Something Happened: Neo-Medicalism

July, 22, 2019 | 12 Comments


  1. Being out on a limb; cross-examined, in these cases, the plaintiff is likely to become ‘the accused’ as the defendant has the power and the glory and an endless train of ‘hearsay’ medical pro supporters …

    The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right … to be confronted with the witnesses against him”.

    As is said, here, Political Pills, Psychopharmaceuticals and Neoliberalism as Mutually Supporting…

    The Sedated Society pp 189-225 | Cite as

    Political Pills: Psychopharmaceuticals and Neoliberalism as Mutually Supporting

    This chapter argues that a core explanatory variable in the spread of psychopharmaceuticals has been the ability of such products since the 1980s to serve key aims of the neoliberal political economy. Thus to understand the expansion of psychopharmaceutical consumption since the 1980s, we must go beyond the machinations of the pharmaceutical industry and psychiatric profession, to inspect the deeper neoliberal interests, aims and logics to which both profession and industry have been responsive and beholden.

    Psychopharmaceuticals, in other words, have enjoyed rapid ascent by being configured as consistent with key neoliberal aims of increasing ‘labour productivity’ and of furthering ‘commodification’ while themselves benefitting from ‘deregulation’. While reform of psychiatric and pharmaceutical practices certainly is long overdue, unless political will grows sufficiently to tackle systemic corruptions and excesses in the research, regulation and distribution of psychopharmaceuticals, little may transpire in the form of tangible change.

    A still-popular and beloved son of England, one of the judges at his less than fair trial later said

    “The justice of England has never been so degraded and injured as by the condemnation of the honourable Sir Walter Raleigh.”

    • Unless it’s a criminal court then it’s the other way round. Sorry Annie just reading the first sentence made me make this comment.

      The state will always make sure it’s looked after first even when they are wrong.

  2. The other wonderful thing about Raleigh is that while awaiting execution he wrote a History of the World – I fear I never read it but I recall being shown the first edition by a book collector friend of the family as a child, and being left in an appropriate state of wonder.

    I agree very much about the bureaucracy – I do think COI is important on occasion and should be disclosed. But it is the people locked into a set of practices which is deadly to truth. Truth becomes a thing which is settled by committees which are actually more interested in dogma, control and covering their backs from decades of malfeasance and which in turn is perhaps itself a kind of COI and it is more potent for being administrative. My guess is in the Wakefield case we see the Department of Health and the licensing agency shaking in their shoes. And I am sure on the other that the people who have dribbled the contaminated blood for haemophiliacs scandal or the Camelford scandal up the field for decades have regarded themselves as particularly honourable public servants. But, of course, you are right that RCTs are a particular effective means of rendering the experimented on faceless (apart from anything else). If you can avoid recognising the individual then perhaps you can avoid recognising the mass.

  3. To me a random controlled trial is like a bunch of people deciding it’s worth sacrificing the few, or the many, like bombing the hell out of a city ‘for the greater good’. It.s not moral it’s accepted expediency chosen by those who have been appointed to a committee by their brethren and who will not die themselves. An RCT surely will ensure that some are harmed when the randomly chosen are all different not just from me but from each other as well..making the use of it even less scientific or true or fair.
    One reason for defending some bits of bureacracy though is that pre-neo -liberalism there was too little accountability by doctors. They could and some did practice based on what they were taught often decades earlier without any obligation to further education. Also clinical judgement is fallible, human behaviour is not always honourable – people have not always received equal and fair treatment so although bureacracy is not the answer unless we are all transformed into machines, I think there needs to be some safeguards to ensure honourable, benevolent treatment is assured for everyone (as far as possible given human nature)..

  4. I agree with this post; however, I would still consider myself as someone who believes RCTs to be superior method to anecdotes. I think the real issue here is not the method of RCTs, but rather how industries are manipulating the study designs and misrepresenting the findings to paint whatever picture they want. Some examples would be like those antidepressant trials where the patients were given benzodiazepines beforehand to combat the akathisia, or trials that have completely fake patients. These are clearly broken study designs. Industries will manipulate trials in their favor, conduct several of them, and then cherry pick the ones that suit them and bury the rest. That is the core issue with RCTs. They are easy to fool people with because we do not always have full access to data, and we also do not have populations that are educated on how to properly analyze scientific research. However, in the absence of non biased RCTs, it is wise to look at clusters of case reports. This is where your method has really come into play. A single claim made by some random person IS a mere anecdote; however, if you have many of these claims that are consistent and have been documented into case reports, then I believe that is when it transcends a state of being “anecdotal”. It’s like you said, if a person has a documented reaction to a drug that starts on usage, stops or changes when halted, and has a varying degree of severity that matches the dose variation, then what other explanation is there? This is where case reports become invaluable at establishing specifics, and I believe they should be valued almost as much if not just as much as any other form of evidence in this particular context. However, I would still say that appropriately designed RCTs are superior for discovering the overall efficacy of something in most cases. The issue with pharmacy drugs is that the RCTs for them are poorly designed on purpose in the interest of the pharmaceutical companies.

  5. Of course conflicts of interest are important…that’s why so often they are hidden from public view…

    The poor trusting general public has no idea how vaccination policy is being manipulated by vested interests, operating behind a facade of authoritative-sounding ‘doctors’ and ‘professors’ with conflicts of interest.

    For a perspective, see this recent article by Children’s Health Defense: ‘The Pharmaceutical Industry’s Front Men’, 23 July 2019:

  6. Galileo said that “In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual”.

    It’s easier for Seroxat victims of this Church, even with the evidence and the facts from an expert, to reason with an evangelical Christian or Flat Earthers than to convince others that their doctor is far from omniscient and that ‘medicine’ does not revolve around science and health-care.

    In fact, that forces have conspired so that they are no longer in the same universe.

    You are guilty, like Socrates, of two charges: asebeia (impiety) against the pantheon of Athens, and of corruption of the youth of the city-state.

    And thank God for the next generation of children and teens like my step daughter:

    Prescribed Sertraline before I came on the scene, this young lady is still out of school; she has since suffered from ‘obesity’ and apathy, sexual ‘dysfunction’ (no interest in the opposite sex at all in puberty) and from suicidal akathisia (also acting out violently on the same day) after missing one pill.

    I repeat her plight all the time as it’s just shocking to me (working now to get her safely off it with support at the right time).

    Post a needless prescription for Seroxat as a young adult in 1999 (and all the follow up offending drugs to function), the legacy of Corporate abuse and Standard Care has left me struggling with seemingly permanent physical, cognitive, and emotional damage. Since 1999, my life has been about survival and self defense.

    And even after I had made it clear in 2005 (albeit incapable of saving myself, an utter mess and not equipped at the time with what would be the most important word in my life: “akathisia”) post the Panorama Programmes who my trusted abuser had been: GSK.

    Still, a psychiatrist (and the first psychiatrist I saw after being prescribed Seroxat ten years prior – terrified after Seroxat of ever going again) had noted no abuse in my childhood and that she could not make “head nor tail” of what was wrong with me.

    This post reminds me that I’m soon on a State Disability Claim Appeal Hearing/Trial where I also argued my iatrogenic Disabilities (as Annie says, it does feel to the victim like they are always on trial. Even more frustratingly when the damage has compromised the victim’s ability to think much less make their best case/defense).

    A box long on the packet (and more and evidence of the disabilities caused post long term prescription and post a severe withdrawal) there’ll be no corresponding tick box in State Claims. What a doctor says…

    No matter that what a doctor said (on the basis of what they were effectively told to believe/say) almost killed me a few times, ruined my health, my life – and did kill too many.

    I hear my deceased father and my partner, although knowing the time and costs that would be involved in getting more State pleasing tick box false diagnoses and inappropriate and damaging drugs for false diagnoses and when suffering from MCS, say “just play the game”.

    Both survivalists, and where the cost has already been too much, they are not wrong:

    “The King” is always safe in the State’s hands.

    There can be not even a rumour of plot against him (even if you were a good citizen, he almost killed you a few times and left you disabled). The victims of the golden word of third parties, of even the King, are the only ones who will be cross examined by the State.

    All Seroxat victims have to them their epic little battles. And which they always lose to their further detriment.

    If the State rep also sits in judgement (albeit their own hands tied behind their back), I’m hoping I won’t lose my head.

    • The ‘Crown of Thorns’ … for D’s..

      Market 2019-2023 Featuring Allergan, Eli Lilly and Co, GlaxoSmithKline, H. Lundbeck AS, Pfizer –

      July 26, 2019 10:55 AM Eastern Daylight Time

      This analysis also considers the sales of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in Asia, Europe, North America, and ROW. In 2018, the depression segment held the highest market share, which is expected to remain prevalent over the forecast period. Factors such as the rising incidence of depression, easy absorption of the drugs through the gastrointestinal tracts, and their selective activity toward 5-HT receptors will significantly help the depression segment in maintaining its leading market position.

      Also, our global selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors report has observed market growth factors such as the increased drug dependency associated with SSRIs, rising prevalence of mental illnesses, and favorable drug purchasing policies for patients. However, challenges such as side effects of antidepressants, advent of biologics, and stringent US FDA regulations and approval of psychotropic drugs may hamper the growth of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors industry over the forecast period.

  7. re Open Consultation to Green Paper : Maximising our Health; Prevention in the 2020’s (nice rounded number); Pub 22nd July 2019 Dept Health and Social Care Gov.UK. Closed Oct 14th Oct (2 months to handle a massive doc with citizens responses – maybe it just goes straight to the shredder). ) ‘Online for responses ‘Advancing Our Health’

    In Iceland citizens’ data is stored on a massive database without choice. In UK there is a more covert patronising nudge nudge approach to persuade us to be good boys and girls and provide our data for the common good of the country and of course for our own personal benefit. But it hides that much is already grabbed without our consent Another consultation document has been issued which shows the aims of relyinh much more heavily on the collection of data and use of ‘intelligent’ devices, especially those attached to our personal devices and actual bodies. It can be seen as progressive but is also very creepy.
    Much is made of intelligent gathering of data in this Green Paper which is out for so called consultation. There is room for responses but when you get to the end the site hasn’t been ‘switched’ so need to save. So we can all rely on intelligent collection of data then,!,
    Now and then I grap an opportunty to hightlight the issues on DH and Rxisk on ‘consultations’ -who knows someone might get curious..- We don’t need to guess what’s left out of the document – untrustworthy promises about how our data will be protected by this and that regulation ,obfiscates that there is no mention of research data, just what is proposed to be researched . In an attempt to make us feel this all a great partnership between citizens and politicians and ‘stakeholders’ they just infantalise and paternalise or maternalise people in ways we never imagined. Every corner of life is intruded upon and cleverly using psychological research tries to influence society by these pretence of consultations that we all have chosen to buy into it. Anyway ,3 of the aims;- targeted support; tailored lifestyle advice; x Greater Protection Against Threats x Theydon’t just threaten our health but the whole concept of a free society.

  8. Channel 4 Dispatches‏ @C4Dispatches

    “We’re promoting the idea that it’s ok to have a mental health problem – but it’s made us afraid of our emotions” Dispatches looks at claims that de-stigmatisation campaigns are having​​​ unintended consequences, leading some to wrongly believe they have a mental health problem.

    Channel 4 Dispatches‏ @C4Dispatches

    Britain has a youth depression crisis. More and more are now asking for help – but 2 out of 3 people aren‘t getting the treatment they desperately need.

    WATCH: Young, British and Depressed – tonight at 8 on @Channel4 #Dispatches

  9. dr Healy, you say it is very unlikely that any doctor would distrust RCT’s, even when explained that RCT’s are not to be trusted?

    What am I missing here? Isn’t it just in the doctors favour to keep believing in RCT’s?
    A doctor that can point to a RCT, is a doctor that can’t be blamed.

    I would say it is almost foolish to even try to change the doctors opinion.

    A RCT is ordered by the pharmaceutical manufacturer, carried out with oversight from the manufacturer,(and in some ‘mysterious cases’ seen through court litigation where manufacturers seemingly hide adverse events and buff benefits through clever manipulation), commonly performed by Universities who rely on the manufacturers endorsement for the RCT, and published in medical journals that gladly publicise, who also needs to use in-house attorneys if they feel obliged to publicise negative reviews (like 329 re-vamped) in fear of(!!!!!!????) manufacturers that can sue them!

    (Not even considering politics and legislation that also agree that RCT’s are ‘gold standard’)

    The system is in place, and it’s run by the manufacturer in each step. It is silently agreed upon. The doctors benefit from this, the patients don’t.

    If doctors stood to gain from exposing lies, they most likely would.

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