Mitch Stargrove (by way of Pit Schultz <>) on Fri, 30 Jul 2004 08:38:58 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> anti-psychiatry?

British Medical Journal blasts Bush's plan for universal psychiatric 
screening & drugging
Posted by: Admin on Sunday, June 20, 2004 - 06:31 PM GMT

  As highlighted by, according to an article from the June 19, 
2004 British Medical Journal:

A sweeping mental health initiative will be unveiled by President George W 
Bush in July. The plan promises to integrate mentally ill patients fully 
into the community by providing "services in the community, rather than 
institutions," according to a March 2004 progress report entitled New 
Freedom Initiative ( 
While some praise the plan's goals, others say it protects the profits of 
drug companies at the expense of the public.

[...] The president's commission found that "despite their prevalence, 
mental disorders often go undiagnosed" and recommended comprehensive mental 
health screening for "consumers of all ages," including preschool children. 
According to the commission, "Each year, young children are expelled from 
preschools and childcare facilities for severely disruptive behaviours and 
emotional disorders." Schools, wrote the commission, are in a "key 
position" to screen the 52 million students and 6 million adults who work 
at the schools.

The commission also recommended "Linkage [of screening] with treatment and 
supports" including "state-of-the-art treatments" using "specific 
medications for specific conditions." The commission commended the Texas 
Medication Algorithm Project (TMAP) as a "model" medication treatment plan 
that "illustrates an evidence-based practice that results in better 
consumer outcomes."

[...] But the Texas project, which promotes the use of newer, more 
expensive antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs, sparked off controversy 
when Allen Jones, an employee of the Pennsylvania Office of the Inspector 
General, revealed that key officials with influence over the medication 
plan in his state received money and perks from drug companies with a stake 
in the medication algorithm (15 May, p1153). He was sacked this week for 
speaking to the BMJ and the New York Times.

[...] Larry D Sasich, research associate with Public Citizen in Washington, 
DC, told the BMJ that studies in both the United States and Great Britain 
suggest that "using the older drugs first makes sense. There's nothing in 
the labeling of the newer atypical antipsychotic drugs that suggests they 
are superior in efficacy to haloperidol [an older "typical" antipsychotic]. 
There has to be an enormous amount of unnecessary expenditures for the 
newer drugs."

Olanzapine (trade name Zyprexa), one of the atypical antipsychotic drugs 
recommended as a first line drug in the Texas algorithm, grossed $4.28bn 
(2.35bn [British pounds]; 3.56bn [Euros]) worldwide in 2003 and is Eli 
Lilly's top selling drug. A 2003 New York Times article by Gardiner Harris 
reported that 70% of olanzapine sales are paid for by government agencies, 
such as Medicare and Medicaid.

Eli Lilly, manufacturer of olanzapine, has multiple ties to the Bush 
administration. George Bush Sr was a member of Lilly's board of directors 
and Bush Jr appointed Lilly's chief executive officer, Sidney Taurel, to a 
seat on the Homeland Security Council. Lilly made $1.6m in political 
contributions in 2000--82% of which went to Bush and the Republican Party.
According to Bush's Executive Order 13263 which launched the commission 
(emphasis added):
Sec. 4. Principles. In conducting its mission, the Commission shall adhere 
to the following principles:

(a) The Commission shall focus on the desired outcomes of mental health 
care, which are to attain each individual's maximum level of employment, 
self-care, interpersonal relationships, and community participation
Wow -- "maximum level of employment", not "appropriate" or "ideal" level of 
employment. Maybe this is related to putting Afghanistan pilots on speed? 
(Dec. 20, 2002 20/20 story)

The commision has its own website at According 
to the Final report executive summary:
Goal 4 - Early Mental Health Screening, Assessment, and Referral to 
Services Are Common Practice

In a transformed mental health system, the early detection of mental health 
problems in children and adults - through routine and comprehensive testing 
and screening - will be an expected and typical occurrence.

[...] Goal 5 - Excellent Mental Health Care Is Delivered and Research Is 

In a transformed mental health system, consistent use of evidence-based, 
state-of-the art medications and psychotherapies will be standard practice 
throughout the mental health system.
We already knew public schools were set up to turn out obedient, 
industrious workers who cannot think for themselves. Now besides just the 
tools of mandatory attendance and secular humanistic curricula, schools 
will have drugs and universally applied psychiatric tests at their disposal 
(with social workers ready to take children away from parents if parents do 
not agree to drugging -- see the June 10, 2004 story from KOAT, a New 
Mexico television station, about Chad Taylor's fight for his son in Rio 
Rancho, NM).

And it will be all paid by taxpayers with profits to line the pockets of 

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