UPDATE Sep 19, 2013: A reader sent us a story about the pharmaceutical industry’s influence on the media, helping to hide the fact that prescription drugs often cause violent outbursts, such as the recent Navy Yard shooting. We’ve added the story to the end of this article because it illustrates why we should be very concerned about how far and thoroughly the tentacles of the pharmaceutical industry have spread, and about their influence on our politicians and the hazardous effects on our society and our lives.
How much of the resident-on-resident violence we are hearing about lately in nursing homes might also be caused by the drugs being given to the residents?
Scroll down to read “Media Buries Psychiatric Drug Connections to Navy Shooter” after reading our feature story below.
Pharmaceutical lobbyist backed former NDP health critic… What??
We are truly surprised (and disappointed) to learn that one of the stars of the B.C. NDP had a pharmaceutical industry lobbyist working as a key organizer of his 2011 party leadership campaign.
Several years ago, many of us advocating against elder abuse woke up to the unpleasant reality that the NDP, both provincially and federally, were unwilling to do little more than utter platitudes in the media and publish glossy reports about elder abuse – largely ignoring elder abuse committed by health care providers and public agencies.
The Sep 13, 2013 issue of the weekly Vancouver paper, Georgia Strait reports that lobbyist Marcella Munro was working for Mike Farnworth, the former B.C. NDP Health critic, a close runner-up to opposition leader Adrian Dix in the 2011 NDP leadership race. Mr. Farnworth is now NDP Finance critic and a top contender to replace Mr. Dix as part of the fall-out from the NDP defeat in the May 2013 provincial election in B.C.
Marcella Munro is with the Earnscliffe Strategy Group, and is a registered lobbyist for Rx&D, formally known as “Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies”, as well as a lobbyist for major players in the fish farming, pesticide and natural gas industries. She also lobbies directly for GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc., and Eli Lilly.
Rx&D is the main lobby group in Canada for pharmaceutical companies whose stated objectives are “improving patient access” to drugs and “strengthening their competitive investment environment”.
Our experience and investigations have shown that the B.C. NDP, including their recent leaders (Adrian Dix, Carole James), former Health critic (Mike Farnworth), Seniors critic (Katrine Conroy) and Justice critic (Leonard Krog) as well as MLAs (Lana Popham, Norm Macdonald, and newly-elected David Eby in his former position as president of the BC Civil Liberties Association), took actions to ignore and/or cover up abusive, unlawful and even criminal conduct by health care providers and government agencies brought to their attention by the public.
We attribute this reprehensible conduct largely to the NDP’s strong union base. The former head of the B.C. Hospital Employees Union (HEU), Judy Darcy, won a seat for the B.C. NDP in the May 2013 election, and has now been appointed as the opposition party’s Health critic. Health care unions are formidable in their defense of their organizational power and of the misconduct of their members, just as private sector companies aggressively pursue marketplace domination and profits. Unions have proven to be no more defenders of the public good than are corporations. They each have vested interests, especially in the upper echelons, that often run counter to the well being of individuals.
Anyone who is aware of the B.C. Liberal government’s relentless dismantling of British Columbia’s world-renowned drug safety research group Therapeutics Initiative (TI), not to mention B.C. having the dismal distinction of being a world leader in the rate of dangerous antipsychotic drugs administered to seniors, would know that Rx&D has been actively and openly lobbying for the dismantling of TI, as well as promoting the widespread and indiscriminate drugging of seniors, especially in residential care facilities. Did Health critic Mike Farnworth not recognize his sordid complicity in this?
The NDP have long professed to be strong supporters of the Therapeutics Initiative group. Apparently those were just words. Recruiting a lobbyist for pharmaceutical companies to organize the leadership campaign of the NDP’s former Health critic and potential leader speaks louder than the hollow NDP words uttered for public consumption and deception. Most of the people who voted for the B.C. NDP in the 2013 election probably still don’t understand that the NDP are not what they purport to be.
We should not assume that the NDP will change from being the party of union power to a party of the people. The fine legacy of Tommy Douglas, David Lewis, Ed Broadbent and Jack Layton is nowhere in evidence now.
To add balance, while this is a criticism of the NDP, we need to acknowledge that the other mainstream parties are behaving no better in addressing the shocking assault on seniors occurring right across our country.
Knowledge. Compassion. Courage. Action.
Take a stand against institutional elder abuse.
Paul Joseph Watson | Infowars.com | September 18, 2013
Networks don’t want to risk losing $2.4 billion in ad revenue from pharmaceutical giants
Despite every indication that Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis was on SSRI drugs that have been linked to dozens of previous mass shootings, the mainstream media has once again avoided all discussion of the issue, preferring instead to blame the tragedy on a non-existent AR-15 that the gunman didn’t even use.
We now know that Alexis “had been treated since August by the Veterans Administration for his mental problems.” … Across the medical industry, “treatment” is the code word for psychiatric drugging.”
Alexis also suffered from PTSD, blackouts and anger issues – all of which are treated with SSRI drugs. The most common form of treatment for PTSD is Paroxetine, which is listed as the number 3 top violence-causing drug by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP).
The Navy Yard shooter was clearly on some form of psychiatric drug, but the media has shown no interest in discovering its identity.
Despite it being reported that prescription drugs were found in the apartment of ‘Batman’ shooter James Holmes days after the Aurora massacre, it took nine months to find out exactly what those drugs were. Like Columbine killer Eric Harris, Holmes had been taking Zoloft, another SSRI drug linked with violent outbursts.
The length of time it took to find out that Holmes was on Zoloft was partly because the media habitually shows zero interest in pursuing the link between anti-depressants and violence.
As the website SSRI Stories profusely documents, there are literally hundreds of examples of mass shootings, murders and other violent episodes that have been committed by individuals on psychiatric drugs over the past three decades. The number of cases is staggering.
Why is the corporate media so disinterested in pursuing this clear connection?
Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the pharmaceutical giants who produce drugs like Zoloft, Prozac and Paxil spend around $2.4 billion dollars a year (2011, Forbes) on direct-to-consumer television advertising every year. By running negative stories about prescription drugs, networks risk losing tens of millions of dollars in ad revenue.
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