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  1. JanCarol

    Peter Gotzscke Melbourne Talk

    Peter Gotzschke recently came to Australia, and toured around our cities, lecturing sometimes 3-5 times in each major city. He had an important message to bring, and his reputation preceded him - lots of pdocs came, and other care providers. Some of the pdocs argued with him (in Brisbane) about the value of "forced treatment" and neuroleptics, insisting that the benefit of these drugs "saved lives." Here is the Melbourne talk:
  2. We all know this first hand, but it's good to see more people coming out against Pharma. http://www.activistpost.com/2015/08/most-scientific-research-of-western-medicine-untrustable-fraudulent-say-insiders-and-experts.html
  3. https://www.madinamerica.com/2016/11/frenzy-lobbying-21st-century-cures/ “A Frenzy Of Lobbying On 21st Century Cures” Kaiser Health News and NPR report on the immense lobbying effort aimed at passing the "21st Century Cures" Act which would fast-track FDA approval of drugs and devices. "The 21st Century Cures Act set for a House vote Wednesday is one of the most-lobbied health care bills in recent history, with nearly three lobbyists working for its passage or defeat for every member on Capitol Hill. More than 1,455 lobbyists representing 400 companies, universities and other organizations pushed for or against an earlier House version of a Cures bill this congressional cycle, according to federal disclosure forms compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. A compromise version was released over the holiday weekend." More at above link, including comments on how to oppose the bill.
  4. so, i have several times read (in news articles, medical articles, and journal articles) that antidepressant prescriptions exceed the amount of patients who actually take them. to an extent, this sounds reasonable, though i only very, very rarely hear about someone who received a prescription but never took a single pill. those cases probably outnumber the cases of people who took an antidepressant but never had a prescription, however i cannot be certain about that. personally, i have actually known more people to take them without prescription, though only for short durations. but, my question comes from two things. firstly, we see how prominently antidepressants and other psych drugs feature in sales lists---they occupy many top positions for number of prescriptions and also for profit generated. this is good for stocks, good for price bargaining, good for marketing, and good for other financial, social, and political reasons. secondly, claims about the severity and percentage of negative (especially persistent negative) reactions to these drugs rely heavily on such figures to minimize the perceived damages and risks of antidepressants and their kin. trying to drown out the more serious harms and the deaths seems meaningfully accomplished in the minds of many laypeople and doctors just by proposing those harms and deaths are a strict and nearly inconsequential minority. thus, it struck me---do you think pharmaceutical companies buy any of their own medications (or even just fudge some of their sales numbers) in order to appear more powerful/successful or to dilute the seriousness of their negative outcomes in the patient populations? i have no idea if this is true, or if it would seem like a worthwhile goal to them, but perhaps some of you have read about such things in books or articles. if you have any ideas or evidences pro or con, i would be interested in hearing about them.
  5. JanCarol

    Making Activist Art

    On BlueBalu's thread, BTDT wrote: OMG B! I just started a play tonight! I was inspired by attending a theatre festival this weekend, and so many of the plays addressed real issues, like relationships, inner demons, and feminism and taking control of your life. In one play, Florence Nightingale told her cohorts to "stop taking the pills, they are only meant to control you!" (and she, Maggie Thatcher, and Jane Austen escaped the asylum!) I thought I would start a play about withdrawal. I've never written a play before, so I will need to get help from some experts, but I can visualize how it will be. It would be best to condense it into a very potent 1-act play, and might be a way to get our voices heard in a broader audience. I'm basing the characters on composites of people here - one depressed, one anxious (and abused), one "psychotic" (I call it Emergency), one chronic pain, and an Alto-like character (again, composite, of course). It will show 5 years in these peoples' lives, and at the end, they will meet on the internet and start recovery. It shows the drug rep and the doctor, and I've just written the part where everyone gets their first prescription. The next scene, a year later, people will be manifesting side effects, and get additional prescriptions. The scene after that will be 5 years, and the characters will be on multiple scripts with debilitating effects, but the pseudo-Alto character will have figured out withdrawal, and will be helping the others to take charge of their conditions. They will be talking on the internet - with some of them talking over coffee like we do here in Brisbane. It would be nice if I could bring the emotion that a play like "Love Letters" brings, where the actors read their internet posts aloud, and their stories come alive for all the others listening. The challenge is to make the characters real and engaging, to invoke the caring of the audience, and to present the material without being "preachy." To raise awareness. I have 2 playwright/directors in mind - one did a searing expose of self injury (one of her early works - confronting, not very successful - but it sure had us talking) - and the other has done plays about "encounter groups" and "body dysmorphia / anorexia disorder issues at a lingerie sales party." Both are activist-aware, and while they cannot write the play for me - I must write what I know - they can guide me to getting it published and up and running. And hopefully, making it a good script. And if I'm good enough, perhaps one will consent to cast and direct it for me! Additionally, if it is a one-act, it will tour the "festival circuit," which means that potentially thousands of people could see the performances, where if it's a full-length play, it might never be seen, except maybe at one local theatre. I know nothing about writing plays. But I hope to have a rough draft ready in 2 weeks to show these ladies at the next festival. Btdt - you are a prophet!
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