Thursday, March 27, 2008

“Lilly Settles Alaska Suit Over Zyprexa”.

This should not be a settlement but should be a jail term. Zyprexa is an anti-psychotic medication for people suffering from major mental illnesses. It helps many, many people, but many people were court ordered to take these medications. They had no choice. We, as a society forced them. Other were forced by the sheer desperation of their illnesses. And now it appears the company withheld information on side effects that would have allowed people to make more informed decisions. We have a responsibility to hold people accountable, to try and set it right. $15 million is nothing. People should be in jail.

Back in the early 90’s when I was a mental health case manager, the medications for schizophrenia that we prescribed were damn well barbaric. Haldol, prolixin etc are the nuclear bombs of anti-psychotics. They would turn an individual suffering from psychosis into a passive, drooling zombie in the course of a few hours.

The delusion and halucinations may subside and the person would appear better, but it was a definite trade off. Good yes, in that a person was no longer in danger, bad in that this person could barely function. It was always tough. When the newer generation of antipsychotic starting coming on the “market” everyone was thrilled. These were more focused on the actual chemical imbalance and had fewer side effects. They seemed to be so much more effective. We thought that these meds would offer an opportunity of a better life for people living with major mental illness. And they did.

Then this crap. The drug companies were holding back information on potential serious side effects. I can see the drug company sales reps coming into the offices with boxes of pizza and a bunch of pens and coffee cups with Zyprexa branded all over. They got their “fact” sheets and corporate training on selling the medications. It is just gross.

We all know the whole healthcare system is broken. It is very very bad. It is killing people. These drug companies along with the insurance companies are going to be part of the solution for Clinton, Obama and I assume McCain's health care plan. They want negotiate a solution to this system built on deception and exploitation.

I miss John Edwards.

What does Nadar say again?

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