Am I missing something?
Dear Editor:The other day I was reading an article about how the spending has soared for children’s attention deficit and behavior drugs. The article stated that the largest population with the largest increase was for children under the age of 5. I can’t believe that our society has come to the point where we need to drug our children like this. How do we justify this?I had to do some further research and found that in the April 10, 2004, issue of the British Medical Journal a report addressed this issue. It stated that a senior executive at one of the world’s largest drug manufacturers admitted that most of his company’s products work in less than half of the people who take them. Couple this fact with the study that children below the age of 5 are the fastest growing group of antidepressant users in the United States. Is this a recipe for insanity?The BMJ study reviewed six major trials of newer antidepressants and found some interesting facts. Pharmaceutical companies paid for four of the trials and either paid or provided services to the authors of at least three of the larger studies.There are other findings. The researchers conducting the drug trials routinely “exaggerated the benefits” of the drugs they were investigating, while downplaying the negative side effects. Some children experienced serious adverse effects which required hospitalization. Nevertheless, the authors concluded that their drug is “effective, safe and well tolerated.”Depression scores in many of the control groups showed “strong” improvement compared to the drug groups. Some studies showed improvements of at least 70 percent and 87 percent, but this was disregarded as insignificant.Recently, the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Finance Committee have announced that they will launch an investigation into whether or not the FDA is suppressing evidence. Some of the concerns are the increasing evidence between the use of these drugs and children and suicidal behavior in children. Which would you rather have?It is time to realize that the pharmaceutical companies are more motivated by huge profits and do not care about our health. Despite their marketing (or brainwashing), better health is not attained through better chemistry.When will we realize that we are being killed and injured so that these companies can make huge profits?Tom Lankering, D.C, Aspen
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Aspen School District’s younger students will return to class next week, but that’s not the case for those in the seventh through 12th grade, who will continue to take courses from home.