Monday, October 31, 2011

Say what?

"There are three reasons why Upjohn is here taking an interest in these [psychiatric] diagnoses.  The first is money.  The second is money.  And the third is money." 
                                                  - CEO Upjohn Pharmaceuticals, maker of Xanax

Working only for money has a long and venerable tradition.

In fact, the first that comes to mind is piracy.  Of course, as Bela Kiraly said, "Even pirates, before they attack another ship, hoist a black flag," whereas makers of psychotropics follow no such code.  The FDA must force big pharma to hoist their jolly roger in the form of their "black box" warning labels; but only after bright, sunshiny ads have spirited millions of people away on the dangerous ship of "take a pill to be happy," travelling the uncharted and treacherous waters of thousands of side effects.

One could also be a mercenary.  Free from the responsibility of fighting for such higher goals as love of one's country or honor, one is free to pillage foreign lands as has been done for centuries.  Mercenaries of old would go from land to land, sometimes switching sides mid battle when better pay could be obtained elsewhere.

"In order to survive, we [psychiatrists] must go where the money is." 
Steven Sharfstein, Ex-President, American Psychiatric Association

Finally, there is the oldest and perhaps most cynical money-making profession of all.  Mentioned in the Old Testament, practitioners of this trade have long discarded any semblance of what human decency or love their acts may have once represented - all in the name of money.

"There is no definition of a mental disorder.  It's bullshit.  I mean, you just can't define it."
Dr. Allen Frances, psychiatrist and chief editor of the DSM-IV

"The more disorders you put in, the more people get labels." 
Michael First, psychiatrist and editor of DSM-IV

At least we know where the editors of the manual for diagnosis of mental disorders stand.

On the street corner.

I would like to invite all of you to attend the IAS event with me this Saturday.  It is important... remember the words of Margaret Mead, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."


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