By Evelyn Pringle
Online Journal Contributing Writer
Download a .pdf file for
Adobe Acrobat Reader required.
Click here to
download a free copy.
August 6, 2005—Here's another gross distortion of the
truth by TeenScreen. On its website, in response to the
question is TeenScreen related to TMAP, the Texas Medication
Algorithm Project? It says: “No. . . . Some Web postings
inappropriately and inaccurately claim that TeenScreen is a
bridge to medication and hence the TMAP program. This is
“There is absolutely no relationship between
TeenScreen and TMAP. . . . TeenScreen does not endorse any
particularly mental health treatment or
"TMAP . . . is a medication formulary for seriously
mentally ill adults in Texas. The adults served by this
program are cared for in public programs. TeenScreen and TMAP
have nothing to do with one another."
That's what TeenScreen says. Now lets look at the
Simply put, a TMAP (a.k.a. algorithm) is a list of
drugs that doctors are required to use in treating persons
with specific illnesses who receive medication funded by the
government with tax dollars.
Contrary to what TeenScreen claims, this list is not
limited to mentally ill adults in Texas. In fact, Texas has a
children's version that apes the adult version and is used for
kids in hospitals, foster care institutions, prisons, juvenile
programs and every other public program that is funded with
tax dollars in Texas.
all started in the mid-90s while George W. Bush was governor.
TMAP was developed by what's referred to as an "expert
consensus" made up of a group of "experts" already known to
have favorable opinions of certain drugs, chosen by drug
company sponsors, Janssen Pharmaceutica, Johnson &
Johnson, Eli Lilly, Astrazeneca, Pfizer, Novartis,
Janssen-Ortho-McNeil, GlaxoSmithKline, Abbott,
Bristol-Myers-Squibb, Wyeth-Ayerst and Forrest
1997–98, with pharma funding, a panel was assembled to
determine which drugs would be used in treating children and
decided that the same drugs used on adults could be used on
kids. There were no studies conducted to test the safety of
giving the TMAP drugs to kids and most had never been FDA
approved for use by children.
Experts are speaking out against these lists.
According Dr Grace Jackson, author of the new book,
Rethinking Psychiatric Drugs: A Guide for Informed
Consent, “Outside of emergency and trauma medicine, where
algorithms can and do save lives, the use of medical
flowcharts and guidelines must be evaluated carefully and
critically. This is because the algorithms have arisen from
'Evidence Based Medicine'—a statistically based approach to
studying treatment effects in populations, rather than a
reality based approach to discerning treatment effectiveness
in each unique individual.”
TMAP is still being used to push drugs on kids in Texas,
according to an article by the Associated Press on February
09, 2005, “As lawmakers work to revamp Texas' foster care
system, they also are reviewing the use of mind-altering drugs
by foster children.”
October 2004, the Texas inspector general for the Health and
Human Services Commission said his office interviewed staff at
three state licensed wilderness camps, which provide care for
foster children, and found that the average child who arrives
is on four or five psychotropic drugs.
After investigating the issue of drug use with foster
kids, in an April 2004 report, Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton
Strayhorn, blasted the agency for giving children drugs so
``doctors and drug companies can make a buck."
update on Texas comes from noted author Dr John Breeding who
reports, "We are fighting off a swarm of efforts to codify New
Freedom language into Texas law. Driven by Big Pharma and
psychiatry, Texas is a focal point as the Texas Medication
Algorithm Project started it all, the same folks were behind
the New Freedom Commission, and the end result is more and
more folks on drugs. "
TeenScreen's underlying motive is to recruit customers
to funnel money to pharma by drugging kids and a TMAP model,
under whatever name it goes by in each state, is the list of
the drugs that the new customers will be given. In fact to
push the overall scheme along, the Bush appointed New Freedom
Commission (NFC) has recommended that TMAP be used in all 50
it is spreading to other states. In Ohio, the list is called
“OMAP” and includes all the high-priced psychotropics such as
Paxil, Zyprexa, Adderall, Zoloft, Risperdal, Seroqual,
Depakote, Prozac, Wellbutron, Zyban, Remeron, Serzone, and
first things first, they have to get TeenScreen in schools and
this is where the NFC comes in. Its recommendations include,
"Early detection of mental health problems in children and
adults—through routine and comprehensive testing and
screening—will be an expected and typical occurrence. Both
children and adults will be screened for mental illnesses
during their routine physical exams."
Citing recommendations by the NFC, TeenScreen
Executive Director Laurie Flynn reports the Bush plan is “to
launch a nationwide mental illness screening program in
government institutions, including the public school system,
for all students from kindergarten up to the 12th
While testifying before the committee on March 2,
2004, Flynn praised the NFC for recommending TeenScreen. “I am
especially pleased to report that the commission named the . .
. TeenScreen Program a model program for early
Flynn’s testimony discussed TeenScreen’s goal of
finding students to “link them with treatment:”
2003, we were able to screen approximately 14,200 teens at
these sites; among those students, we were able to identify
approximately 3,500 youth with mental health problems and link
them with treatment. This year, we believe we will be able to
identify close to 10,000 teens in need, a 300 percent increase
over last year.”
no mistake, the lists are being used to drug children and any
new recruits will end up on drugs.
instance, according to a report in the April 25 Columbus
Dispatch, as of July 2004, nearly 40,000 Ohio children on
Medicaid were already on psychiatric drugs. After concerns
were raised nationally about the number of kids being
medicated, a reporter for the Dispatch investigated
prescriptions records paid for by the Ohio Medicaid program
and discovered that 31 percent of children ages 6 to 18 in
foster and group homes were on mental health drugs. And 22
percent of kids in detention were on psychiatric drugs as of
January 2005, with many on five or more.
These drugs have never been approved for kids and they
have been found to cause suicide and violence. Nearly all the
children involved in violent rampages in recent years have
been on the antidepressants known as SSRIs.
Christopher Pittman, the 12-year-old who shot and
killed his grandparents while they slept, and then burned down
the house, was on Zoloft. In describing the event, Christopher
said it was like he was watching a show on television and that
he could see everything happening but there was no way to stop
of the country’s leading experts on SSRIs, Dr Ann Tracey,
explains that people on these drugs, like Christopher, will
appear as if they are wide awake, when in fact they are half
asleep walking around in a dream-like state.
Despite the testimony of two highly qualified
psychiatrists that Christopher was "involuntarily intoxicated"
on Zoloft that night, the jury found him guilty, and barring a
miracle, this poor child will sit in prison for the next 30
years because a negligent doctor placed him on a lethal
Grace Jackson is against giving kids drugs. “It would be
difficult to engage in a form of medical experimentation more
potentially hazardous than child psychopharmacology. With
increasing frequency, researchers have demonstrated how and
why the psychiatric drugs are powerful neuroendocrine
disruptors which exert negative effects upon cognition,
growth, metabolism, and reproductive functioning,” she
According to Jackson, “The question should not be
whether or not American children are being
'overdrugged'—rather, the question should be: what evidence
justifies the drugging of even one child?”
State Officials Compromised by
Allan Jones was an Investigator in the Pennsylvania
Office of Inspector General, when the PennMap scheme was set
up in Pennsylvania. According to Jones, "TMAP and the NFC
represent the deceptive marketing of fraudulent science
through the corruption of our governmental safeguards at all
charged with examining the receipt of drug company funds by
state employees, Jones said, "I began to look at the overall
issue of Pharma marketing and immediately became alarmed that
the tactics used in marketing to the private sector were being
replicated with public employees. Trips, perks, travel,
honorariums, consultant fees etc."
most shady aspects of the program emerged quickly," he said,
“the recommended drugs were exclusively new, patented and
expensive and were selected by persons with financial ties to
Pharma; and the claims of increased efficacy and safety made
by the drug companies and state employees, were contradicted
by the available science," Jones discovered.
pharmaceutical industry purchased the 'opinions' of a few key
doctors and the endorsement of a few key state administrators,
and in exchange they illicitly opened the market for billions
of tax dollars spent on dubious and dangerous drugs," Jones
Pharma giant, Janssen, took the lead in exerting
influence over state officials by creating “advisory boards”
made up of state mental health directors who were regularly
treated to all expense paid trips and conferences. By
influencing 50 key officials, the company knew that it would
have a good shot at getting a TMAP list adopted in every
example, Ohio Mental Health Director Michael Hogan, and
California Director Stephen Mayberg, are New Freedom
Commission members who control mental health services in their
respective states, and both are members of a Janssen advisory
Hogan has proven to be so useful that Eli Lilly has
given him a “Lifetime Achievement Award.” In granting the
award it was noted that Hogan had given over 75 presentations
at conferences since he accepted the position on Bush’s New
According to my ace records researcher, Sue Weibert,
every conference that she was able to track down that featured
Hogan was sponsored by drug companies, and the group that
organized the conference solicited money from pharma to pay
the key note speaker.
Hogan is also on TeenScreen’s Advisory
Florida, Flynn has Jim McDonough, the director of the Florida
Office of Drug Control, in her back pocket.
March 22, 2004, email to McDonough she griped about paying the
Florida gang $120,000 a year and not getting enough in return.
“We've been working with David Shern and USF for 18 months or
so and still haven't got a program going,“ she said, “At this
point I'm inclined to re-think the use of our resources. We're
sending about $120k to USF annually. . . . but ultimately
we're not achieving our goals in the community,” she
Flynn went on to tell McDonough that she had to find
kids to screen and said, “I'm looking for a horse to ride
this point, the NFC, TMAP and TeenScreen, working together,
have managed to weave together a web of key government
officials who control funding for the nation’s mental health
services in states all across the country.
using TeenScreen, pharma has hopes of roping in 7–12 million
new customers, according to Flynn’s March 2002
need for increased . . . screening is evidenced by the fact
that close to 750,000 teens are depressed at any one time, and
an estimated 7–12 million youth suffer from mental illness.
While treatments are available for these severely disabling
disorders, sadly, most children do not receive the treatment
they need. Among teens that are depressed, 60–80 percent go
State Officials Starting To Get
it turns out, bribing state officials is really not uncommon.
In Pennsylvania, Allen Jones discovered that Janssen and
Pfizer had both been courting the same guy, Steve Fiorello,
the state pharmacist. Each company had paid Fiorello as a
consultant, treated him to travel accommodations, and provided
him with educational grants to promote PennMap.
Fiorello was in a unique position. He was paid about
$82,000 to oversee pharmacy operations at Pennsylvania’s
mental health hospitals, and he was also a member of the
committee that determined which drugs would be on the PennMap
list for doctors to prescribe at those hospitals.
finally busted, the ethics commission charged that he "played
both sides; he participated with Pfizer . . . as to its
drug-selling strategies, and he participated on the committee
as to selecting drugs for the state formulary."
101-page report said Fiorello had earned money from Pfizer
while serving on a panel that chose what drugs would be used
and that he improperly took money from Janssen and Duquesne
University. The commission fined him $27,000.
April 2002 company publication showed that Janssen knew
exactly what it was paying for. Under Faculty Bio, Janssen
described Fiorello as being “responsible for the formulation
of policies and procedures for drug use for ten state
hospitals and facilities including the development and
implementation of the PENNMAP project."
Flynn & Hogan—Expert
where does TeenScreen fit in here? After all, it insists on
its website that it is absolutely not involved with this list
lo and behold, that’s not quite true. Just look what my
talented records researcher, Sue Weibert, discovered in "The
Journal of Clinical Psychiatry," Vol 60, 1999 Supplement 11:
under Expert Consensus Guideline Series: Treatment of
we have none other than Laurie Flynn listed as an "expert" who
took part in creating the list. She surely must have forgotten
Flynn and her band of pushers from the National
Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) must be geniuses when it
comes to picking drugs because 39 members of NAMI got to cast
votes in determining which drugs could be on this list. The
only group with more votes than NAMI was academic experts with
Another “expert” who took part in this “expert
consensus” process was Flynn’s good buddy, Mike
its website, TeenScreen claims that it does not endorse any
specific drugs. Well the author obviously did not check with
its executive director because she sure does.
Surprise, surprise! “Experts” Flynn and Hogan
recommended the most expensive drugs on the market for the
treatment of schizophrenia: Risperdal, Seroquel, and
affiliation with drug companies either, huh? According to the
report, "This project was supported by unrestricted
educational grants from Eli Lilly and Co; Janssen
Pharmaceutica, Inc; Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation;
Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical; Pfizer, Inc; Zeneca
truth is NAMI is pharma’s main front group and is used to
implement every marketing scheme the industry dreams up. As
its former executive director, Flynn was its top pusher for 16
years. The group even admits that its goal is to help pharma
“grow the market,” in an excerpt from the its 2000 Form 990,
entitled "Guidelines for the Relationship between NAMI and the
Campaign's Founding Sponsors.”
Providers, health plans, and pharmaceutical companies
want to increase their share of the market. "NAMI will
cooperate with these entities to grow the market by making
persons aware of the issues involving severe brain disorders,
by giving professionals and providers the NAMI perspective, by
bringing into treatment persons who are not being served, and
by helping persons to adhere to their treatment plans." (2000
990 is available at Guidestar.com).
March 2, 2004, Flynn testified at a congressional hearing that
in the screening process, "youth complete a 10-minute
self-administered questionnaire that screens for social
phobia, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, major
depression, alcohol and substance abuse.
is amazing, if Flynn is right, all it takes is 10 minutes and
a paper and pencil to unearth any one of 30 deep-seated mental
illnesses. I'm surprised they haven't figured out a way to cut
out the middleman doctor and set up a drive through for kids
to go pick up their pills at Walgreens without a prescription.
That’s probably in the works.
Experts warn that TeenScreen will do more harm than
good. “It is impossible, on cursory examination, or on the
basis of the program's brief written screening test, to detect
suicidality or 'mental illness,' however we define it. Indeed,
the fears evoked by the process of seeking out mental illness
can create psychiatric symptoms,“ according to Nathaniel
Lehrman, MD, former Clinical Director, Kingsboro Psychiatric
Center, Brooklyn NY; former Assistant Clinical Professor of
Psychiatry, Albert Einstein and SUNY Downstate Colleges of
“Searching out those 'illnesses,' rather than relying
on the troubled to seek help for themselves, violates the
privacy of those in whom these 'illnesses' are sought,”
Lehrman warns. “For those youngsters whose screenings
supposedly reveal such 'mental illness,' the major treatment
will then be drugs.”
“Aren't eight million kids on Ritalin enough?” Dr
Lehrman wants to know.
TeenScreen is always bragging that its screening tools
are free. Apparently that was also a scam to convince schools
to adopt the program. According to a September 27, 2004, email
to Jim McDonough, schools will have to pay a fee beginning in
DPS (the 19 minute computer administered screening tool) that
TeenScreen offers has been sold to Mental Health Systems . . .
Sites can continue using the DPS, but starting Jan. 2006, they
will have to pay a few hundred dollars. (The exact prices is
yet to be decided) . . . The DPS will still be offered by
TeenScreen, it will just not be free anymore.”
December 4, 2002, Flynn spoke to the NFC, and explained the
cost of setting up one TeenScreen program: "Implementation in
just one school district often requires piecing together over
a dozen funding streams from the education and mental health
Think about that for a minute, "piecing together over
a dozen funding streams." So how much are local taxpayers
going to end up paying for school employees to set up a
TeenScreen program in every school?
Something is very wrong here. This is pharma’s
marketing scheme, yet taxpayers are paying to set it up,
paying school employees to administer the survey, paying for
clinicians and case managers, and, in 2006, the use of the
survey itself will cost money.
top of all that, mark my word, taxpayers are going end up
paying for shrinks for students without insurance, and
Medicaid programs will end up funding at least three-fourths
of the drugs prescribed.
I’ve said before, this has got to be the most brilliant scheme
that I have come across in my two years of investigating the
pharmaceutical industry. It's all profit—tax dollars funneled
through kids directly
pharma coffers. Brilliant.
No Laughing Matter
pharmaceutical industry is taking over the world right before
our very eyes. The harmful effects of the drug makers'
take-over is well-documented in Bob Whitaker's book, "Mad In
Right now pharma has over a hundred NAMI-type
marketing front groups in place all over the globe. It has
succeeded in greasing enough palms to compromise the few
government officials necessary to control the federal and
state funding allocated for prescription drug programs, and it
has doctors in every field of medicine writing out
prescriptions for expensive psychiatric drugs as if they were
the cure-all for everything under the sun.
gotten so bad, that Dr Lehrman notes a need for public
awareness of the extent to which the American medical
profession is being prostituted by the drug companies, “In no
other medical specialty has that prostitution reached the
depths it has in my specialty, psychiatry,” he
Pharma has infiltrated the staff responsible for
prescribing drugs in the country’s health care facilities, to
boost profits by overmedicating patients, with most of the
funding coming from tax dollars, causing state Medicaid
programs to go broke.
addition, it controls the media with billions of advertising
dollars, so that when it does get busted for hiding harmful
effects of drugs that kill people or paying doctors to push
drugs for ailments they were never approved for, or shooting
poisonous vaccines into infants for profit, or any of the
other thousand money-making schemes that it has going on any
given day, the story might make front page headlines for a day
or two at most.
took hold of the nation’s regulatory agencies by making sure
to get the majority of government researchers and scientists
on their payrolls, so that they will readily approve new drugs
and then allow companies to make a killing off selling new
drugs by hiding their adverse effects until people start
most importantly, Pharma has gained a stranglehold on every
branch of government by funneling a steady stream of campaign
cash to politicians to make sure that favorable legislation is
passed and investigations of industry crimes are shut
Last, but certainly not least, it now appears more and
more likely every day that pharma is going to have its way
with the nation's children via the public school system. God
Records researchers, Sue Weibert and Ken
Kramer contributed to this report.
Evelyn Pringle is a columnist for Independent Media
TV and an investigative journalist focused on exposing