Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Women's lives hijacked by Big Pharma and Big Tobacco

The best way to understand how Big Pharma uses advertising to convince many normal healthy women to become dependent upon a daily dose of antidepressants is to study the history of Big Tobacco advertising to women to overcome society's taboo against women smoking by identifying smoking with women's rights and equality. Prozac was the first blockbuster antidepressant marketed directly to the consumer beginning in 1987. If one studies antidepressant advertising beginning with Prozac in the 1980's up until today they will note a theme similar to smoking advertisement and the most advertisements are created from a woman's perspective.

Using tobacco settlement funds Ydouthink has created a few excellent Public Service Announcement commercials that explain Big Tobacco's history of targeting women with advertising.

The best place to start is Ydouthink PSA which ran on television.

Big Tobacco like Big Pharma advertise to women to make them feel that smoking cigarettes make a woman sexy, independent, happy and completes our lives.

But in reality...
most often they exploit women for their own profit and greed.

A little more about how Big Tobacco overcame the taboo against women smoking and made billions as they made women unhealthy, the following video explains how Edward Bernais, Sigmund Freud's nephew broke the taboo against women smoking.

Cigarettes were adopted by women as "Torches of Freedom."

Antidepressant medication used appropriately by people that need it, prescribed by doctors as part of an overall therapy plan can be responsible. But Big Pharma crosses the line to inappropriate when they advertise directly to consumers to sell healthy women unhappiness and promote daily antidepressant medication as a means to make our lives complete and our roles as women, mothers, sisters and wives fullfilling. So many women would be better off if they spoke to a therapist, friend or priest about their troubles because they might talk through the discomforting issues rather than damper them with a dose of antidepressants.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Antidepressant affair: Paulina Porizkova Super Model Speaks Up in Support of Women Coping with Antidepressants and Anxiety

Paulina Porizkova Ending a Midlife Affair with Meds lexapro
Super model Paulina Porizkova explained in the Huffington Post her two years of being medicated for anxiety with Lexapro in a story: Ending a Midlife Affair with Meds.

One quote really struck me and made me think about the effects of antidepressants on the the family and loved ones of the person taking anti depressants.

"I used to joke to my friends that after 24 years with my husband, we were, sexually speaking, a finely tuned precision engine. But now it felt as though I was being touched through a barrier, or, in this instance, a thick and cumbersome rug. After a while, it seemed like being intimate was just too much work for too little pay".

The sexual dysfunctio­n attributab­le to antidepres­sants are under reported by Big Pharma and patients are not clearly warned of the impact of this side effect. Prescribin­g medication­s like Effexor that have a 60% chance of erasing a woman's libido is simply irresponsi­ble without full disclosure.

How can an antidepres­sant that wipes out intimacy help a woman who is in a positive healthy relationsh­ip when neither partner is informed of the likelihood that after the female partner is medicated her desire for sex and intimacy will disappear? How should the male partner feel about the loss of his partner's intimacy. Frustration, suspicion of another lover and loss of self esteem due to his beloved partner's rejection are the likely result.

Does he have a right to be warned at the beginning of his partner's antidepres­sant prescripti­on of his pending loss? Should he be prescribed antidepres­sant medication to counter the emotional devastatio­n of this rejections?

Paulina Porizkova's doctor should be commended for presenting antidepressants to her as a temporary measure to reduce her anxiety while she engaged in talk therapy to resolve her problems. Most doctors would have just written the prescriptions for antidepressant indefinitely after a 10 minute sessions in three month intervals without a question about what the patient's real feelings are and what the real issues are that are causing the patient's unhappiness because this produces the most profitable medical insurance reimbursement. Women who can't advocate for themselves are likely to be victims of this practice.

Paulina Porizkova served women well by explaining how women can avoid the emotional price of a lifetime of antidepressants because they are unwilling or unable to take charge of their lives and advocate for themselves.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Helping Big Pharma Execs Beat Wall Street Expectations... by Treating Mom with Antidepressants

mothers little helper
I just read Helping Kids Beat Depression... by Treating Mom published in the Wall Street Journal. Author Melind Beck sounds convincing, but the basis for her story is flawed.

Beck claims that one in eight women will have an episode of major depression. Where does this "statistic" come from? It is the number of prescriptions of antidepressants written for women. A large proportion of these prescription are written by primary care physicians who have no or limited mental health training. These primary care diagnoses are flawed and should not be included in the compilation of "depressed" people Then there are psychiatrist like Daniel Levin who was interviewed by the New York Times for the recent story Talk doesn’t pay so psychiatry turns instead to drug therapy and admitted that he just prescribes medication because it is profitable. Diagnoses of depression by psychiatrists like Daniel Levin need to be excluded, because he does not engage in diagnosis beyond his bank account.

Finally we have psychiatrists that practice both talk therapy and prescribe medication. These are the only reliable statistics, but such numbers are not published because it does not serve Big Pharma to increase the number of antidepressant medications prescribed.

Beck's conclusion, "we have an epidemic of depression" that can only be extinguished with a firehose of antidepressants. If the premise of Beck's story were accepted and more antidepressants were prescribed to women resulting in one in seven women taking antidepressant medication instead of one in eight, Beck would announce that the "epidemic of depression" had worsened and we need more antidepressants.

I'm sorry, I can't accept another woman's argument such as Beck's that tries to quantify the normal sadness we experience that would respond to compassion, understanding, love and consideration with a murky unqualified gross diagnosis of depression based on the number of antidepressant prescriptions. Women need women like Melinda Beck to be compassionate rather than promote the myth of a depression epidemic and the necessity for women to be inoculated with antidepressants.

Beck's story would better be categorized as pharmaceutical advertising.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The susceptability of women to advertising leading to dependancy on antidepressant medication

Freud's nephew Edward Bernays one of the most effective PR people ever to promote products rode the coattails of women's suffrage with a campaign to get women to smoke.

Marketing and PR agencies continue Bernays unhealthy legacy promoting antidepressants to women. 12% of all women as compared to only 5% of all men take antidepressants. If you want to know why, just look at the Pristiq television advertisement. It is targeted directly at normal healthy young women to make them feel overwhelmed and dissatisfied.

Pristiq is the successor to an almost identical product Effexor an SNRI antidepressant. The reason for introducing essentially the same drug is Effexor will soon lose its patent protection and the manufacturer Pfizer/Wyeth wants fat profits from a slightly modified drug. It is targeted at women who feel overwhelmed and anxious about their busy stressful lives. Rather than having an outlet for these women to be heard and a chance to learn how to cope with life's challenges they are encouraged to take a pill. Pfizer/Wyeth assault normal healthy women with these direct to consumer advertisements DTC hoping to find a woman temporarily overwhelmed that is receptive to their "take a pill be happy, take a pill be a good person, take a pill be a good mother" message. At the same time, Pfizer/Wyeth has an army of drug sales representatives calling on doctors and psychiatrists promoting Effexor and Pristiq as if they are wonder drugs. Pfizer/Wyeth to invite psychiatrists to promotional events, where they pay psychiatrists to promote Effexor and Pristiq in posh 5 star hotels, in expensive restaurants and at top shelf entertainment events.

This is such a dirty trick. Do a little googling on Effexor and what you will find out is:

Effexor's manufacturer Wyeth paid psychiatrists and researchers to promote the drug even when the promotion proved contrary to unfavorable side effects that were observed in patients who were taking Effexor.

Psychiatrists and researchers were paid to write favorable opinions about Effexor.

Wyeth released only the favorable studies about Effexor and did not release the unfavorable studies. When the FDA was forced to release the data using the freedom of information act, Effexor and other similar drugs proved to be only slightly more effective than plecibos .

The side effects of this drug are significant. Firstly it is addictive. Once on it you can't get off it without withdrawal. It looks to me that Wyeth is employing the same strategy used by cigarette manufacturers. Most of the time patients only learn about their addiction when they try to kick the habit.

The fatigue that accompanies the drug often time results an accompanying prescription for a stimulant "speed" to compensate for this. The drug companies win twice here.

Nightmares, sweating, loss of cognitive and memory capabilities are all commonly experienced side effects.

Many women become frigid when they take Effexor. How does the interruption of a normal sex drive and the disharmony that it causes in a relationship make a patient happy?

Finally, there is no proven "cause and effect" relationship between taking Effexor/Pristiq and a measurable physiological change that correlates to an improvement in a person's mood. You will note the advertisement says, "it is believed to work..." because they can't say what the drug does because they don't know. Essentially the patient is signing up to playing Russian Roulette with her brain chemistry.

The patient's family and friends should give them a going away party before they start taking this medication as the family and friends will remain the family and friends of the patient before the patient took the medication, while the patient often becomes someone else unknown to their family and friends.

It is a shame that women are not given the care and shown the kindness to understand their unhappiness and anxiety. They are drugged into tolerating the intolerable. If they get off these medications, they still need to learn how to cope with the issues that caused their discomfort.

Women are more easily manipulated into taking unhealthy, unproven medication to enrich the pharmaceutical companies. Its about time that society as a whole got behind protecting them from this like we have from domestic violence and the inequities of breast cancer research.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Women manipulated to plead to their doctors for a prescription for Cymbalta antidepressant

Over ten years ago, the New England Journal of Medicine reported that patients suffering from depression who received both medication and cognitive behavioral therapy recovered from depression much more frequently and avoided relapse for longer periods of time than those patients just treated with medication.

Unfortunately this holistic approach does not meet big Pharma's big Tobacco approach to increasing the consumption of antidepressants by the American public. Big Pharma wants patients on medication for life like big Tobacco wants to get people hooked on cigarettes for life. Cymbalta is an addictive antidepressant that fits big Pharma's need to predictive quarterly revenues. Big Pharma marketing calls "addiction" "discontinuation syndrome". To understand either term, just Google and read patient testimonials of the poor souls trying to get off Cymbalta or Effexor.

Here is a case study of how women are duped into pleading with their doctors for a prescription to a a potent and addictive drug called Cymbalta with many side effects. These medications are too potent to be taken like a once a day vitamin.

Imagine that one day a woman is not feeling as happy as she might. She uses her computer and go to the venerable and trusted woman's website iVillage and clicks on Health and Diet. One would think this to be a good place to find unbiased information.

iVillage is an online publication that exists because of its advertising revenue. It may appear to be a woman's website but it is really an advertisers website. There is a big difference in using advertising to manipulate a reader to want to wear the latest style of jeans compared to wanting to take a potent addictive medication that should be carefully prescribed after the patient has been thoroughly diagnosed

What could be simpler? And she gets what you she expected a search box into which she adds the catch all term that she has heard repeatedly on TV for all these unhappy feeling "Depression"

iVillage makes you feel like you are searching on google and you feel safe because google's moto is
iVillage responds with its links, barely differentiating the "sponsored links" that advertisers paid to list first from the most popular results based on web popularity. If she is not paying careful attention she would confuse the sponsored links with those ranked based on popularity. Look at this and look at a page of Google search results and you will notice how this page is deceptive.

The sponsored links are deceptively similar to the links un-sponsered links. It is very easy to mistake the Cymbalta advertising for unbiased information

She does what most people do, clicks on the first link - its not unbiased information. It is an advertisement carefully crafted to lead women to want to self diagnose herself as depressed, request a free sample of Cymbalta and ask her doctor for a prescription. Note the dark and unhappy mood below designed to amplify the reader's low feelings.

a dark mood is set by the advertisement. The reader is compelled to learn how to ask their doctor for a pill to make them happy.

The reader is further drawn in to find out ways to ask their doctor for Cymbalta. Nowhere is the reader provided insight or help in her selection of a doctor qualified to diagnose depression. Why should the doctor interfere with the sale of medication after the patient has diagnosed herself? Note the "free sample". Shouldn't the FDA limit pharmaceutical companies from giving away medication that causes patients significant discomfort due to discontinuation syndrome? Most developed countries prohibit the advertisement of this kind of medication.
the advertisement is designed to convince you to ask your doctor for a specific medication Cymbalta, not to find a doctor who is qualified to diagnose depression and treat it if you have it. a dark mood is set by the picture of a woman in a dark room looking out the window from behind a dark curtain

Normal people fit this description of the feelings behind these words during some days and some periods in their lives. It is normal and normal people overcome these bad feelings and learn to feel good. Overcoming sadness and depression builds resilience against future bouts of depression and sadness. Cymbalta and other medications don't always work and they don't help people learn to overcome their sadness. The intent of the advertisement is to use these dark words with the dark mood of the picture to compel the reader onward to the conclusion of the advertisement and ask their doctor to prescribe Cymbalta.

dark words sadness, emptiness, guilt worthless, fatigue, lack of energy are added to the dark mood of the picture of a woman in a dark room looking out the window from behind a dark curtain

Has the reader taken the bait? "How does your depression make you feel?" if you click through you have diagnosed yourself as depressed, now there is only one last step, to ask your doctor to prescribe Cymbalta. The exercise is complete. Using the depression impact tool the reader is prepared with the vocabulary of sure fire words that will convince her doctor to write a prescription for Cymbalta.

using the same dark picture of the sad woman looking our from a dark room behind a dark curtain the reader is asked to confirm

The reader has agreed that they are depressed and clicked through and is rewarded with a smiling face and can feel good because they have accepted (been manipulated by) the advertisement and will "Take Your First Steps" on a very personal lonely journey based on a decision made with a computer rather than in the company of family, friends and a doctor that understands depression. No mention that cognitive behavioral therapy with medication produces better outcomes.

Finally, a light atmosphere is set that you have agreed to talk to your health care provider, defined as anyone who can write a prescription and you have agreed to focus on your depression rather than live your life.

nwo there is a woman smiling because she has personalize her depression, decided to focus on her depression so she has all the right words in her vocabulary to convince her doctor to prescribe Cymbalta

Its not that medication is bad. It is bad to commit to potent addictive medication based upon temporarily feeling bad or sad or depressed. Medication should be take as part of a treatment plan where it is a stabilizer to allow the person to learn to cope with the issues that made them depressed or gave them anxiety. There should be an approximate period of time for the patient to be on medication and then stop taking it. There are so many side effects and so many unknowns that one should not take SSNRI and SSRI medications like they are vitamins.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Did you ever wonder how much money could be made if every man and woman took a pill when they had sex: Big Pharma has!

Big Pharma has redefined our sexuality. In much the same way as they have taken the subjective condition of HAPPYNESS" and converted it into treatable diseases such as depression, general anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder ... they have with doctor's on their payroll created FEMALE SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION.

Liz Canners film Orgasm Inc. is the product of her 9 year odyssey documenting the efforts of Big Pharma to define Female Sexual Dysfunction and with Madison Avenue to sell it to us. It is currently being screened around the world - look and see if it will be available near you - screening schedule.

Here is an interview with Liz Canner for the Italian media talks about her motivation for making the film.

As compared to male sexual dysfunction which is largely due to aging organs, female sexual dysfunction FSD is in almost all cases completely subjective. This is exactly the type of condition that big Pharma can exploit well because all the studies to support the FDA approvals, their marketing to the medical community and their direct to consumer advertising will be based on completely subjective data and a completely emotional response by the consumer.

Big Pharma has proven that they can make normal healthy women feel inadequately happy resulting in the over prescription of antidepressants to women. Now they have an opportunity to make women feel sensuously inadequate and based on their experience with antidepressants, they can take this inadequacy to the bank. Big Pharma and their paid consultant doctor's have determined that 46% of all women suffer from SFD. If you were a big Pharma marketeer and compare this proportion of womankind to the meager 12% of men who have erectile dysfunction you would dance with joy to the ring of the cash register.

Here is the the trailer - I recommend that you watch it. It is a wonderful case study about how big Pharma works.

NBC Miami wrote a fabulous essay that you should read here

We women need to love ourselves, love one and other and love our men, partners, families and the people in our lives, and just get out and live and we will feel better than any pill ever will make us feel.

Love with a lover by its definition will not need a pill to produce the thrill, passion and emotional connection.