Dr. Peter Breggin's Empathic Therapy Newsletter
  July 22, 2010 - Volume1, Issue 5
  In This Issue

Drug Researcher Pleads Guilty to Health Care Fraud

New Study Links Psychiatric Drugs to Increased Risk of
Birth Defects

NAMI Continues to Receive Staggering Amounts from
Drug Companies

Empathic Therapy Center Offering Founding Memberships

Empathic Therapy

  Dear [Contact.First Name],

Hello everyone.  Summer arrived with a heat wave!  I hope everyone is taking good care and staying hydrated and safe.  Dr. Peter Breggin says "Antipsychotic medications (Haldol, Abilify, Risperdal, Seroquel and others) disrupt temperature regulation in the brain & can cause death from heat stroke & exhaustion. If you are on neuroleptics beware of this vulnerability." 

The neuroleptics (so called antipsychotics) are the class of drug that especially affects folks in this manner. The brain is rendered unable to adequately regulate body temperature under high heat conditions. Prior to institutions being air conditioned patients on neuroleptics in mental hospitals used to be especially prone to dying from heat exposure on hot summer days. This has also happened to people living in poverty without air conditioning on neuroleptics in urban areas during the summer. So stay cool and stay safe!

Very best, Ginger Breggin, Editor

Drug Researcher Pleads Guilty to Health Care Fraud--Gets Six Months In Prison

Anesthesiologist Scott Ruben was sentenced to six months in prison plus three years of supervised release for health care fraud. Dr. Ruben was responsible for creating a whole new pain management approach for post surgical patients that required multiple classes and kinds of drugs to be prescribed together. The new practice is called multimodal analgesia. Ruben was considered to be doing groundbreaking work in the pain management field. But a routine audit of one of his more than 26 studies revealed that the entire study was fabricated—no real patients, treatments, or outcomes. Over time more than 21 studies by Ruben were discredited due to misconduct or fraud, and many have been removed from the literature by the scientific journals that originally published them.

Dr. Peter Breggin commented that "Rubin's fraudulent recommendations of prescribing multiple drugs for pain has resulted in pain management practices changing around the world. The now discredited research of multimodal analgesia and its wide application has exposed countless patients to newer, less tested drugs. Ruben's fraudulent research gave these same drugs a veneer of safety and confidence that they did not deserve. Drugs such as Lyrica and Neurontin are being increasingly used in psychiatry and have serious psychoactive effects on cognitive function and mood that increase their hazardous potential," he concluded.

The federal sentencing of Dr. Ruben included restitution that he must pay for his fraudulent studies totaling over $360,000. These payments will go to drug companies and a breast cancer foundation that funded some of his work. Drug companies such as Pfizer may be more complicit than it appears from this single case. Pfizer has been involved in encouraging surgeons to write protocols for off-label use of drugs in post-surgical pain management.

Unfortunately the most injured parties to Dr. Ruben's fraud are the patients exposed to the unauthenticated practices Ruben endorsed.

Read More:

Editorial Citing Widespread Damage Done by Ruben's Fraud

New Study Links Psychiatric Drugs to Increased Risk of Birth Defects

A newly released Danish study reveals that several classes of psychiatric drugs including stimulants, SSRIs, and neuroleptics (the so-called antipsychotics) are related to serious adverse reactions in children and are linked to increased birth defect risks.

"A range of serious side effects such as birth deformities, low birth weight, premature birth, and development of neonatal withdrawal syndrome were reported in children under two years of age, most likely because of the mother's intake of psychotropic medication during pregnancy," says Associate Professor Lisa Aagaard, University of Copenhagen researcher.

Professors Lise Aagaard and Ebbe Holme Hansen evaluated all pediatric drug reactions during a 9 year period.  Of the 4500 adverse reports made, "42 percent of adverse reactions were reported for psychostimulants, such as Ritalin, which treats attention deficit disorder (ADD), followed by 31 percent for antidepressants, such as Prozac, and 24 percent for antipsychotics, such as Haldol" according to the University of Copenhagen report of the study.

Researcher Aagaard concluded her interview saying "Three out of four pregnancies are planned, and therefore society must take responsibility for informing women about the serious risks of transferring side effects to their unborn child."

Journal Reference:
1. Aagaard et al. Adverse drug reactions from psychotropic medicines in the paediatric population: analysis of reports to the Danish Medicines Agency over a decade. BMC Research Notes, 2010; 3 (1): 176 DOI: 10.1186/1756-0500-3-176

See Also Breggin, Peter R. "Exposure to SSRI Antidepressants In Utero Causes Birth Defects, Neonatal Withdrawal Symptoms, and Brain Damage." Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, 10, 5-9, 2008.

NAMI Continues to Receive Staggering Amounts from Drug Companies

The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill continues to be a shill for Big Pharma drug companies.  Dr. Peter Breggin first exposed NAMI in his bestseller, Toxic Psychiatry, in 1991.  At that time, NAMI was receiving large amounts of funding from drug companies and was complicit with other groups and promoters of biological psychiatry in pushing biopsychiatry at state and federal levels.  Toxic Psychiatry continues to be a good primer for anyone interested in learning how an entire professional field has been overtaken by industry influence.

The Wall Street Journal recently revealed that the state chapters for NAMI have been receiving millions.  According to US Senator Charles Grassley, California received $632,000 between 2005 and 2009.  Ohio received $623,000 and New York State NAMI received $448,000.

Senator Grassley had previously revealed that the national-level NAMI organization had received about $23 million between 2006 and 2008.

NAMI and its state organizations are identified as being "hugely influential in many state capitals" according to the New York Times.  If one wants to know which special interest and pressure groups are influencing passage of state legislation to involuntarily treat persons psychiatrically diagnosed one need look no further than the NAMI groups.  They are outstanding examples of Astroturf—so-called "grassroots" groups that actually exist due to a staggering regular infusion of funds from the very industry that they are supposed to critique.

The massive infusion of drug company money into state and federal lobbying also influence the degree to which psychiatric drugs are promoted via medicaid for children and adults.

Read more:

The New York Times article

The Wall Street Journal Blog

Empathic Therapy Center
Offering Founding Memberships!

Empathic Therapy Founding Memberships are now available and offer enrollment through December 2011.

With each new membership we are offering a free autographed copy of Medication Madness: The Role of Psychiatric Drugs in Cases of Violence, Suicide and Crime. This is Peter Breggin, MD's latest best selling book containing vital information about the hazards of psychiatric drugs, how they impact a person's life and judgment, the new scientific concept of medication spellbinding, and information on how to carefully taper off psychiatric drugs.

In addition to the signed book, membership provides you with a $10 discount on the upcoming Empathic Therapy Center's international conference, April 8-10, 2011. The Empathic Therapy Conference is really shaping up with exciting, new speakers from specialized therapy fields who will be offering inspiring and informative talks and workshops. Come to our website and join the Empathic Therapy Center! http://www.empathictherapy.org

Note that Dr. Peter Breggin's Empathic Therapy Center is not affiliated with the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology and Dr. Peter Breggin will no longer be participating in the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology conferences.

Peter R. Breggin MD is no longer affiliated with the Center for the Study of Psychiatry, informally known as the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology

Copyright 2010 Peter R. Breggin, MD

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