HOW THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY IS PREYING ON OUR CHILDREN
by K.L. Carlson, M.B.A.
“I want to sell drugs to everyone. I want to sell drugs to healthy people. I want drugs to sell like chewing gum.” With those words former Merck CEO Henry Gadsden established the aim of the entire pharmaceutical industry more than 30 years ago. With that aim, a monster was born. A monster that feeds on public tax dollars and then passes a portion of those dollars back to “public servants.” A monster that has bankrupted some state Medicare programs and caused other states to reduce the number of recipients in order to pay for the cost of drugs. A monster that injures, cripples, and kills, without regard for the age of its victims. More than one million Americans have died due to prescription drugs in the past ten years. The fact is, because of the aim to sell drugs to everyone, the pharmaceutical industry has systematically devised ways to hook children on drugs at the earliest ages possible, including infants under the age of one year.
Unlike street drug pushers who must try to entice children before they reach school, the pharmaceutical monster bought the rights to legally drug millions of children in their classrooms. The monster has bought the rights to mental health testing of all children and teenagers without parental consent, per the New Freedom Commission (NFC) created by a presidential executive order in 2002. Created without votes or public awareness, the NFC is a commission of people with strong financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry. The commission exists for the purpose of getting mental health screening into all public schools.
New FREEDOM Commission? Freedom is not mandatory testing for disorders that are voted into existence without a single objective test to diagnose; voted into existence by those who will profit. Freedom is not labeling children with mental disorders; labels that will follow them throughout life.
Freedom is not taking away children’s abilities to develop properly because they are made to take drugs that actually destroy the brain’s neurol functioning, kill nerve cells, and prevent natural brain development.
Freedom is not making children take addictive, deadly drugs with more than 100 serious side effects including suicide, sudden death, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, mania, paranoia, hallucinations, and violence.
Freedom is not making children take mind-altering drugs that lead to homicides and then incarcerate the children for the rest of their lives. Freedom is not threatening parents that their child will be taken by Social Services if they do not agree to drug their child. All this is happening in the United States now because of the pervasive control of the pharmaceutical industry relentlessly pursuing its aim to sell drugs to everyone.
The results of the unscientific, non-objective mental health testing promoted by the NFC has been that more than half the children tested are labeled with psychiatric disorders and prescribed addictive drugs. Label and drug, label and drug, label and drug…a monstrous, continuous process that has limitless abilities to generate profits while creating birth to grave prescription drug users.
Is the monster achieving its aim to sell drugs to everyone? The 2010 school year begins with 20 percent of all high school students addicted to one or more prescription drugs.
The 2010 school year begins with 42 percent of foster children, including preschool age, being made to take addictive, deadly drugs – that have no health benefits, but do have extreme health risks. The 2010 school year begins with 8 million children labeled with mental disorders that are voted into existence. Labels that make the children believe something is wrong with them, that they are not normal. The 2010 school year begins with 4.5 million children being made to take toxic, addictive drugs rated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in the same Schedule 2 of the Controlled Substances Act as cocaine, barbiturates, and opiates.
The 2010 school year begins with an autism rate of 1 in every 100 children who were normal, healthy babies before vaccinations. Autistic children are often treated with drugs.
And the 2010 school year begins with more than 200,000 parents grieving for children who are no longer alive to attend school because of prescription drugs and vaccines.
This story could be called “The Beginning of the End” because it has been literally the end for more than 100,000 children in the past decade. And it is creating the beginning of an entire society where the majority of people will be drug addicts.
Is the monster achieving its aim? Absolutely. In 2005 the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University reported an astounding 15.1 million Americans were addicted to prescription drugs. Their report also described the 212 percent increase of prescription drug abuse by children ages 12 to 17 years old. An increase that was predictable if you look at the larger picture. Drug addicts do not have futures filled with promise and potential. Yet, we are allowing millions of our children’s futures to be wiped out by the pharmaceutical monster.
Little Gabriel Myers was facing a tough life as a foster child at only 7 years old. He needed love and patience. They gave him multiple psychiatric drugs. He won’t be starting third grade this school year because he hung himself in 2009. Seven-year-old children do not naturally think of suicide. They think of running away from home. The suicide rate of adults taking antidepressant drugs in clinical trials is an astronomical 718 per 100,000. The suicide rate for people not taking any psychiatric drugs in the general public is about 11 in 100,000. Jeremy Strohmeyer was a high school honor student taking no drugs. A teacher diagnosed him with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and he was put on Dexedrine. Within days, this teenager with so much potential raped and murdered 7-year-old Sherrice Iverson, then attempted suicide. Jeremy survived but is now serving a life sentence with no chance of parole. If Jeremy had been taking an illegal drug, his actions would have immediately been seen as caused by the drug. Mind-altering drugs are mind-altering drugs, whether they are labeled legal or not.
Matthew Smith would be fresh out of college and beginning his career now, if he hadn’t died as a 14-year-old boy from “long term use of methylphenidate” (Ritalin) as stated on his death certificate. Matthew’s parents had never wanted him to take Ritalin. When Matthew was only 7 years old, school officials told his parents that Matthew had ADHD. The school threatened that if Matthew, a healthy active boy, was not put on Ritalin, they would contact Social Service Child Protective Services. School authorities claimed his parents could be charged with neglecting Matthew’s educational and emotional needs. His parents did not want Matthew on drugs and saw nothing abnormal about his behavior. But they felt helpless to the school’s authority. Matthew’s parents did what millions of parents in the U.S. have done. They complied under duress. Now their beautiful, creative son is dead. The monster won. For seven years, Matthew’s parents paid the monster to poison their child. Now they can’t pay anyone to bring him back.
Stephanie Hall would be a young woman now, maybe a mother, if she hadn’t died in her sleep from a massive cardiac arrest six days before her twelfth birthday. She had been in first grade less than one month when her teacher told Stephanie’s mom she thought the little girl had Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Stephanie’s concerned parents took the perfectly healthy child to a physician and everything was found to be normal. But because the teacher had already labeled the child with ADD, the physician wrote a prescription for Ritalin. Poor Stephanie was too young to make her parents understand how ill the drug made her feel. It began with headaches and over the years led to hallucinations. Her heart disease was a silent side effect of the drug. Her parents paid the monster for six years to poison and terrorize their daughter. Even when Stephanie began to suffer hallucinations from the mind-altering drug, the answer was always to increase the dosage. No one considered the drug as the cause of Stephanie’s problems. Now Stephanie has no problems and her parents live with the loss.
The loving parents of Candace would be seeing their beautiful blonde daughter off as a freshman in college this fall, if she hadn’t hung herself in her bedroom at the age of twelve. A pediatric psychiatrist had prescribed Zoloft to Candace because “she was anxious about school exams.” In 2004 when the drug took her life, the antidepressant carried the FDA’s most severe warning, A Black Box Warning, for suicide for anyone under 18 years old. But the psychiatrist didn’t tell her parents about the risk. He told them the drug would make Candace “happy.”
Now Candace is not alive to be happy and her parents live with the loss. Dominique Slater would be graduating from college this year if she hadn’t committed suicide in 2003 after being put on a cocktail of dangerous, mind-altering drugs including Celexa and Wellbutrin. The drugs caused erratic behavior in the 14-year-old girl. Her physician’s answer was to put her on high doses of Effexor, another deadly antidepressant. Fifteen days later, Dominique committed suicide. That is the extremely dangerous fact about labeling anyone, especially vulnerable young children, with any type of mental disorder, including ADD/ADHD. Once people are labeled, all their reactions will be blamed on the label, not the prescription drugs. The monster knows this and takes full advantage by teaming with the organization that votes mental disorders and their symptoms into existence, the American Psychiatric Association (APA). The number of mental disorders created by the APA has exploded to over 350, not one with an objective diagnostic test. Every new disorder has a drug treatment, therefore reaping profits for both psychiatry and the drug industry. They are conjoined twins – joined at the wallet. Most physicians who are not psychiatrists remain naïve about how this system works. The manual of mental disorders that the APA creates is called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, usually just referred to as the DSM. In the documentary film, Where the Truth Lies, a British psychiatrist candidly states, “DSM stands for diagnosis as a source of money. It brings in a lot of money.”
The APA receives more money from the pharmaceutical industry than any other medical association. In July 2008, Senator Charles Grassley’s demands that the APA provide an accounting of its finances uncovered that in 2006 drug industry payments accounted for nearly 30 percent of the APA’s financing; more than $20 million dollars. While the conjoined twins bask in wealth, people die from the drugs; children die from the drugs.
The New Freedom Commission is not the first time the pharmaceutical industry has bought Federal government actions to drug children. In 1991 the Federal Education Department began to pay schools hundreds of dollars for every child diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. Schools are always looking for additional sources of funds and drugged children sit zombie-like in a classroom. A national epidemic of these contrived disorders that are not even recognized in other countries was absolutely predictable. The 2010 school year begins with 4.5 million labeled children being made to take methylphenidate or amphetamine drugs.
U.S. sales of ADD/ADHD drugs in 2008 were $4.8 billion. The U.S. uses 95 percent of all the methylphenidate and amphetamine drugs produced annually. And more than 90 percent of it is given to children. Without ADD/ADHD there is no market for these drugs because they have no health benefits. Methylphenidate and amphetamine are rated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) as Schedule 2 drugs, the most addictive and deadly drugs. Schedule 2 includes cocaine, opiates and barbiturates. Would you give a child cocaine daily? Try to imagine how children feel with these drugs in their young systems.
Adderall, an amphetamine, is now the most prescribed drug for those labeled with ADD/ADHD. It was originally a weight loss drug for adults only, called Obetrol. Obetrol was taken off the market because it is extremely addictive. But the FDA allowed the exact same drug to be renamed Adderall and marketed to children. The pharmaceutical industry’s control is ubiquitous and insidious.
In 1970 the Committee on Government Operations of the U.S. House of Representatives studied the use of behavior modification drugs on children. At that time, 200,000 to 300,000 children were made to take these drugs. The Committee’s report stated that “hyperactivity is considered a disease because it makes it difficult for schools to be run like maximum security prisons, for the comfort and the convenience of the teachers and administrators who work in them.” The government had it right in 1970, but children don’t have money to hire powerful lobbyists. The drug companies do. So the children lose. That is how the pharmaceutical industry continues to prey on the children every day, month after month, year after year. Why are 4.5 million children fed amphetamine and methylphenidate drugs daily? For profit. The schools profit by receiving hundreds of dollars of Federal money for every child labeled ADD/ADHD. Some parents profit because a child can be declared as disabled and receive monthly Social Security payments. The psychiatric profession profits. And the pharmaceutical industry profits the most, $4.8 billion in sales in just one year. The monster is achieving the aim by creating prescription drug addicts at very early ages. Addicts mean continued profits. The children do nothing but lose.
“We are taking away their future,” Dr. Tony Appel, a neuropsychologist (brain specialist) and expert child advocate, told NBC News. “We are taking away their ability to relate to people. Trust, love, caring, the ability to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and to see how they see you. We take all that away from these children.” They lose their ability to develop mentally and socially as indicated by approximately 35 percent of all children made to take these drugs never complete high school. Thirty-five percent of 4.5 million children are 1,575,000 who will not graduate from high school because of prescription drugs. Don’t blame it on the labels ADD/ADHD. Would you expect to see a high graduation rate from children drugged with cocaine or opiates?
They lose their ability to develop socially and emotionally. They grow up thinking they are not normal, that something is wrong with them, when nothing is wrong with them. Certainly they are not mentally ill. There are treatable physiological reasons why some children are especially active or unable to focus. They may have lead poisoning. They may lack sufficient vitamins and minerals. They may be living on unhealthy junk food that can cause hyperactivity, as shown in research. They may not spend enough time as physically active children releasing their natural energy. They may live in an extremely chaotic home environment. But very likely, they are simply healthy normal children like Stephanie and Matthew were. And like Stephanie and Matthew, hundreds of thousands of children will die because of prescription drugs. Ritalin has been found to increase sudden death of children by 500 percent. And the suicide attempt rate of both amphetamines and methylphenidate has been ten percent in multiple studies. Ten percent of 4.5 million children are 450,000 children at risk of suicide – for financial profit. It is monstrous.
And the pharmaceutical industry has turned the suicides into a campaign to test children for emotional disorders and put the children on antidepressant drugs. It always comes back to how the monster can make more profits. And, for the most part, the public has allowed themselves and their children to be led along like lambs to the slaughter. “We don’t have an independent, valid test for ADHD, and there is no data to indicate that ADHD is due to a brain malfunction.” The National Institute of Health’s consensus statement clearly indicates that ADD/ADHD is a contrived label; a label that is given no legitimacy in most countries.
“These entirely bogus junk science, pseudoscientific labels are barcodes on the foreheads of children. And once the label gets in their records, it sticks. They can’t get rid of them.” Fred A. Baughman, Jr., M.D. states emphatically. Dr. Baughman is a board certified neurologist for both adults and pediatric neurology. He has been speaking out against the labeling of children for two decades and is the author of The ADHD Fraud.
“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” Voltaire. The pharmaceutical industry has done exactly what Voltaire described. It is absurd to believe millions of U.S. children have mental disorders and it is an atrocity to drug children with addictive, deadly drugs that take the children’s futures away from them. When will this monster with its insatiable desire to have everyone taking prescription drugs be seen for what it really is? How long will the American public and physicians remain in a state of denial? And now the monster preys on children using the Internet. MSNBC.com reported on Sept. 3, 2010: “Consumer advocates worry pharmaceutical companies are increasing efforts to reach teenagers through online ads.” Musical videos featuring teen idols are now used by pharmaceutical companies to directly market drugs to children using the Internet. Also games, children’s books, and stuffed animals are designed to lead children to drugs.
The only thing standing between a child and the monster is dedicated, loving parents who are aware that their child’s life is not enhanced by any drug – not even when the drugs are FDA approved. That is why foster children and children in institutions are the most vulnerable. No one is protecting them from the monster that simply sees these vulnerable children as a means to make profits. The numbers show it.
In Ohio in just one month (July 2004) physicians prescribed psychiatric drugs for 696 babies aged newborn to 3-years-old who were covered by Medicaid.
In Texas in just the months of July and August 2004, more than 63,000 teens were prescribed psychiatric drugs and billed to a public funded program. In just 2 months! In Florida, where 7-year-old Gabriel hung himself last year, the Florida Department of Children and Family Services found that in the year Sept. 2002 to Sept. 2003, nearly 42,000 children aged 12 years and younger were given almost 200,000 prescriptions for psychiatric drugs. The monster is winning. It is imperative that every parent and guardian of a child become aware of the aim of the pharmaceutical industry and the pervasive control that the monster has to achieve its aim. Until the public becomes aware and alert, children will remain easy prey to the monster.
Henry Gadsden: Ray Monihan and Alan Cassels, Selling Sickness, How the World’s Biggest Pharmaceutical Companies Are Turning Us All Into Patients (New York:Nations Books, 2005)
New Freedom Commission: http://www.mentalhealthcommission.gov
Autism rate: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/05/autism-rates-government
Children on psych. drugs: http://esciencenews.com/articles/2010/04/20
Children labeled ADD/ADHD: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08
Gabriel Myers: http://www.cbsnews.com
Jeremy Strohmeyer: “Ritalin Kids: Prescription Drugs and Murder,” by Bruce Wiseman, presented to the Pennsylvania House Democratic Policy Committee,
Matthew Smith: “Death from Ritalin, The Truth Behind ADHD,” by Lawrence Smith, http://www.ritalindeath.com
Stephanie Hall: “ADHD – Exposing the Fraud of ADD and ADHD,” by Dr. Fred
Candace: Documentary film, “Making a Killing,” by CCHR.org
Dominique Slater: http://www.modbee.com
Senator Grassley’s investigation: “Psychiatric Group Faces Scrutiny Over Drug Industry Ties,” by Benedict Carey and Gardiner Harris, The New York Times, July 12, 2008.
Federal Education Department paying schools: “Resolution to Ban Ritalin,” by Patti Johnson, presentation to Colorado State Board of Education, http://www.nfgcc.org/banritalin.html
Suicide rate of antidepressants: Dr. Arif Kahn’s study results http://www.ahrp.org/infomail/04/06/10.php
Dr. Tony Appel’s quote: NBC News,
Fred A. Baughman, Jr. M.D.: http://www.adhdfraud.com
Ohio babies on drugs: “Even Babies Getting Treated as Mentally Ill,” by Encarnacion Pyle, Columbus Dispatch, April, 25, 2005
Texas Medicaid children: “Big Phara Bankrupting US Healthcare System,” by Evelyn Pringle, August 29, 2006, http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com
Florida children: “Biggest Off-Label Drug Marketing Scheme in U.S. History,” by Evelyn Pringle, November 30, 2006, ibid