological companies and psychiatry have been getting away for decades with what are in fact serious crimes, simply in terms of the laws under which they operate, and
(2) these crimes will not be stopped - precisely as in the case of bankmanagers - until and unless those responsible for committing in them are made personally responsible for the crimes they, their companies or their professional organizations have  committed.

I am phrasing it as I see it, but then this seems to get considerable support from an article in the British Medical Journal I quote a part of in section 2, after a repeat of a section I wrote and uploaded on January 10.

1. Arguments against psychiatry: My position

There is a long series I wrote about the DSM-5, and the present text may be regarded as a continuation of it, but I gave up writing about the DSM after dr. Allen Frances - chief editor of the DSM-IV, emeritus professor of psychiatry, nominal opponent of the the DSM-5 - told the world that
The motives of the people working on DSM 5 have often been questioned. They have been accused of having a financial conflict of interest because some have (minimal) drug company ties and also because so many of the DSM 5 changes will enhance Pharma profits by adding to our already existing societal overdose of carelessly prescribed psychiatric medicine. But I know the people working on DSM 5 and know this charge to be both unfair and untrue.

Indeed, they have
made some very bad decisions, but they did so with pure hearts and not because they wanted to help the drug companies.

I think the truth is that "the people working on DSM 5" made some very bad - very immoral, very self serving - decisions with very corrupt hearts, and that they did so because they want to help both themselves and the drug companies, who also help them, to much higher incomes than they would have if only they were honest and moral medical men and women.

I also think
that the moral and intellectual corruption of "the people working on DSM-5 will vert probably cost mllions their health and very much money, because they are going to be falsely diagnosed in the terms of a bogus "bible of psychiatry" and will be prescribed drugs that may seriously harm them and are not likely to help them much if at all [1] - while these same prescriptions will enrich the psychiatrists who prescribe them and the drug companies that sell them: being a corrupt psychiatric pusher of dangerous drugs makes the pushers and their shills billions of dollars every year.

Also, I think dr. Frances knows this very well indeed, since this has been argued very well by the following (among many others - and it is not as if the profit motive, dishonesty, greed, egoism are motives that are hard to understand for a psychiatrist or are rare events in the US):
Anyway, after having been told that people I respect for having individual moral courage and good minds have been "unfair and untrue" to the "pure hearts" that composed the utterly rotten and completely pseudoscientific DSM-5 that evidently is meant to serve the financial interests of the drug companies and psychiatrists willing to push their pills into naive laymen in the name of medical science, I have given up on dr. Frances and any movement he is the figure head of.

Even so, the DSM-5 and corrupt psychiatrists constitute a great danger to - literally - tens of millions of persons who are naive about medicine, uninformed about psychiatry, and willing to trust their doctors

I am afraid that the APA and psychiatrists who are pill pushers can only be stopped by law and by huge claims
of damages, for fraudulent evidently behavior.

To spell this out:

My position is that
psychiatry is a pseudoscience that the last decades has been  purposively designed to push dangerous and medically worthless or unproven drugs into and onto naive and defenseless people in the name of medical science, and that this is to my way of thinking, that agrees with Hippocrates' primum non nocere = the prime duty of medical doctors is not to do harm, a crime that deserves criminal proceedings.

What I also say is that if this does not happen, the reason is that psychiatrists and their professional associations have succeeded in convincing the public that their pseudoscience is a real science, and that they succeeded to do so not by any rational scientific argument but by the propaganda of public relations: Loads of cleverly designed manipulative lies, deceptions, frauds, and misinformation.

And I 
quote from the article "fraud" in Wkipedia, minus the links to two notes:

In the United States, common law recognizes nine elements constituting fraud:

  1. a representation of an existing fact;
  2. its materiality;
  3. its falsity;
  4. the speaker's knowledge of its falsity;
  5. the speaker's intent that it shall be acted upon by the plaintiff;
  6. the plaintiff's ignorance of its falsity;
  7. the plaintiff's reliance on the truth of the representation;
  8. the plaintiff's right to rely upon it; and
  9. consequent damages suffered by the plaintiff.

As a matter of logical principle it is very easy to prove that the majority of psychiatric teachings, and many psychiatric prescriptions of drugs, precisely because these claim to be based on medical science, and are meant to sell people drugs or services for money, also in view of the many different psychiatric schools, and the fundamental nearly total absence of any good really scientific evidence, cannot be other than a "fraud" in the above described sense.

2. Big pharma often commits corporate crimes, and this must be stopped

My source for the following quote is yesterday's entry by 1 boring old man, called "system psychiatry", and his source is the British Medical Journal, which I cannot access for lack of money - and besides I also do think scientific publications ought to be freely accessible.

In any case, what follows are just two bits from an article, but then that article makes points that seem to me long overdue:
Big pharma often commits corporate crime, and this must be stopped
by Peter C G°tzsche professor
Nordic Cochrane Centre, Copenhagen, Denmark
British Medical Journal 2012;345:e8462 doi: 10.1136/bmj.e8462.

When a drug company commits a serious crime, the standard response from the industry is that there are bad apples in any enterprise. Sure, but the interesting question is whether drug companies routinely break the law. I googled the names of the 10 largest drug companies in combination with the term “fraud” and looked for offences on the first page for each company. The most common recent crimes were illegal marketing by recommending drugs for non-approved [off label] uses, misrepresentation of research results, hiding data on harms, and Medicaid and Medicare fraud. All cases were related to the United States and involved huge settlements or fines, exceeding $1bn [ú620.6m; €769m] each for four companies.

It was easy to find additional crimes committed by these same companies and committed outside the US. As the crimes were widespread and repetitive, they are probably committed deliberately—because crime pays. Pfizer, for example, agreed in 2009 to pay $430m to resolve charges related to illegal marketing of gabapentin [Neurontin], but as sales were $2.7bn in 2003 alone, and as about 90% was for off label use, such fines are far too small to have any deterrent effect. When Pfizer was fined $2.3bn for off label use of four other drugs, also in 2009, the company entered into a corporate integrity agreement with the US Department of Health and Human Services to detect and avoid such problems in future. Pfizer had previously entered into three such agreements in the past decade. Of the top 10 drug companies, in July 2012 only Roche was not bound by such an agreement. However, over 10 years in the 1990s, high level executives in Roche had previously led a vitamin cartel that, according to the US Justice Department, was the most pervasive and harmful criminal antitrust conspiracy ever uncovered. Roche agreed to pay $500m to settle charges, equivalent to about one year’s revenue from its US vitamin business.

This is courageous - I mean: writing by implication that all major pharmacological  corporations have committed major medical fraud, the US legal definition you find in section 1, and namely because this made them enormous amounts of profits.

1 boring old man commented, immediately after the above quote:
It’s refreshing to hear him use the word crime.
Indeed it is, and not only for moral or philosophical or semantical reasons, but for practical and legal reasons:

You do not stop a crime by making the criminals hand over a relatively small part of their criminal gains and then declare that because of having done so they will not be charged with the crimes they committed and that allowed them to rake in so much money that they can easily give up part of it to buy immunity from the law. That is not so much maintaining the law as protecting criminals, provided they are rich or powerful.

But there is more by professor
The disconnect between the drug industry’s proclamations—of the “highest ethical standards,” of “following … all legal requirements,” and providing “most accurate information available regarding prescription medicines”—and the reality of the conduct of big pharma is vast. These proclamations are not shared by the companies’ employees or experienced by the public. An internal survey of Pfizer employees in 2001 showed that about 30% didn’t agree with the statement, “Senior management demonstrates honest, ethical behavior.” When 5000 Danes ranked 51 industries in terms of the confidence they had in them, the drug industry came second to bottom, beaten only by automobile repair companies. A US poll also ranked the drug industry at the bottom, together with oil and tobacco companies.

The consequences of these crimes are huge, including the unnecessary deaths of thousands of people and many billions in losses for our national economies every year. As doctors have access only to selected and manipulated information, they believe drugs are far more effective and safe than they really are. Thus, both legal and illegal marketing leads to massive overtreatment of the population. In the US, the most sold class of drugs in 2009 [in US dollars] was antipsychotics. Antidepressants came fourth, after lipid lowering drugs and proton pump inhibitors. It is hard to imagine that so many Americans can be so mentally disturbed that these sales reflect genuine needs.

It is time to introduce tougher sanctions, as the number of crimes, not the detection rate, seems to be increasing. Fines need to be so large that companies risk going bankrupt. Top executives should be held personally accountable so that they would need to think of the risk of imprisonment when they consider performing or acquiescing in crimes. To bring the crimes to light also outside the US, we need laws that protect whistleblowers and ensure they get a fair proportion of the fines. We also need to avoid the situation that, by settling accusations of crimes, drug companies can pretend they are innocent, which they often do. We also need laws requiring firms to disclose all knowledge about their drugs and research data, and laws that not only allow but require drug agencies to publish what they know, without hiding under some absurd “proprietary nature of companies’ trial results” clause, as happened with rosiglitazone—with the consequence that the public was not informed that the drug causes myocardial infarction. Last but not least, doctors and their organisations should recognise that it is unethical to receive money that has been earned in part through crimes that have harmed those people whose interests doctors are expected to take care of. Many crimes would be impossible to carry out if doctors weren’t willing to participate in them.
Quite so! And for logical and legal reasons: Not only should there be new laws to regulate long standing crooked, immoral and dangerous practices, but the existing laws, such as the laws dealing with fraud, and the laws dealing with medical malpractice and malfeisance, should be properly applied and maintained, instead of allowing rich individuals to escape the legal consequences of their crimes by handing a portion of the profits they made by these very crimes to the state prosecuters. That is like fighting against piracy and theft by levying a state tax on pirates and thieves, provided they are rich or get or got enormously rich by their crimes, and leaving them free to continue piracy and theft.

Finally, a word of praise for the British Medical Journal:

In November last year, I reported that its editor has decided that its reviewers want to see the raw data for scientific publications, which is a very wise and sensible decision, because that is the only way in which one can try to prevent being flummoxed, as for example happened with the experiments with Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft.

Now the editors have the courage to publish  the truth about the crimes of the big pharmaceutical corporations - which have been written about before, but not to much effect. And indeed such crimes can be prevented only if medical persons take their individual moral and scientific responsibilies, namely not to harm patients and to speak honestly in matters of science, and also demand that their colleagues and the commercial firms they must rely upon for medical drugs abide by the same norms.

And this is not demanding much either: It is quite possible to make a good living as a medical professional or a fair profit as a pharmaceutical company without committing frauds or lying about efficacy or dangers of medical drugs.

All that is necessary for this is that medical persons follow their medical moral and scientific codes, and that public prosecutors find the guts to maintain the law, also in case of big companies and rich individuals, or get forced to do so.
Mar 2, 2013: Corrected some typos

About ME/CFS (that I prefer to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate search machines) which is a disease I have since 1.1.1979:
1. Anthony Komaroff

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS(pdf)

3. Hillary Johnson

The Why  (currently not available)

4. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2003)
5. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2011)
6. Eleanor Stein

Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)

7. William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)
Maarten Maartensz
Resources about ME/CFS
(more resources, by many)

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