Archive for May, 2014

Missouri Legislative Report

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Missouri Legislative Report

Missouri’s legislative session runs from January to mid-May per the Missouri constitution. At the end of the session, many failing bills get attached as amendments to bills that are going through, so it isn’t possible to know what was really passed and really killed until the session is over. We have now gone through summaries of all the bills passed this year to find the legislation relevant to CCHR. We had some good results, with one VERY GOOD anti-psych bill passed, and a number of dangerous pro-psych bills killed.

The scoreboard:
Anti-psych bills passed = 2
Pro-psych bills killed = 19

CCHR STL has visited the Capitol each year early in the legislative session with displays on mental health issues which are visited by various legislators. We also visit each legislator’s office delivering an information packet that includes the latest CCHR DVD. We also keep our friends and allies who are actively lobbying at the Capitol informed on mental health (Eagle Forum, Concerned Women for America, Missouri Family Network). We also had one of our volunteers testify at an Appropriations Committee hearing about the lack of result for dollars spent on mental health.

Your charitable donations and your volunteer time given to CCHR St. Louis allow us to achieve these results. Thank you for your support!

ANTI-PSYCH BILLS PASSED

SB 716 – Public health

This bill is a conglomeration of many provisions relating to public health, but has sections that are very good anti-psych legislation:

630.167
• Requires an investigation of reported abuse or neglect of a patient, resident, or client to be initiated within 24 hours and completed within 60 days.
• The guardian of such patient, resident, or client is to be notified of the investigation and given an opportunity to provide information to the investigators, and shall be notified of the results of the investigation and decision of the department of mental health within five working days of its completion.
• The department of mental health shall obtain two independent reviews of all patient, resident, or client deaths that it investigates.
• Requires the department of mental health to develop guidelines for screening and assessment of persons receiving mental health services that address the interaction between physical and mental health, to ensure all potential causes of changes in behavior or mental status caused by or associated with a medical condition are assessed.

SB 532 – Educational and medical consent by relative caregivers

• Allows an adult caregiver with whom a child is living to sign educational and medical consent if the parent is not available. Although not directly psych related, this is an important protection as it prevents consent for medical treatment, including psych treatment, from defaulting to the state if the parent is not available.

PRO-PSYCH BILLS KILLED

HB 1070 & HB 2059 – Family Intervention Orders
• Establishes family intervention orders for the treatment of persons who abuse chemical substances.

HB 1173 & SB 589 – Statutory cause of action
• Creates a statutory cause of action for damages against health care providers, replacing the common law cause of action for injury or death, and requires finding that the “health care provider failed to use that degree of skill and learning ordinarily used under the same or similar circumstances by similarly situated health care providers and that such failure proximately caused injury or death.”

HB 1083 – Statute of limitations for mental health
• Establishes a two-year statute of limitations for actions against a mental health professional for malpractice, negligence, error, or mistake

SB 583 – Evidentiary standard for noneconomic damages
• Changes the evidentiary standard for noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases, which would include mental health.
• Changes standard from “preponderance of evidence” to “clear and convincing,” which is a higher, more stringent standard of evidence. This is related to such damages as pain and suffering etc.

HJR 45 & SJR 25 – Limitations on non-economic damages
• Proposes a constitutional amendment granting the General Assembly the power to limit by statute jury awards of noneconomic damages, including against health care providers, which would include mental health.

HB 1130 – Prohibits denial of mental health treatment
• Prohibits the denial of mental health care and treatment for children who are alleged victims of abuse or neglect and requires guardians ad litem to have training in child abuse and neglect.

HB 1399 – Firearms and ammunition sales tax for mental health
• Imposes a sales tax upon every retail sale of any handgun or ammunition, at the rate of one cent per transaction, for providing funds for mental health services
Died in committee.

HB 1493 & SB 769 – Coverage for eating disorders
• Requires all health insurance carriers and health benefit plans to provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of eating disorders. Includes psych treatment.

HB 1605 – Mental Health Month
• Designates the month of May as “Mental Health Awareness Month” and the first full week of May as “Bipolar Disorder Awareness Week” in Missouri

HB 1694 – County Youth Initiative Fund
• Allows counties to pass a sales tax for a County Youth Initiative fund, which “may be expended for the purchase of the following services: (1) Juvenile delinquency prevention and rehabilitation programs; (2) Programs that provide opportunities for at-risk children and youth who are affected by adverse community dynamics; and (3) Programs that attempt to address the tenuous social infrastructure that often leads to crime, welfare dependency, drug and alcohol abuse, high school dropouts, and extended unemployment.”  These would be mental health programs.

HB 1901 – Multiple provisions on health care, several relating to mental health
• Mandates assessments and treatment if substance abuse contributed to a crime (Sect. 208.186.1. and 2.).
• Encourages school based clinics in rural areas (Sect. 208.661.1.). (Would include mental health.)
• Expands Medicaid for “medically frail,” including disabling mental disorders and chronic substance use. (Sect. 208.991.1.(7) etc.).

HB 2058 – Mental health for crime victims
• Adds board certified psychiatric-mental health clinical nurse specialists to the list of medical professionals from whom treatment costs may be compensated by the crime victim reimbursement fund.

HB 2223 – School-based psych clinic for trauma victims
• Requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to establish a comprehensive school-based mental health program for students dealing with trauma and violence.

SB 739 – MO HealthNet provisions, some relating to mental health
• Drugs/alcohol assessment when these are judged to be contributing factors in a crime or child abuse or neglect, and treatment may be required before family reunification (Sect. 208.186).
• Health clinics encouraged to co-locate on school premises, with prohibitions on abortions and contraceptives, and parental consent required (Sect. 208.661). (This will include mental health.)

SB 937 – Money for involuntary commitments
• Provides for the county counselor of Boone County to receive state money for performing duties related to mental health and mental health facilities.

Most-Prescribed, Top-Selling Psychiatric Drugs

Sunday, May 25th, 2014

Most-Prescribed, Top-Selling Psychiatric Drugs

A recent article in Medscape listed the top 100 most-prescribed and top-selling drugs to date. Here are the listings for psychiatric drugs.

Rank Drug (Brand Name) Total Sales Through March 2014
1 Abilify $6,885,243,368
8 Cymbalta $4,095,537,942
18 Lyrica $2,611,451,728
28 Vyvanse $1,848,814,801
39 Seroquel XR $1,251,615,894
60 Lunesta $927,689,337
68 Invega Sustenna $831,061,694
89 Pristiq $660,397,547
91 Focalin XR $647,720,027
94 Strattera $640,562,124
95 Latuda $639,903,393

 

Rank Drug (Brand Name) Total Prescriptions To March 2014
6 Cymbalta 14,487,742
8 Vyvanse 9,914,366
10 Lyrica 9,578,165
15 Abilify 8,747,749
45 Lunesta 3,156,599
48 Pristiq 3,119,322
50 Focalin XR 3,036,103
58 Seroquel XR 2,423,659
59 Strattera 2,396,488
61 Chantix 2,149,709

Richard Hughes and Robert Brewin, authors of The Tranquilizing of America, warned that although psychotropic drugs may appear “to ‘take the edge off’ anxiety, pain, and stress, they also take the edge off life itself … these pills not only numb the pain but numb the whole mind.” In fact close study reveals that none of them can cure, all have side effects, some horrific, and due to their addictive and psychotropic properties, many people believe that they cannot deal with life without them.

However, a person could drink alcohol or take cocaine and may think they “feel better.” It doesn’t make it right and, in the case of psychiatric drugs, it is potentially very dangerous because the drugs mask physical conditions, which left untreated, can be catastrophic.

Because of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), psychiatrists have deceived millions into thinking that the best answer to life’s many routine problems and challenges lies with the “latest and greatest” psychiatric drug.

CCHR believes that everyone has the right to full informed consent regarding psychiatric drugs and other psychiatric treatments, including:

  • The scientific/medical test confirming any alleged diagnoses of psychiatric disorder and the right to refute any psychiatric diagnoses of mental “illness” that cannot be medically confirmed.
  • Full disclosure of all documented risks of any proposed drug or “treatment.”
  • The right to be informed of all available medical treatments which do not include the administration of a psychiatric drug or treatment.
  • The right to refuse any treatment the patient considers harmful.

Violence and suicide can be deadly side effects of taking various psychotropic drugs. It could also be dangerous to immediately cease taking psychiatric drugs because of potential significant withdrawal side effects. No one should stop taking any psychiatric drug without the advice and assistance of a competent, non-psychiatric medical doctor.

The latest news about Santa Barbara spree killer Elliot Rodger is exposing his psychiatric treatment and psychiatric drug prescriptions. Elliot Rodger opened fire in Isla Vista, Calif. on the night of May 23 near the University of California, Santa Barbara campus. Seven are confirmed dead, including Elliot, and seven more are injured. CCHR says “let’s see the autopsy toxicology report to find out what drugs he was really taking.”

The Hard Truth

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

The Hard Truth

This week we reviewed the inaugural edition of The Hard Truth Magazine, a new online publication that deals with financial, political, corporate, healthcare, and governmental corruption — one that not only exposes the abuse of power in these sectors, but that also offers solutions.

Here is an interesting quote from this issue number 1: “There exists a consensus in American society that people can’t survive without sucking at the nipples of big government in order to gain the “security” inherent in prostituted food sources, specious pharmaceutical offerings, mind control in public schools, and the monitoring of every private domestic communication by agencies of the same federal colossus that the anti-federalists tried so hard to prevent — and failed.”

One is sure that this and future editions will be well worth the cost of subscription. Find out more about The Hard Truth here: www.thehardtruthmag.com.

Speaking of hard truths, the truth about psychiatry is one of which you should be aware. The factual cause of the social decline that marks our age is to be found in the two-hundred-year history of psychiatry. Since its earliest days, when psychiatrists chained, flogged, starved or tortured their patients into total submission, little has changed. Then, as now, the goal was the subjugation of the individual, not to cure madness. The brutal treatments psychiatry evolved and still uses to this day—electroshock therapy, psychosurgery and debilitating drugs—stand as testament to that fact.

Once psychiatry moved beyond its asylum walls and into society came the truly disastrous results. In today’s psychiatry, motivated by its mission to “follow the money” — to quote a contemporary president of the American Psychiatric Association — we are witnessing a profit-driven, corrupt industry that leaves death and destruction in its wake.

Despite trillions of dollars invested in it, psychiatry does not cure or alleviate. On the contrary, psychiatrists ruin lives and undermine our social institutions at huge cost. Something can and must be done about this dangerous profession.

Strong words, perhaps, but based on cold, hard facts. Facts everyone should know.

And the first step to effective action in eliminating this scourge is knowing the truth of how psychiatry goes about its work. Click here to begin your journey to the hard truth about psychiatry.