Drug companies paid up to $25,000 to influence FDA policy—the latest in a decades-long FDA/Big Pharma scandal. Since the 1990s, there’s been an explosion in the use and abuse of highly addictive painkillers such as oxycodone (the main ingredient in OxyContin) and hydrocodone (found in drugs like Vicodin). Given the alarming social, health, and even economic costs of this epidemic of painkiller abuse, there has been considerable pressure from both inside and outside the FDA to improve the regulation of these drugs. A recent “pay-to-play” scheme—exposed by the Washington Post earlier this month—hints at the FDA’s real priorities. The Post reports that companies paid as much as $25,000 to attend meetings with FDA officials to shape policy on how drug manufacturers can prove the “safety and effectiveness” of their painkillers.
The number of children on Medicaid taking antipsychotic drugs has tripled in just ten years—and shockingly, many of them are under the age of three. Note that these are not just antidepressants, which are bad enough. We are talking about strong antipsychotic drugs. These are so strong that many adults stop taking them because of severe side effects. How can a three-year-old protect himself or herself from the toxic effects of these drugs on their undeveloped brains and bodies?
Of the more than 400,000 children in the U.S. foster care system, it’s estimated that more than 50 percent are on some sort of psychiatric drug. Money is part of the reason. Foster parents are paid more to take care of a child with mental health issues. On average, a foster family earns about $17 a day for taking in a child who needs a basic level of care. But a child who is taking drugs such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, anxiety medications or anticonvulsant medications is worth around $1,000 a day. Many child and human rights advocates are concerned about the dramatic number of children who are classified as 'special needs' after entering the foster care system. One reason doctors, psychiatrists and therapists may not be speaking out against the unnecessary drugging of these children is because those who prescribe the drugs often benefit financially, receiving big payouts from pharmaceutical companies.
The average person may be prescribed 14,000 pills (this doesn’t even include over-the-counter meds) and by the time you reach your 70s you could be taking five or more pills every day, according to Pill Poppers, a documentary. Pill Poppers takes you on a journey through some of the most popular drugs in the world, from the ADHD drug Ritalin to drugs for erectile dysfunction, depression, pain and contraception, asking: are these pills really beneficial, or are they doing more harm than good?
Prescription drugs don’t hold the same stigma as illegal recreational drugs, even though they can be just as deadly, leading teens to regard them as a “safe” way to get high. In many cases there’s no difference between a recreational street drug and a prescription drug. For example, hydrocodone, a prescription opiate, is synthetic heroin. It’s indistinguishable from any other heroine as far as your brain and body is concerned. So, if you’re hooked on hydrocodone, you are in fact a good-old-fashioned heroin addict.
by Joseph Brean
Canadians are willfully blind to the lethal risks of prescription drugs, which kill people “every day” through side effects, even at proper doses, according to a Conservative MP.
“All drugs are poisons,” Terence Young told a packed audience this week at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. “The only difference between a drug and a […]
By Dr. Mercola
Deaths from prescription drug overdoses have been called the “silent epidemic” for years, and now, with one American dying every 19 minutes from an accidental prescription drug overdose,1 it’s being described as “the biggest man-made epidemic in the United States.”2
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, associate chief of neurosurgery at Grady Memorial Hospital and CNN’s chief […]
By Dr. Mercola
The picture of a drug addict in your head is probably not one of a grey-haired grandmother or grandfather, a middle-aged professional or a soon-to-be retiree.
But the face of drug addiction in the United States is changing, and a significant number of older adults, particularly those in the baby boomer generation, are […]