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Has Big Pharma Corruption Suppressed Effective Treatment Options?

Dr. Bruce E. Levine, author of Surviving America’s Depression Epidemic: How to Find Morale, Energy, and Community in a World Gone Crazy, posted a new article to AlterNet examining the unethical treatment suppression tactics of the big pharmaceutical companies. Congress is taking a closer look and not liking what they see. From the article:
American psychiatry has been rocked by Congress. Congressional investigators first exposed the financial relationships between high-profile psychiatrists and drug companies. “But now the profession itself is under attack in Congress,” reported the New York Times on July 12, 2008. Specifically under attack is psychiatry’s premier professional organization, the American Psychiatric Association. The New York Times stated, “In 2006, the latest year for which numbers are available, the drug industry accounted for about 30 percent of the association’s $62.5 million in financing. About half of that money went to drug advertisements in psychiatric journals and exhibits at the annual meeting, and the other half to sponsor fellowships, conferences and industry symposiums at the annual meeting.” The American Psychiatric Association is, as the New York Times notes, “the voice of establishment psychiatry.” It publishes the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which is the standard diagnostic manual. It also publishes influential professional journals. And it is the primary lobbying organization for American psychiatry. The president-elect of the American Psychiatric Association is Alan Schatzberg of Stanford University, and his $4.8 million stock holdings in a drug development company raised a red flag for Congressional investigators. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, informed the American Psychiatric Association, “I have come to understand that money from the pharmaceutical industry can shape the practices of nonprofit organizations that purport to be independent in their viewpoints and actions.” One example of how psychiatric treatment practices are corrupted by drug-company money was revealed in a 2007 analysis of Minnesota psychiatrists. The analysis showed that psychiatrists who received at least $5,000 from makers of newer-generation antipsychotic drugs wrote, on average, three times as many prescriptions to children for these drugs as psychiatrists who received less money or none.

Read the full article here.

Use Systems Thinking to Make Lasting Social Change

What can be done when our best intentions create unintended problems—such as temporary shelters increasing homelessness or food aid accelerating starvation?After decades of helping change-makers in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors address tough social problems, systems-thinking expert David Stroh shares the pioneering framework that both demystifies systems thinking and shows how it can lead […] Read More..

Let’s Make Bernie Sanders a Bestseller!

As the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders continues to climb in the polls, crushing online fundraising records and frustrating party insiders and pundits along the way, we’re looking to put Bernie’s message on bestseller lists everywhere in time for the national debates this fall!With the second Democratic debate to be held on November 14th in Des Moines, it’s […] Read More..

Bern Baby Bern!

Feel the Bern, now read the Bern. Chelsea Green is bringing out the first major book chronicling the issues being raised by US Senator Bernie Sanders in his campaign for president of the United States. The Essential Bernie Sanders and His Vision for America is the only book that outlines, in Sanders’ own words and […] Read More..

Economic Development is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It

Economic development today is completely broken. That’s the argument of author Michael Shuman in his new book, The Local Economy Solution. The singular focus on attracting global corporations is not just ineffective but counterproductive, Shuman argues, especially given the huge opportunity costs. Indeed, it’s not far-fetched to suggest that the best way most communities can […] Read More..

5 Shareable Strategies for Creating Climate Action

Frustrated about climate change? You’re not alone. Most people in our society find themselves somewhere on the spectrum of depressed about our climate situation to flat-out denying that it exists. In fact, the more information about global warming that piles up, the less we seem to do to combat it. What is the reason for this […] Read More..
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