Second, it is Violently Opposed...
Third, it is Accepted as being Self-Evident." - Arthur Schopenhauer (1778-1860)
By Bruce E. Levine, PhD
As written in Z Magazine Online (www.zmag.org)
May 8, 2004
Eli Lilly, Zyprexa & The Bush Family
(& the CIA MK-ULTRA LSD experiments)
The Diseasing Of Our Malaise By Bruce Levine
Go to Prozac/Sarafem (Fluoxetine) side-effects: Cases & Reviews
Corrupt connections between Bush Family, psychiatry, and Eli Lilly & Company
More than one journalist has uncovered corrupt connections between the Bush Family, psychiatry, and Eli Lilly & Company, the giant pharmaceutical corporation. While previous Lillygates have been more colorful, Lilly's soaking state Medicaid programs with Zyprexa-its blockbuster, antipsychotic drug-may pack the greatest financial wallop. Worldwide in 2003, Zyprexa grossed $4.28 billion, accounting for slightly more than one-third of Lilly's total sales. In the United States in 2003, Zyprexa grossed $2.63 billion, 70 percent of that attributable to government agencies, mostly Medicaid.
Historically, the exposure of any single Lilly machination-though sometimes disrupting it-has not weakened the
Bush-psychiatry-Lilly relationship. In the last decade, some of the more widely reported Eli Lilly intrigues
A sample of those who have been on the Eli Lilly payroll includes:
Zyprexa and Diabetes
At the same time regulatory agencies were warning of Zyprexa's possible linkage to diabetes, Lilly's second most lucrative product line was its diabetes treatment drugs (including Actos, Humulin, and Humalog), which collectively grossed $2.51 billion in 2003. Lilly's profits on diabetes drugs and the possible linkage between diabetes and Zyprexa is not, however, the most recent Lillygate that Gardiner Harris broke about Zyprexa in the New York Times on December 18, 2003.
Eli Lilly & NAMI
Ken Silverstein, in Mother Jones in 1999, reported that NAMI took $11.7 million from drug companies over a three and a half year period from 1996 through 1999, with the largest donor being Eli Lilly, which provided $2.87 million. Eli Lilly's funding also included loaning NAMI a Lilly executive, who worked at NAMI headquarters, but whose salary was paid for by Lilly. Though NAMI's linkage to Lilly is a scandal to psychiatric survivors-whose journal MindFreedom published copies of Big Pharma checks to NAMI-the story didn't have the widespread shock value that would elevate it to Lillygate status.
In 2002, Eli Lilly flexed its muscles at the highest level of the U.S. government in an audacious Lillygate. The event was the signing of the Homeland Security Act, praised by President George W. Bush as a "heroic action" that demonstrated "the resolve of this great nation to defend our freedom, our security and our way of life." Soon after the Act was signed, New York Times columnist Bob Herbert discovered what had been slipped into the Act at the last minute and on November 25, 2002, he wrote, "Buried in this massive bill, snuck into it in the dark of night by persons unknown.was a provision that-incredibly-will protect Eli Lilly and a few other big pharmaceutical outfits from lawsuits by parents who believe their children were harmed by thimerosal."
George W. Bush & Sidney Taurel, Eli Lilly's CEO
In early 2003, "60 Minutes II" aired a segment on Lillygate and Prozac. With Prozac's patent having run out, Eli Lilly began marketing a new drug, Prozac Weekly. Lilly sales representatives in Florida gained access to "confidential" patient information records and, unsolicited, mailed out free samples of Prozac Weekly. How did Eli Lilly get its hands on these medical records? Regulations proposed under Clinton and later implemented under Bush contained a provision that gave health-care providers the right to sell a person's confidential medical information to marketing firms and drug companies. Despite many protests against this proposal, President Bush told Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson to allow the new rules to go into effect.
Joseph Wesbecker - Prozac/Sarafem (fluoxetine)
Victims of Joseph Wesbecker sued Eli Lilly, claiming that Prozac had pushed Wesbecker over the edge. The trial took place in 1994, but received scant attention as the public was transfixed by the O.J. Simpson spectacle. While Eli Lilly had been settling many Prozac violence cases behind closed doors (more than 150 Prozac lawsuits had been filed by the end of 1994), it was looking for a showcase trial that it could win. Although a 1991 FDA "blue ribbon panel" investigating the association between Prozac and violence had voted not to require Prozac to have a violence warning label, by 1994 word was getting around that five of the nine FDA panel doctors had ties to Big Pharma-two of them serving as lead investigators for Lilly-funded Prozac studies. Thus, with the FDA panel now known to be tainted, Lilly believed that Wesbecker's history was such that Prozac would not be seen as the cause of his mayhem.
A crucial component of the victims' attorneys' strategy was for the jury to hear about Eli Lilly's history of reckless disregard. Victims' attorneys especially wanted the jury to hear about Lilly's anti- inflammatory drug Oraflex, introduced in 1982 but taken off the market three months later. A U.S. Justice Department investigation linked Oraflex to the deaths of more than 100 patients and concluded that Lilly had misled the FDA. Lilly was charged with 25 counts related to mislabeling side effects and pled guilty-but in 1985, the Reagan-Bush Justice Department saw fit to fine them a mere $25,000.
In the Wesbecker trial, Lilly attorneys argued that the Oraflex information would be prejudicial and Judge John Potter initially agreed that the jury shouldn't hear it. However, when Lilly attorneys used witnesses to make a case for Eli Lilly's superb system of collecting and analyzing side effects, Judge Potter said that Lilly had opened the door to evidence to the contrary and ruled that the Oraflex information would now be permitted. To Judge Potter's amazement, victims' attorneys never presented the Oraflex evidence and Eli Lilly won the case. Later, it was discovered that-in a manipulation Cornwell described as "unprecedented in any Western court"-Eli Lilly cut a secret deal with victims' attorneys to pay them and their clients not to introduce the Oraflex evidence. However, Judge Potter smelled a rat and fought for an investigation. In 1997, Eli Lilly quietly agreed to the verdict being changed from a Lilly victory to "dismissed as settled."
Looking back further to 1992, Alexander Cockburn, in both the Nation and the New Statesman, was one of the first to connect the dots between the Bush family and Eli Lilly. After George Herbert Walker Bush left his CIA director post in 1977 and before becoming vice president under Ronald Reagan in 1980, he was on Eli Lilly's board of directors. As vice president, Bush failed to disclose his Lilly stock and lobbied hard on behalf of Big Pharma-especially Eli Lilly. For example, Bush sought special tax breaks from the IRS for Lilly and other pharmaceutical corporations that were manufacturing in Puerto Rico.
The CIA MK-ULTRA Mind Control LSD experiments and Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals
Much of the scientific community now acknowledges that the advantage of Prozac and Prozac-like drugs over a sugar-pill placebo is slight-or as Prevention and Treatment in 2002 defined it, "clinically negligible." When Prozac is compared to an active placebo (one with side effects), then Prozac is shown to have, in scientific terms, zero value. Moreover, many doctors and researchers now warn us about the dangers of Prozac. Psychiatrist Joseph Glenmullen's Prozac Backlash (2000) documented "neurological disorders including disfiguring facial and whole body tics indicating potential brain damage...agitation, muscle spasms, and parkinsonism," and he stated that debilitating withdrawal occurs in 50 percent of patients who abruptly come off Prozac and Prozac-like drugs.
Just as Prozac and other SSRI drugs are no longer seen by many scientists as an improvement in safety and effectiveness over the previous class of antidepressants, psychiatry's highly touted Zyprexa (and other "atypical antipsychotics") turns out to be no great advance over the older problematic anti-ps ychotics such as Haldol. Journalist Robert Whitaker, in Mad in America (2002), details how Eli Lilly's Zyprexa research was biased against the inexpensive Haldol and how claims of improved safety of Zyprexa are difficult to justify. Whitaker reports that in drug trials used by FDA reviewers, 22 percent of Zyprexa patients had "serious" adverse effects as compared to 18 percent of the Haldol patients.
The United States and other nations that have bought psychiatry's and Big Pharma's explanations and treatments turn out to have worse results with those diagnosed as psychotic than those nations who are less enthusiastic about drugs and who care more about community. In 1992, the World Health Organization (WHO), in a repeat of earlier findings, found that so-called underdeveloped nations, which emphasize community support rather than medications, have better results with those diagnosed as psychotic than nations, which stress drug treatments. In nations such as the United States, where 61 percent of those diagnosed as psychotic were maintained on antipsychotic medications, only 37 percent had full remission. While in India, Nigeria, and Colombia, where only 16 percent of patients diagnosed as psychotic were maintained on antipsychotic medications, approximately 63 percent of patients had full remission.
While scientists are not certain about the reasons for these WHO findings, two possible explanations are:
Thus, in areas such as mental health, radically commercialized societies such as the United States are backward societies.
Though some mental health professionals insist that atypical antipsychotics such as Zyprexa are a great advance, I've met few Zyprexa users who agree. A few years ago, a well-read man with a professorial manner in his early 60s, diagnosed by several other doctors as paranoid schizophrenic, came to see me. He had, at various times, taken several types of antipsychotic drugs and told me, laughing loudly between each sentence, "I'm crazy on drugs and crazy off drugs. Haldol helped me sleep and Zyprexa helped me sleep, but I hated the Haldol and when I was on Zyprexa, I couldn't take a shit for three weeks. Now I don't take any drugs and I can't sleep and I am a big pain-in-the ass, but I can remember better what I read." A few weeks later he told me, "It's all friendly fascism. Yes, friendly fascism. Was it you who told me-or was it I who told you-that fascism is about the complete integration of industry and government under a centralized authority? Friendly fascism, right? I suppose I say 'friendly fascism' too much, but you're not Ashcroft and neither am I, right? Don't you agree that it's all friendly fascism?" Then he flashed a giant smile and said one more time, "Friendly fascism, right, Bruce?"
Bruce E. Levine, PhD, is a psychologist and author of Commonsense Rebellion: Taking Back Your Life from Drugs, Shrinks, Corporations and a World Gone Crazy (New York-London: Continuum, 2003).
By Bruce E. Levine, PhD