105 Peavey Rd, Suite 116, Chaska, MN 55318
May 8, 2007
Follow the Money on TeenScreen
(Food and Drug Administration) "black box" warning states:
"Antidepressants increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior
in children and adolescents." With this clear and present
danger, why has the use of antidepressants and other psychotropic drugs
for children in general, for poor children on Medicaid, and for foster
children skyrocketed in recent years? Follow the money and follow the
state take-over of parenting.
Dangerous coalition between financial
state take-over of parenting.
Minnesota House of Representatives, for example, responded to massive
opposition against funding the controversial psychological screening
program, TeenScreen, by disguising it as "suicide prevention" in the safe
schools levy. It remains in the massive House education funding bill,
awaiting conference committee action.
to cover up the dangers and problems of screening and the resulting drug
use was the bill's author, Rep. Mindy Greiling, who also serves as a
national board member for the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill
(NAMI). TeenScreen is a project of NAMI, but not without the ugly
appearance of corporate manipulation. NAMI is massively funded by the
drug companies that are reaping huge profits from the use of psychoactive
an enormous conflict of interest: NAMI fronts for and is funded by
drug companies as an "advocacy" group for the mentally ill;
NAMI pushes government programs and grants that lead to the wildly
increased use of dangerous, ineffective, and expensive drugs on children,
contrary to the advice of the FDA. It's a strategy that's working in
Minnesota and many other states.
criticism about the corrupting influence of corporate cash in medical and
legislative affairs brought first-ever disclosure from Eli Lilly about
who it's funding. A May 1st Wall Street Journal story titled
Under Criticism, Drug Maker Lilly Discloses Funding chronicles these
contributions to several groups and institutions, totalling $11.8 million
-- in three months alone. NAMI received over half a million
dollars from this one company for programs that are likely to
aggressively promote controversial mental screening schemes.
Two of the
three classes of psychiatric drugs used for children are under the FDA's
strongest black box warning, short of a ban, for causing suicide or
increased death rates. Just this past week the FDA increased the black
box warnings on antidepressants, including Prozac, to cover 18 to 24 year
olds. The connection of Prozac to suicide and violence has been known by
Lilly since the 1980s and not disclosed except via lawsuits. None of
these drugs have shown long-term effectiveness in treating the various
mental disorders for which they are prescribed, especially in children.
TeenScreen, pushed by NAMI and by politicians closely allied with NAMI,
admits to an 84% false-positive identification rate. Lots of children
will be falsely labelled as being "mentally ill" by this vague
and unreliable psychological screening program, and psychotropic drug
sales will go up even more.
also did not disclose other issues. For example, its drug Zyprexa has
serious diabetes-causing effects and other harmful metabolic effects.
Lilly is under intense criticism and multiple lawsuits by thousands of
7 state attorneys general, the company's; own shareholders, as well as
Congressional investigation charged with failure to disclose these
life threatening side effects, for illegally marketing Zyprexa for
unapproved uses in vulnerable populations like foster children, and for
making unsubstantiated claims about the drug.
also sponsoring "research" to "treat" adolescents who
are "at risk" of schizophrenia, but have not yet been diagnosed with the disorder, with this very controversial, dangerous, and ineffective drug, Zyprexa.
(See here for
and file NAMI members are doing their best to cope with friends and
family members dealing with mental and emotional problems, their
leadership dances to the drug industry tune, rarely asking questions or
raising concerns about the dismal history of these drugs' safety or
effectiveness or the industry is constant stonewalling and cover-up of
damaging, yet crucial clinical information, such as that in the center of
the Zyprexa controversy.
expose in Mother Jones Magazine, Lilly was NAMI's number one donor
during the period between 1996 and 1999. The company gave $2.87
million of the $11.72 million that NAMI received from 18 different drug
companies during that period. In addition, Lilly executive Jerry
Radke was "on loan" to NAMI for so-called
"strategic planning." One could legitimately ask the question if the "strategic" planning included
the hatching and promotion of TeenScreen.
Flynn, the current executive director of TeenScreen, was also the
executive director of NAMI while Lilly was doing "strategic planning" for
NAMI and contributing massive amounts of cash. Later Ms. Flynn was caught
lying to Congress about the Pinellas Country School Board rejection of
TeenScreen by a large margin. She had to formally apologize to the school
board for misrepresenting them.
addition, the same
public relations firms that have been promoting TeenScreen have as
clients many of the same pharmaceutical manufacturers, including Eli
Lilly, that are seeing massive profits from use of these psychotropic
drugs in children who are captive in these government programs.
Columbia University, the developer of TeenScreen, and NAMI, its promoter,
are also on the list. One of these firms, Rabin Strategic Partners,
actually brags on its
financial self-interest of the drug companies and NAMI is very important
to understand because of NAMI's relentless push for psychiatric screening
programs from birth to death, including TeenScreen. However, more
dangerous yet is the alliance between the lucrative financial interests
of the drug companies with the primarily Democrat big-government ideology
that considers our children's thoughts, emotions, and behaviors as the
domain of the state. Our children are to be assessed and remediated
according to their utopian vision. These interests together are driving
dangerous anti-parent, anti-child legislation at the state and federal
- "We provided Columbia University with a ten-year strategy including
the marketing, public policy and funding steps needed to launch the
program nationally. Rabin Strategic Partners developed and managed
public relations, lobbying and advertising to implement the plan.
Now on a daily basis we track the media and political landscape to make
sure the plan meshes with the current environment. So far the strategy is
paying off. Programs are established in almost 500 communities in 42
states and over 250 sites are in development. Thirty-four national
organizations support voluntary, mental health check-ups for teens. Just
recently federal grants were awarded to four states to implement the
program as part of their overall suicide prevention efforts."
Underhanded attempts by the drug company Merck to manipulate states'
vaccine policy via Women in Government in order to mandate the HPV
vaccine to enhance its profits were
year, at least temporarily. In the same way psychiatric screening and Eli
Lilly along with other pharmaceutical companies via NAMI and hired gun
public relations firms must be exposed and stopped. As eloquently stated
by AHRP, the
future health and freedom of our children depend on it:
- "Let this be a warning to all those who attempt to side-step parental
rights and public debate by conducting medical or mental screens--e.g.
TeenScreen in America's schools. The goal is to broaden the consumer
market for medical products. It is a back door approach of providing
unsolicited medical interventions that expose children to risks of harm."
MyFoxTwinCities.com report, May 7, 2007
Drug companies pay doctors $500 to take a phone call and $2,000 to
read a speech prepared by someone else. "The problem is there's no
free lunch, there are strings to all of these" said Dr. Speaks, of
Hennepin County Medical Center. Doctors are approached by drug companies
to give seminars on various health topics for thousands of dollars.
-- THE NEW YORK TIMES
March 21, 2007
Ties to Drug Makers Are Put on Close View, March 21, 2007
By GARDINER HARRIS and JANET ROBERTS
The Times graphic illustration shows that drug company fees for physician
marketing services increased by leaps and bounds beginning in 1997.
Topping off the chart among medical specialties is psychiatry. In
Minnesota 550 psychiatrists raked in $6.7 million. (See
105 Peavey Rd, Suite 116, Chaska, MN 55318
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