One of the hardest things for people, who suffer from illnesses/disabilities, is getting good information and support. The health care system doesn’t seem to provide it, and so many of us join community support groups where we can share our experiences and support each other. (I go to Epilepsy Toronto and know many who use Fluoroquinolone support groups. The FQ groups are certainly not supported by any Pharmas, but my epilepsy group gets funds from UCB, the people who sell us Keppra and Vimpat.)
The pharmaceutical industry is very aware of this, and lends their financial muscle to support all kinds of community support groups — particularly if group members are potential “customers” for their meds. And this can create a Conflict of Interest, and subvert the group’s mission to serve its members.
This appears to be what has happened to American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. My friend Julie Wood, a suicide survivor, decided to attend a local support group this month, only to find that they were promoting medications as the only way to reduce suicide risk, and trying very hard to ignore the well-documented links between suicide risk and psychiatric meds.
What I find particularly bad about this practice, is that pharmaceutical industry is preying on the weak and sick, offering them hope (a pill?) wrapped in sympathy and support, when in fact they don’t seem to care about whether the medication works or not, or whether it actually helps the patient…
Read Julie’s full story on RxISK.org (Data Based Medicine):