Most of us have such great trust in our physician that we think this person, whom we know relatively well in most cases, is an absolute expert about the drugs he or she prescribes.
Unfortunately, that is far from true. Aside from the fact that doctors get most of their education from “detail reps” (drug sales representatives), they are also kept from the truth by articles in journals that are written, not always by the scientists whose names are in the by-line, but by ghostwriters hired by pharmaceutical companies. It’s extremely prevalent in the high-competition, high-profit area of antidepressants—SSRIs and their kin.
In a series titled, “How Do SSRIs and Other Medications Cause Violence?” on RxISK.org (here), Julie Wood begins a detailed explanation of why the subtitle of the piece is so true. The subtitle? “…and why don’t people spot the connection?”
Many people don’t spot the connection. I am not one of them. Following the Sandy Hook shooting three years ago (12/14/12), I started looking for reasons. As I searched, I became interested in and fascinated by the skills of manipulation demonstrated by the pharmaceutical companies. I read, and read, and read, and had soon studied over sixty books on the subject, plus many internet sites (try SSRIstories.org, for example), videos, etc.
I was angered by the media’s lack of interest in this cause of murders, violence, suicide and other crimes where the perpetrator seemed to go against his or her nonviolent “old self” and become a monster. Their reason for silence was clear.
Their monster was money. Tons of it. In 2013, according to the BBC (here), pharmaceutical companies were the most profitable on the planet. Their profit margin as a percentage of revenues averaged about 18%, the same as banks. So, why do oil companies get such a bad rap, with their 8%? A lot of their revenue was spent on advertising, and that was why we didn’t hear it on the nightly news.
My anger about this had to be funneled. There were plenty of blogs by people more qualified than I am. Plenty of articles, videos, and nonfiction books. But, no novels centered on the subject, and only one movie (Side Effects) skirted the issue skillfully, probably in return for funding.
So, I continued researching and writing, and over the last three years, wrote The Present Madness, a mystery. The Kindle ebook is available for a bargain 99¢ until 12/25/15; $2.99 after that. The print version is available for $8.95 plus $3.99 shipping (in USA) at this Amazon link (here). (It’s new and signed by the author.)