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Sunday, January 27, 2013
WND Still Baselessly Blaming Drugs for Newtown Massacre
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As we've noted, WorldNetDaily is already blaming psychiatric drugs for Adam Lanza committing the Newtown massacre, even though it isn't known what drugs, if any, Lanza had been taking.

WND takes that up a notch with a Jan. 22 article by Jerome Corsi featuring a doctor, David Healy, who is fearmongering about the drugs:

In an exclusive in-person interview in New York City with WND, London-based Dr. David Healy criticized pharmaceutical companies that have made billions of dollars marketing Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, known as SSRIs.

Psychotropic drugs “prescribed for school children cause violent behavior,” Healy stated.

The drugs are widely used in the U.S. as antidepressants by doctors working in the mental health field and increasingly by primary care doctors, he noted.

Healey insisted the problem today is that doctors working with schools to control the behavior of children are inclined to prescribe SSRI drugs without serious consideration of adverse consequences.

“The pharmaceutical companies made these drugs with the idea of making money,” he said. “There’s a wide range of problems when it comes to looking at these drugs for children. Very few children have serious problems that warrant treatment with pills that have the risks SSRI drugs have.”

The drugs can make children “aggressive and hostile,” he noted.

[...]

WND contended that putting more mental illness screening into schools would actually increase the incidence of school shootings, not reduce the violence.

“You can draw a line between the number of child psychiatrists in the United States and the number of school shootings, and you will find that both have gone up in the same direction at the same time,” he said.

He sees a “propaganda campaign” being conducted in the U.S. in the wake of the Aurora, Colo., cinema shooting and the Newtown, Conn., school shooting asserting gun violence is being caused by mental illness and could be stopped by additional school programs that screen for it.

“If school children are screened for mental illness problems, this presumably will lead more medical doctors to put more students on more pills,” he said. “I would predict then the outcome of more school screenings for mental illness will be more mass killings, even if the guns are taken away and the mass killings are not done with guns.”

Corsi doesn't mention that Healy has been roundly criticized for his excessive alarmism about drugs.

Writing at Forbes, John LaMattina states that Healy insists that "any drug approved since 1990 should be considered a possible candidate for late side-effects":

Where does he get this?  What makes 1990 special?  His implication is that the studies done in support of new drug applications (NDAs) prior to 1990 were more thorough and vigorous.  This is absurd.  Furthermore, his singling out of biologic drugs makes no sense at all.  The fact of the matter is that the pre-approval testing of drugs in the 1980s was far less vigorous than what now happens.  Back then, a new drug to treat the pain of arthritis would only need to complete 90 days of continuous testing before approval.  Similarly, lipid lowering drugs were approved with only LDL lowering properties and a year of patient exposure.   This same paradigm held for novel anti-diabetic agents where simple blood glucose lowering and 12 months of testing in patients were the norm.  Today, for drugs such as these that are to be used chronically, sponsors are required to show that their new medicine actually improves the long-term health of a patient.  Thus, pre-approval testing to show the reduction of heart attacks and strokes for drugs to treat obesity, diabetes or heart disease are needed – studies that generally involve tens of thousands of patients to be dosed for 3 – 5 years.  Such studies are needed not just for FDA approval but also for convincing payers to reimburse patients for these new drugs.

The hurdles that must be overcome to get a new drug approved are higher than they have been in the history of medicine.  Does this mean that new drugs are totally safe?  Absolutely not.  But to say that newer drugs are less safe than older ones is incorrect.

Corsi doesn't mention the controversy over his views, but then, fearmongering is what Corsi and WND are all about.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:17 PM EST

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