Psychiatric Drug Litigation At All Time High
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada -- (ReleaseWire) -- 08/10/2006 --A Psychiatric Drug Adverse Reaction Report Hot Line could lead to thousands more suits against psychiatrists forcing these drugs onto patients, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) announced. The group launched a reporting system on it’s website, http://www.cchr.org/drugreporting, to make it easier for patients to report drug risks. This was in response to Food and Drug Administration revelations about antidepressants. Three alerts were issued this month warning that homicidal thoughts are a side effect of the antidepressant, Effexor; that antidepressants can cause a rare lung disease in newborns of mothers who take antidepressants during pregnancy and that migraine medication taken concurrently with antidepressants could result in a life-threatening condition called serotonin syndrome.
The warnings follow an Alaska Supreme Court ruling on June 30 against enforced psychiatric drugging in the state’s institutions. Bruce Wiseman, president of CCHR in the U.S., said that the hotline doesn’t replace the FDA’s Medwatch drug reporting system but augments it and provides a service for people who may be reticent about reporting direct to a government agency. “We are particularly interested in patients being forced onto these drugs,” he said.
With a more than 1,700 percent increase in international drug regulatory agency warnings against psychiatric drugs since 2002, the New Jersey Law Journal this month reported nearly 500 suits against antipsychotic drugs causing diabetes and a settlement of 8,000 more suits costing the manufacturer of the antipsychotic drug Zyprexa $690 million. Further suits are expected over antidepressants causing suicide in children and adolescents and adults.
The Alaska Supreme Court recognized the dangers of psychiatric drugs, stating, “Given the nature and potentially devastating impact of psychotropic medications…we now similarly hold that the right to refuse to take psychotropic drugs is fundamental.” Faith Myers challenged the constitutionality of the Alaska Psychiatric Institute (API) to force her to take psychotropic drugs when she was committed to the facility on February 3, 2003.
The court further stated: “Psychotropic drugs ‘affect the mind, behavior, intellectual functions, perception, moods, and emotion’ and are known to cause a number of potentially devastating side effects…Courts have observed that ‘the likelihood [that psychotropic drugs will cause] at least some temporary side effects appears to be undisputed.’”
CCHR’s Psychiatric Drug Adverse Reaction Report Hot Line also asks people to report what “mental disorder” the drug was prescribed for and whether any physical test was conducted to confirm the diagnosis. The FDA has been criticized for approving psychiatric drugs for diagnoses that lack scientific veracity. The FDA has recently come under fire from US Senator Charles Grassley, who has asked the inspector general to investigate the agency for the relationship that he claims has developed between the FDA and drug manufacturers, where the two work together to manipulate scientific studies and hide any negative findings from the public.
An April University of Massachusetts and Tuft University study disclosed financial ties between psychiatric drug manufacturers and psychiatrists deciding which “mental disorders” should be included in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Every psychiatrist sitting on panels deciding upon “mood disorders” and “psychotic disorders” had drug company ties. Sales of antidepressants and antipsychotics for these disorders account for more than $22 billion a year internationally.
People wanting to report an adverse psychiatric drug reaction can log onto http://www.cchr.org/drugreporting.
CCHR, which was established by the Church of Scientology in 1969 to investigate psychiatric abuse has had informed consent laws as one of its most pivotal campaigns, obtaining its first law in 1976. For more information go to www.cchr.org