Mar 30 2021 • 15 mins

The medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of the practice of medicine, but also in terms of teaching and research. The academic institutions of this country are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry.

Arnold Relman, MD, former editor NEJM (2002)

I wrote about a thousand Prozac-type SSRI prescriptions over my career, which might have been a half-million dollars in drug sales. I screened my patients, as I was trained, by merely asking them a few questions.

Peter Kramer's bestselling Listening to Prozac (1997) duped me. He said Prozac could save patients from common symptoms of guilt, fatigue, sadness, sleep disturbance, and even aches or digestive problems. He also claimed it could be a lifestyle drug similar to today's Viagra, boosting ordinary peoples’ performance. I learned later that the SSRIs are toxic, have limited utility, and the hype has produced vast overuse.

Industry marketed SSRIs as an improvement on the older tricyclic antidepressants. These cause sedation, and only a month’s supply is needed for suicide. Part of the promotion of the Prozac-class drugs was that sleepiness is mild and even enormous doses rarely cause fatality.

Before the drug era, doctors thought depression was rare and most often self-limited to about three months. Now (2020), Wikipedia claims that 17 percent of the US population becomes depressed during their lifetime, making them all candidates for expensive, indefinite medication usage. Legions of paid Wiki contributors, many of whom work for pharmaceutical companies, make this source only a little better than a drug industry link-farm.

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