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I know it's off topic but still just wanted to pass along.

/// ACTION ALERT /// April 20, 2006 ///

NPA Calls for Strongest Warning for Ritalin and Similar Drugs

Every day psychiatrists, paediatricians and other practitioners break laws in many U.S. states and across Canada when prescribing psychotropic drugs.  Per informed consent legislation patients must be made aware of all major and minor risks associated with medications.  Yet we have yet to find one case where this happened.

For example, when one mother asked her son’s psychiatrist about Ritalin, the totality of the information he gave her was “It’s good for him.”  This is illegal because it violates Informed Consent.  This drug was the subject of a public warning by Health Canada just last month and is a controlled substance, in the same category as cocaine.  It has also been associated with numerous deaths of children and adults and has a significant array of potential side effects, ranging from lack of diet to liver failure. (The basis of our recent petition seeking a class action lawsuit in Quebec is based on violations of informed consent.)

This failure in the healthcare industry must be addressed (and actions are already under way to make sure this happens).  In the meanwhile, it is vital that the government agencies that are responsible for keeping the public safe act to ensure that consumers are aware of the risks associated with all medication.  One way they can do this is make sure that vital information about drugs is included on the label.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration are currently reviewing whether they should issue their strongest warning, called a “black box,” for “ADHD” drugs such as Ritalin, Concerta and Adderall.  We strongly feel that they should and have sent a letter to the Acting Commissioner of the FDA (copy below).

We are also urging all our members to do the same (please send us a copy).

Thank you for your support.
National Parents Association  

To: Andrew C. von Eschenbach, M.D.
Acting Commissioner
Food and Drug Administration
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD 20857-0001

Dear Sir,

I am the president of the National Parents Association, a group established to protect the rights of parents and to preserve the family.  There is a case of a 12-year old boy (Gabriel Lavigueur) that has been the subject of media attention here in Canada for the past three weeks.  Last week a petition seeking a class action lawsuit was filed in court based on his case.

At the heart of the issue is Informed Consent.  The boy was placed on Ritalin, Risperdal and Paxil simultaneously.  The mother was not advised of any of the major or minor risks associated with these drugs – including the fact that both Risperdal and Paxil are not approved by Health Canada for use in pediatric patients.  Yes, it’s true that if she went on your website or the counterpart in Canada that she would have found out.  But how many parents do you know that know that such resources even exist?  Labeling changes and more public warnings must be issued – and they must be of a severity on par with the dangers of the drugs they’re associated with.

I have been following the recent events with the FDA regarding ADHD medications and I am writing to urge you to issue a Black Box warning on these drugs.  To not do so leaves parents and children at risk.  After all, what’s the point of “labeling changes” if drug companies can advertise their wares direct to the consumer to the tune of $3.1 billion (in the United States) per annum, and not have to include the warnings?

I trust that you will do the right thing and issue the Black Box.  It is important for America and for Canada as what you do has influence on this side of the border.


George A. Mentis

National Parents Association

Every diagnosis is a misdiagnosis!

Posts: 27
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The pharmaceutical companies are sometimes almost as bad as the tobacco and wireless industries! Check out this hilarious animated movie(just a few minutes):



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