Colonel Mustard in the kitchen with the candlestick”? From the game called “Clue” in which you tried to solve a murder mystery? There’s a current, all-too-true and serious mystery involving devastating consequences – even death – for uncounted but vast numbers of people, but in this one the culprits are known to a very few, while their motives remain mysterious.
Until their identities are widely exposed, and their motives are known, the full story of the harm will never be known. It is astonishing that despite six stories in the major media – including a recent, groundbreaking Huffington Post series – and the filing of numerous lawsuits, the names and conduct of the culprits have consistently been omitted.
The story that has been called “Diagnosisgate” starts in 1995, when the man widely considered the world’s most important psychiatrist split a payoff of nearly one million dollars with two colleagues in exchange for doing two patently unethical and illegal things that created the groundwork for a major drug company to market falsely one of the most dangerous psychoactive drugs.
Part one: In return for almost half a million dollars, they ignored what was known about the drug in order to manufacture a practice guideline holding up that drug as the best drug among two whole classes of related drugs for treating people who were classified as “schizophrenic,” the other drugs being marketed by other drug companies. This created what is widely considered the “standard of care,” the treatment that therapists are supposed to follow and that they can use in the knowledge that they are well protected from lawsuits if they follow it and their patients are harmed. The very foundation of the guideline, that it was about “Schizophrenia,” is illegitimate, because – though this will surprise many people – that category has been shown to be unscientifically created and indeed has been called a wastebasket for a wide variety of feelings and behavior, many of which are caused by psychiatric drugs.
Part two: After the triumvirate received a bonus of $65,000 for creating the guideline speedily, their top psychiatrist wrote to the same drug company, announcing that the three had constituted themselves as an entity that was prepared, in return for about another half million dollars, to create a marketing plan for the drug. The details included finding “key opinion leaders” (KOLs), who were prominent professionals in powerful positions – such as heads of state mental health or prison systems – and having them teach the Continuing Education courses that professionals are required to take, the ultimate message of those courses being that that particular drug was the best one to prescribe. Another section of their marketing plan was to have a great many articles published in what are considered scientific or medical journals, all concluding that that drug was effective and should be prescribed.
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