Friday, March 24, 2006

The fox is watching the hen house

WASHINGTON, March 22 — Stimulants like Ritalin lead a small number of children to suffer hallucinations that usually feature insects, snakes or worms, according to federal drug officials, and a panel of experts said on Wednesday that physicians and parents needed to be warned of the risk.

The consensus move by the Food and Drug Administration's pediatric advisory committee said that Ritalin and other drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder should not carry strong "black-box" warnings about potential cardiovascular and psychiatric risks.

I would like to know what drugs the FDA panel members are taking. Perhaps it is just money that they are taking. After all it is not a secret that the vast majority of FDA members used to work for the major drug companies. I am sure that is not a conflict of interest at all. I seriously wonder how many children of FDA panel members are on Ritalin.

Since Ritalin was first approved in the 1950's, stimulants to treat attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity have become among the most widely prescribed medicines in the world. In the United States alone, about 2.5 million children and 1.5 million adults take them; as many as 10 percent of boys ages 10 to 12 do

"The drugging of children has gotten so out of hand that America is waking up to this. This is a national catastrophe. I'm seeing children who are normal who are on five psychiatric drugs." Peter R. Breggin, M.D. Director, International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology.

Okay boys and girls ... Let’s not forget all the other great drugs that the FDA has approved over the years:

Vioxx, Celebrex, Bextra (Anti-inflammatory drugs) - associated with an increased risk of serious cardiovascular events (heart attacks and strokes) especially when they are used for long periods of time

Based on a trial that took place in 2000, both the FDA and Merck were aware that heart attacks were five times more likely in patients taking Vioxx than among those taking a similar drug, Sen. Grassley pointed out, but the FDA did nothing to change the labeling on the drug for nearly two years, while Merck aggressively marketed its product on nightly TV.

Accutane – (Acne drug also given to kids) Linked to over a hundred adolescent suicides and multiple reports of depression, Birth defects, Bone and joint damage, hair loss and the list goes on.

Crestor (Used to lower cholesterol levels) - risks of kidney failure and a rare muscle disease

Meridia (Weight loss drug) - has cardiovascular side effects

Serevent (Asthma medication) – *You have to love this one* increases the risk of dying of asthma

Fen Phen (Weight loss) – depression, anxiety and heart problems

Ephedra (weight loss) - has been linked with illness and death


... and to add insult to injury:

There is also a statute that limits lawsuits against drug makers for defective drugs when the drugs have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.


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