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Between $13,095,010 – $16,487,497 in pHARMa dollars paid to MOTHERS Act pushers in recent years

June 2, 2009


Including Nemeroff’s pharma income (as he was head of the AFSP and SPAN-merged group), but not including the pharmaceutical payments to leading psychiatric researchers who received money awards, consulted or acted as paid speakers for conferences in this list (e.g. John Rush, Joseph Beiderman etc.), the unknown amount of money given to any more recently added groups, including the National Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Coalition which is sponsored by Wyeth, Glaxo, J&J, Merck, and Sanofi Pasteur, or money to Screening for Mental Health which conducts mental health screening, the total dollar amount from this summary is: $13,095,010. This is using the lowest dollar amounts in the dollar range for the donations disclosed without an exact amont. If the larger dollar amounts in the dollar ranges are used from the inexact donation amounts, the total increases to $16,487,497.

This does not include money awards from Eli Lilly to PSI’s Mary Jo Codey, Margaret Spinelli or Diana Barnes. This does not include payments to PSI’s Shari Lusskin from the four pharmaceutical companies she works for as a paid speaker. This does not include the undisclosed millions given to NAMI by the numerous other pharmaceutical companies (NAMI’s main foundation receives 56% of its funding from pHARMa). It’s possible that there is more money lurking under there, but who knows? It’s impossible to know what else might be undisclosed, or how many of the members of these groups who donate money to them privately have vested interests in pHARMa.

If my math is off I will be glad to correct it.

The dollar amounts were taken from the following excerpt from Evelyn Pringle’s “Just Say No To The MOTHERS Act” article:

Big Pharma funds Mothers Act supporters

As of April 9, 2009, the groups supporting the Mother’s Act listed on PerinatalPro with Big Pharma funding traceable through their annual reports and the grant reports of Eli Lilly and Pfizer for 2007 and 2008, include the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Psychiatric Association, Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, Children’s Defense Fund, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, March of Dimes, Mental Health America (MHA), National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI), National Association of Social Workers, National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare, and the Suicide Prevention Action Network USA.

Pfizer’s 2008 grant report shows the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, received $10,000 for “General Operating Support.” Florida’s Bureau of Maternal and Child Health received funding from Lilly and Pfizer to launch a three-pronged maternal depression awareness initiative consisting of education, screening and advocacy, according to the July, 2005 paper, Improving Maternal and Infant Mental Health: Focus on Maternal Depression, by Ngozi Onunaku.

Collaborating partners also included the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, University of Miami, and Florida’s Department of Mental Health, Onunaku reports. Public awareness efforts reached the Florida State Legislature, who passed a resolution to establish April as women’s depression screening month.

Onunaku listed the Lilly and Pfizer funded Florida project as an example of state and community efforts that may be useful in reaching the goal of increasing maternal depression awareness. In the paper, he reported the following:

“Prenatal depression occurs during pregnancy when mothers-to-be experience hormonal and biological changes, stress, and the demands of pregnancy. Approximately 14-25% of pregnant women have enough depressive symptoms to meet the criteria for a clinical diagnosis.

“The use of medication to treat maternal depression is controversial; there is concern about mothers taking medication during pregnancy and after delivery, especially while breastfeeding. Research suggests that infant development is not adversely affected by certain kinds of medication.

“There is equal consideration regarding the possible risks posed to a child whose mother is severely depressed and needs medication but remains untreated.

In 2008, Lilly gave the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists $16,000, and a $2,000 donation was made in the third quarter of 2007.

Lilly gave the American Psychiatric Association grants worth more than $600,000 in both the first and second quarters of 2008. In 2007, the group received over $400,000 from Lilly. The drug maker gave roughly $450,000 more to the American Psychiatric Foundation for the APA fellowship program. Pfizer donated more than $700,000 to the “non-profit” APA in 2008.

The National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare is described as “a non-profit association representing 1,300 mental health and addictions treatment and rehabilitation organizations,” on its website. This gang received $200,000 from Lilly in the first quarter of 2008, and another $215,000 in the fourth quarter.

Mother’s Act supporter, Suicide Prevention Action Network USA, has merged with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, according to a November 6, 2008 press release announcement.

A year earlier, Emory University reported that Charles Nemeroff had been elected president of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and would begin serving his three-year tenure in January 2008.

Emory’s press release noted that Nemeroff had served on the AFSP’s national board of directors since 1999 and had “been a member of the Foundation’s Scientific Council for more than 10 years and was named chair of the Council in 2007.”

In about the same time frame between 2000 and 2007, Senator Charles Grassley’s Senate Finance Committee investigation found that Nemeroff had earned more than $2.8 million from drug companies, but failed to disclose at least $1.2 million to Emory.

On November 3, 2008, Dr Bernard Caroll summed up Nemeroff’s fall from grace on the Healthcare Renewal website as follows:

“The fallout to date includes his severance from several NIH-funded projects at Emory University School of Medicine, a freeze of NIH funding for a major center grant, and his stepping down from Emory’s chair of psychiatry while an internal investigation proceeds.”

Dr. Nemeroff’s credibility is under a cloud, to say the least, and his influence is rapidly waning. … In the hardnosed, commercial world of Continuing Medical Education, for instance, the signs are that Dr. Nemeroff is toast. Whereas he once coordinated multi-city traveling CME road shows and a parade of spots on CME websites like Medscape, his profile now is suffering. Go to this Medscape website, for instance. You will find that his current Expert Viewpoint spots are missing, replaced by the message, “This article is temporarily unavailable.”
Nemeroff’s Bio on the Emory Website on December 22, 2008 listed his Clinical Interests as: “Depression and antipsychotic pharmacological therapy, social phobias, fetal effects of pre- and post-natal drug therapy, depression, mood disorders, antipsychotic therapy.”

Lilly’s 2008 grant report shows the Suicide Prevention Action Network USA received one $10,000 grant and another $70,000 grant. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention also received three grants worth $78,000.

Lilly’s 2007 report shows the Action Network received $10,000 in one quarter and $70,000 in another. The Foundation got $25,000 in 2007. The 2004 spring issue of USA’s Network News reports that: “Network News is funded by a grant from the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation.”

The Summer 2005 Network News noted that “Donations Sustain SPAN USA.”

The donor list shows Pfizer gave over $10,000. The group received more than $1,000 from Bristol-Meyers, Janssen, and Novartis. Forest Pharmaceuticals gave over $500.

The 2006 Spring Network News announced the “Friend for Life” sponsors. Forest and the industry’s trade group, PhRMA donated over $15,000. Pfizer gave between $10,000 and $14,999. Solvay was listed as giving between $6,000 and $9,999 and companies that gave between $2,000 and $5,999 were AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers. J&J, Lilly and Novartis each donated between $500 and $1,999.

As expected, the two most notorious front groups, NAMI and MHA, received the most money from psychiatric drug makers. NAMI’s annual reports list about every drug company on the planet as a corporate partner without specifying how much each donated. But the grant reports of Lilly and Pfizer for 2007 and 2008 show NAMI groups received millions of dollars from those two drug makers alone.

In the fourth quarter of 2008, Pfizer gave NAMI a grant of $132,000 to fund a campaign that best describes the drug maker’s goal called the “Campaign for the Mind of America.” In the third quarter, Pfizer doled out another $225,000 to fund the same campaign.

Lilly is also funding the Campaign for the Mind, with grants of $450,000 in both 2007 and 2008. Lilly also provides extra funding to NAMI groups all over the country for the “Walk for the Mind of America.” In 2007, walking money totaled $17,000 in the first quarter, $11,500 in the second, and $13,000 for the third and fourth combined. In 2008, Lilly’s “Walk for the Mind” quarterly totals were $11,500, $24,000, $12,500 and $2,000.

In 2007, NAMI presented a $50,000 “Mind of America Scientific Research Award” to Dr A John Rush. He also landed on the Grassley hit list last fall for not disclosing drug company money to the University of Texas.

On April 6, 2009, Senator Grassley sent a letter to NAMI asking for the disclosure of all funding from drug makers and industry created foundations over the past few years.

Mental Health America groups also received millions of dollars from Pfizer and Lilly alone in 2007 and 2008. This group runs a “Campaign for America’s Mental Health” and received grants of $200,000 and $300,000 in 2008 from Pfizer to fund it. Lilly gave $300,000 to fund this Campaign in 2007.

MHA’s 2006 annual report shows the group received over $1 million each from Lilly, Bristol-Myers, and Wyeth. Janssen and Pfizer gave between $500,000 and $1,000,000, and AstraZeneca and Forest donated between $100,000 and $499,000. Glaxo gave between $50,000 and $100,000 in 2006.

The most troubling donation to this Mothers Act supporter is a $20,000 Pfizer grant to a Georgia group to fund: Project Healthy Moms: Education for Prevention/Treatment for Perinatal Depression Disorders, which apparently ended up, at least in part, in the pocketbook of Katherine Stone.

The Georgia group’s June 8, 2008 e-news said the grant was for: “Project Healthy Moms: What You Need To Know About Perinatal Mood Disorders.”

The $20,000 funded 1-hour speaking events with Katherine, “aimed at educating practitioners and the general public throughout Georgia about prevention of and treatment for such illnesses as ante partum depression, postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety/OCD and postpartum psychosis,” the newsletter said.

Katherine was described as a “former postpartum OCD sufferer and author of Postpartum Progress, the most widely-read blog in the United States on postpartum mood disorders.”

E-news said attendees would learn: “One size does NOT fit all: Why postpartum depression is just part of a spectrum of mood disorders women may experience & what to look for.”

The newsletter only listed 5 scheduled events but told readers to contact Katherine directly by email or phone to schedule more. E-news did acknowledge that: “This special hour of learning is made possible by a grant from Pfizer,” but listed no amount.

The leaders of these “non-profits” are also making out like bandits. In 2006, NAMI’s top dog, Michael Fitzpatrick, had a salary of $212,281, and $10,090 in employee benefit contributions and deferred compensation plans, for a 35-hour work week.

MHA’s 2002 tax returns show the CEO and President, Michael Faenza, received compensation of $306,727, and another $35,275 in contributions to employee benefit plans and deferred compensation that year, for a 35 hour work week.

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance received $37,510 from Lilly in 2007 and $20,000 in 2008. This group provides live links to form letters that can be filled in and sent to Congress members asking them to vote for the Mother’s Act. The two Stone gals provide links to the Mothers Act alerts put out by the Alliance on their websites.

The group’s 2007 Annual Report shows this non-profit received between $150,000 and $499,000 from AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Wyeth. Abbott, Cyberonics, Lilly, Forest, Glaxo, Organon, and Otsuka American Pharmaceuticals gave between $10,000 and $149,999.

The report also notes that a “First-ever DBSA Hope Award” for lifetime achievement was presented to Frederick Goodwin. Back in August 2002, the speakers at the annual conference of the Alliance included three stars from the Grassley hit list, Goodwin, Nemeroff and Joseph Beiderman.

The front groups team up with a “non-profit” called “Screening for Mental Health,” to carry out mental illness screening days all over the country every year. Their websites also provide live links to internet screening programs set up by this firm.

Up to 2008, the SMH had received close to $5 million from drug companies. Lilly gave the firm $124,000 in 2007 and $100,000 in 2008.

Finally, the Children’s Defense Fund received a grant for $125,000 in 2003 from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The March of Dimes got $6,500 from Pfizer in 2008, and the National Association of Social Workers also received $7,500 from Pfizer.

32 Comments leave one →
  1. Dan Frowe permalink
    June 2, 2009 2:16 am

    Why is no one concerned about the prostitution of mental health web sites, which are controlled by big pharma, and serve as the primary source of mental health information for many people these days. Consider:

    This is the next beach head for an industry that is being forced out of the doctor payoff business. Just say no to web sites, like psychcentral, which say yes to big pharma bucks.

  2. June 2, 2009 6:41 am

    Dan, I couldn’t have said it better myself. We all need to just say no.

  3. June 2, 2009 8:07 pm

    Just so you have whatever data it is you need in your records, I did a total of 16 speaking events in 2008 and made a total of $5800. I had no idea the grant was for $20,000 as they never told me the amount of the grant they received — you have more info on that than I did. I’m sure the organization that supported these events has put it to good use to help serve the community.

    • June 3, 2009 11:39 pm

      I guess it’s not really that shocking that Mental Health America wouldn’t want to give the entire $20,000 Pfizer grant to you. There are probably other things that they needed to spend the money on in order to promote “health.”

      Your definitions of good use and community service leave much to be desired.

      Let me go file this comment in file drawer #13 for safe keeping.

  4. Evelyn Pringle permalink
    June 4, 2009 12:15 am

    Katherine’s speaking fee comes out to $362.50 per lecture. Not bad at all considering that the Georgia group bills it as a one-hour gig.

    I wouldn’t mind making that much per hour but then I wouldn’t take a dime from the corrupt pharmaceutical industry even if I was starving to death.

    • June 4, 2009 12:26 am

      In any event $5800 is barely enough to cover the wardrobe needed for the speaking tour for a year.

  5. Helen Crawford permalink
    June 12, 2009 3:38 pm

    Medication for PPD saved my life and my ability to be with my family. The Mother’s Act has nothing to do with prescribing medication. Why so cruel. PPD is a horrible illness. Show compassion.

    • June 12, 2009 5:49 pm

      “Medication saved my life… The Mothers Act has nothing to do with medication” – UM ok… MEDS saved you from PPD, and The MOTHERS Act is for PPD, but has nothing to do with meds, ok so how is The MOTHERS Act going to “save” women from PPD exactly?
      “PPD is a horrible illness” – not as horrible as having your baby die
      There are many ways to treat and prevent PPD without drugs.
      Drugs increase the risk of suicide, homicide, psychosis, infant death. Plus for the small number of people who don’t get worse on the drugs immediately they work about as well as a placebo. Show logic.

      • Jose Melendez permalink
        June 15, 2009 3:28 pm

        There is no such thing as PPD medically speaking. Culturally speaking, yes. That’s because psychiatrist’s MO is to take natural human and existencial hardships and pathologize them, with never a single lab test that prove with organic evidence the biological nature of a bona fide desease. It is inmoral and they degrade womanhood who indeed suffer post partum effects and need respect, love, care and understanding to confront this stage. Also a lot of support and healthy nutrition. Mind-altering drugs are not the answer. The just mmask syntoms and put people in harms way. Mother’s Act would be a nefarious extension of the massive crime against humanity already being perpetrated by pychiatry and pharma.

  6. Helen Crawford permalink
    June 12, 2009 3:42 pm

    Even your comments and replies above, to other Mother’s that have suffered and overcome perinatal mood disorders (such as Katherine) are rude and disrespectful. Amazed.

    • June 12, 2009 5:44 pm


      I’m the one who is amazed! Although honestly I shouldn’t be. I should have figured out to expect comments like that.

      Rude and disrespectful – that’s funny. Try torture and attempted murder. Try being locked up and forcibly drugged, separated from your baby from days 10-12 postpartum, and told if you don’t take your meds you are not going home. Try having a social worker sent to talk to you right after your baby nearly dies from some formula that the hospital gave him. Or how about being told not to have more babies because you’re just like Andrea Yates. Get a clue. You’re writing this on the blog of someone who was PSYCHOTIC for FOUR months on Zoloft. Maybe you should go spit on Melanie Stokes’, Indiana Delahunty’s and Matthew Schultz’s graves while you are at it.

      How about some compassion for people who have been driven insane, driven to commit homicide and suicide, and people whose BABIES have DIED because of antidepressants etc?

      Unfortunately many of the people you defend have zero compassion or conscience for the people who are KILLED because of the constant drug pushing such as that you just engaged in. Save your spiel for someone else.

      Take as many drugs as you want Helen. Nobody is trying to stop you.

      It’s ‘rude and disrespectful’ to attack a survivor of Zoloft for warning others and exposing pharma conflicts of interest. But rude and disrespectful is honestly the least of my worries. I’m far more concerned about all the women and babies who are dying as we speak, because of the efforts of drug companies and the mother-drugging industry. If you want to be a drug apologist, have at it!

      There are criminal trials and lawsuits ongoing against corrupt people who like to drug children… If you want to become a party to the pharmacaust go right ahead.

  7. helen crawford permalink
    June 12, 2009 6:27 pm

    i read your story. sounds like a nightmare, and i am happy you are well.

    medication was my choice, thank you. i made it, after careful evaluation and with excellent psychiatric care. no one forced it down my throat.

    i believe in research, options and personal choice. i suspect that you misread the mother’s act through the lens of your own trauma. it will not prescribe medication. ultimately putting a pill in your mouth is your choice.

    no one is attacking you, especially not me. but you and evelyn focusing on katherine’s outfit costs is embarrassing.

  8. Evelyn Pringle permalink
    June 12, 2009 6:29 pm


    I can’t decide if you are naive, uninformed or a plant by the newly developed treatment industry when you say, “The Mother’s Act has nothing to do with prescribing medication.”

    Therefore, I will reserve my judgment if you will take the time to do some easy research on the internet into 3 issues: (1) check each disorder and see which drugs are commonly prescribed; (2) check out the sales revenues for psych drugs for 2008; and (3) check out how many people get mental health treatment who do not get drugs.

    Once you do that, if you still want to make the statement above, I will know what category you belong in.

    • helen crawford permalink
      June 12, 2009 6:40 pm

      LOL. No, I am not any of the above. Why such rigid A, B or C?

      I’m a smart, very well educated, professional architect and working mom, who happened to have a second baby (she is perfect) and after months of trying to get better without medication, got worse. really worse.

      Why is my choice to finally take medication after suffering so severely so distasteful to you. I am happy, getting through PPD, and very strong. Don’t attack me. I suffer too. I Just chose to go a different route.


  9. Evelyn Pringle permalink
    June 12, 2009 7:04 pm

    It’s not distasteful to me that you chose to take medication.

    My goal is to stop the forced drugging of infants in the womb and through nursing mother who have no voice of their own to stop it.

    I have spent the last 4 years covering these off-label marketing schemes using mental illness screening scams and I will debate anyone, anywhere on why this one is no different than all the others, with the exception that a whole new treatment industry has been developed around roping in women of child bearing years and there are many more people profiting off this one, instead of merely the drug companies.

    But Big Pharma money is behind it too as I showed in the article “Just Say No to the Mothers Act.”

    The researchers for all these so-called pregnancy related mood and anxiety disorders lined up to get more tax dollars through the Mothers Act are being exposed as being on the take from drug companies every other week.

    I suggest you go on the internet and check out who is making money off this scam already, you don’t have to take my word for it.

    Again, you are either naive, uninformed, or a plant for the industry.

  10. helen crawford permalink
    June 12, 2009 7:52 pm

    Again, Neither naive, uninformed, or a plant for the industry. But if you choose to be unwavering and (paranoid, i.e. plant) I do not care.
    What if I had chronic depression prior to getting pregnant and required medication?
    Good luck Evelyn.

  11. June 12, 2009 8:52 pm

    Paranoid? Really? Wow I thought you were an architect. You should look into becoming a psychiatrist. You’d be perfect!

    • helen permalink
      June 12, 2009 9:27 pm

      nice comeback. and you show great compassion for mom’s suffering ppd.

      • June 12, 2009 9:48 pm

        Once again, you choose to attack my compassion when you have zilch in that department. I know exactly what it feels like to be insane and I know exactly what it feels like to recover because of getting off meds. Like I said before, take drugs if you want. Do I take pity on you because you think you are mentally ill? I take pity on you for being so sadly committed to drugs that could cost you big time. And I feel sorry for anyone that you are successfully able to influence to take deadly drugs. Have a nice day, Helen.

  12. helen permalink
    June 12, 2009 9:38 pm

    and no one addressed my question. you instead made wisecracks.
    What if I had chronic depression prior to getting pregnant and absolutely required medication? In your expert opinion, should i not try have a baby then?

    • June 12, 2009 9:46 pm

      I am not responsible for your choice to take or not to take drugs. I don’t think it’s worth the risk to take them but you are the one making that choice.

  13. helen permalink
    June 12, 2009 9:39 pm

    and no one addressed my question. you instead made wisecracks.
    What if I had chronic depression prior to getting pregnant and absolutely required medication? In your expert opinion, should i not try to have a baby then?

    • June 12, 2009 9:45 pm

      If you are asking if I think you should have more children, I think you should do whatever you want. If you are asking if I think you should take medication while pregnant the obvious answer is no. But if you want to take the pills that could kill your child then you are the one who has to live with that decision, as long as it remains legal to drug your baby.

  14. Evelyn Pringle permalink
    June 12, 2009 9:47 pm

    The pregnant women being put on these drugs are not chronically depressed. People with true clinical depression can’t function, they don’t smile, they don’t eat, they can’t sleep or they sleep continuously. They don’t snap out of it one day and go into depression the next. You can look at them and see it.

    As I said, I don’t care what drugs you take. My concern is for the unborn fetus and nursing infants who obviously need protection because they have mothers who would put their lives at risk because they feel a little down or unhappy with their own lives.

    Twenty years ago, women would not have even considered taking a drug while pregnant unless it was absolutely necessary – look what its come to now.

    Where did this new epidemic in mental disorders in pregnant women come from? Why isn’t it happening in the rest of the world.

    Why has the number of pregnant women on antidepressants gone from between 40 and 80 thousand a year in 2004 and 2005, to 250,00 now?

    As I’ve said before, I’ve covered every off-labeling drug marketing scheme out there over the past 4 years but this is the sickest, most evil plot ever developed.

  15. helen permalink
    June 12, 2009 9:52 pm

    why would i ask you amy, if i should have children? chronic clinical depression is real, amy. and yes, i personally know what qualifies as clinical depression. been there. however if i were running a blog, i would not insult, make wisecracks and debase the women that may be looking at my site for hope.
    good thing you have evelyn on your side.

    • Amy Philo permalink
      June 12, 2009 10:25 pm

      People who read my blog can find warnings and facts. Hope is something I personally know quite well. You find your hope in drugs. I am on the side of women and babies having normal long and healthy lives whereas you are on the side of the industry that kills them. That’s fine, take sides with pHARMa all you want. Go start your on blog if you want to. And reread your question about having children. I responded two ways to cover all possibilities after your repeated questions and complaints that I had not responded to you.

  16. helen permalink
    June 12, 2009 10:30 pm

    i have true clinical depression that happened months after the birth of my girl, and as evelyn writes. “People with true clinical depression can’t function, they don’t smile, they don’t eat, they can’t sleep or they sleep continuously. They don’t snap out of it one day and go into depression the next. You can look at them and see it.” yep that’s it. me exactly.

    thanks for your time. you said enough.

    • Amery Schultz permalink
      June 13, 2009 8:50 am

      Hello Helen.

      After perusing through the diatribe that you and Amy have carried on for the better part of today, I would be remiss if I did not weigh in on the conversation.

      You see, these days, I unfortunately find myself somewhat of an expert witness, as to the dangers of Psychotropic drug use during pregnancy.

      My son, Matthew, went in to full cardiac arrest 1 hour and 10 minutes after he was born, as a direct result of venlafaxine(Effexor) toxicity.

      My wife Christiane, took a “maintenance” dose of 150 mg of Effexor throughout her entire pregnancy with Matthew, as our family doctor, as well as 2 different OB/GYN’s, indicated to us that these drugs are perfectly safe during pregnancy.

      Now, the drug companies literature and clinical trials would indicate that Matthew’s death was an extremely rare, unfortunate event, and the benefit of taking the drugs far outweighs any potential risk to your unborn child(in a drug company controlled, limited, biased trial group). Taking in to account that the average woman will have 2 or less live births in her lifetime, coupled with the fact that many women will only start to exhibit major depressive symptoms after having their first child, and hence be medicated for said depression, the available data is not truly representative of how toxic these drugs can be to a child in-utero, and mother alike.

      Here is the case I am trying to make with my last paragraph. My wife has had 6 pregnancies. After the birth of our daughter, she had anti-depressants “pushed” on her, without informed consent, for PPD. Over the next 8 years she has had 5 pregnancies, all while taking Effexor, as this crap is almost impossible to get off once your on it. Each pregnancy has been subsequently more difficult. In retro spect the last 2 pregnancies she exhibited the signs of serotonin syndrome.

      Here is the outcome of those pregnancies:

      1. 2001, miscarriage at 8 weeks gestation with no known cause
      2. 2002, live birth, full term, persistent Heart murmur
      3. 2004, live birth, full term, extreme low birth weight, malformed lungs w/ PPHN, diagnosed with “Failure to Thrive”, with diminished breathing capacity to this day
      4. 2006, live birth, full term, heart murmur that subsided after 1st birthday.
      5. 2009, live birth, full term, went in to respiratory and subsequent cardiac arrest at just over 1 hour. Autopsy showed Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension caused by venlafaxine toxicity.

      If one delves deep enough in to the literature surrounding these drugs, each and every one of the “Effects” my children have suffered, were either known to the drug company at the time of marketing the drug, or have come to light since my wife started taking them.

      In the last 3 1/2 months I have spent hundreds of hours researching not only the efficacy of psychotropic drug treatment and the suspect diagnoses that lead up to many of these prescription treatments, but also the many varied adverse effects that they have on not only the people ingesting them, but also on the innocent victims being carried in their mothers wombs. I find it quite ironic that they are called side effects, when even the data from the clinical trials, show that a person is far more likely to develop one of the listed adverse reactions than to see an improvement in their mental status.

      I have absolutely no doubt in my mind, that there are indeed people in this world, who truly have a legitimate mental health diagnosis, as your case sounds like it may be. If indeed, medication has helped you live life more fully, fantastic.

      What I am advocating for, what Amy and Evelyn and thousands of others like us are advocating for, is debunking a $300+ Billion industry, that has in many cases, invented mental illnesses, and then formulated a new drug(or perhaps rebranded an old drug)for the treatment of said illness.

      Mental illness, most notably depression, has no modern day MEDICAL test, to either prove or disprove one has a condition in need of a prescription drug. If I have Diabetes, a doctor can do a blood test and prove I have that disease. If I have high Cholesterol, same thing.
      Elevated Liver enzymes, ditto. In all of Medicine, I would challenge you to find a condition, illness or disease that did not have a diagnostic test to determine if one actually has said condition. Depression diagnoses are largely subjective

      Physicians and Psychiatrists alike will tell you that Major Depression is caused by low Serotonin levels in the brain, but they have absolutely no way to prove this diagnosis. We’ll just give you the SSRI, SNRI or Tricyclic antidepressant, and hope that you are on of the 5% of people who will actually benefit from the drug and not go nuts.

      What a wonderful world we live in with mass media to sensationalize things for us. We need only look to recent history to see how evident this is.

      September 11, 2001, was a very sad and tragic day in our history. The thousands of lives lost and the impact that it had on the rest of the world is immeasurable. The Government of the day used the emotional media momentum of the terrorist attacks, to pass a 342 page bill called the Patriot Act, that has placed the United states in to a far more Orwellian state than any citizen could possibly comprehend. This bill was signed in to law without any congressman or senator having performing due diligence and seeing what the bill was really made of.

      More recently in February 2009, again under very similar sensationalized media hype, the 1071 page Economic Stimulus bill that will cost Americans over 1 Trillion dollars was voted in to law less than 18 hours after it was introduced to congress. Admittedly, no congressman or senator read the bill. What should they care, it’s not going to hurt them.

      This brings us to today. The Melanie Blocker Stokes Postpartum Research and Care Act. Otherwise affectionately referred to as the MOTHERS Act. On the heels of some very publicized, yet extremely isolated in their occurrence cases, Big Brother is moving swiftly to protect us from ourselves. I will mention two, as I have rambled on just about long enough. Andrea Yates, a woman who became a household name for drowning her 5 children. A heinous act that she would later be found not guilty by reason of insanity, largely due to drug induced psychosis, notably haldol and an extremely high dose of Effexor.

      Then you have the namesake for the bill, Melanie Blocker Stokes. After her PPD diagnosis, Melanie was hospitalized three times in seven weeks. She was given four combinations of anti-psychotic, anti-anxiety, and anti-depressant medications. She also underwent electroconvulsive therapy. In the end, Melanie jumped to her death from the twelfth floor of a Chicago hotel.

      This is yet another bill just like hundreds and even thousands of bills, hastily rushed through congress without due diligence, and will invariably cause more harm than good.

      The Mothers Act is well intentioned on the surface, lets save all these thousands and thousands of women from themselves and this scourge of Postpartum Depression and Psychosis, yet self serving for the drug industry and sadly, the end result of this law will be that the relatively few women who truly do suffer from postpartum depression will not be taken seriously.

      I love how the bill may not directly mention drugging women, but it does promote “treatment“ throughout, and these days the vast majority of treatment is popping a happy pill.
      Look at your TV, every hour you are bound to see at least one advertisement for a Psychotropic drug, “Ask your doctor about Celexa,“ “Talk to your doctor about Luvox.”

      Why do I need to go ask my doctor for a name brand drug. If I truly have an illness won’t my doctor know what’s best for me, unless he’s on the drug company take as well.

      When is the last time you heard a pitch on TV like “Talk to your doctor about insulin,“ or “Maybe you should ask your doctor about amoxicillin.” You won’t, because these drugs don’t have Multi-Billion Dollar patents.

      As you said previously,”(The Mothers Act)will not prescribe medication. ultimately putting a pill in your mouth is your choice.” I beg to differ and many others will as well. The vast majority of Psychiatric treatment comes in the form of a pill, and ultimately, choice is such a relative term today. I’m sure if we read in to the 342 pages of the Patriot Act, your civil liberties can probably be suspended in a situation like this, especially if a social worker, doctor, police officer, judge or anybody else in a position of “Authority” deems you as a danger to yourself or others.

      So, I say to you Helen, I have no interest in arguing with you. If taking antidepressant drugs truly works for you, that’s great.

      My goal is to ensure women like my wife are well informed of the tremendous risks they may be taking when ingesting these substances, and that the answer does not always come in the form of a quick fix little pill, as much as the drug companies would like us to think.

      Based on our personal experiences, those of others who have been victimized by psychiatric pharmacy and many latter day published articles that can be found through PubMed, I would tell any woman I meet, exhaust every avenue of treatment i.e. exercise, sunlight, counselling, before even considering taking one of these drugs.

      How good can a drug be that has a warning label that says,” May increase suicidality or cause Homicidal Ideation.” Isn’t that what your trying to fix?

      New studies are showing that 20-40% of babies exposed to SSRI’s and SNRI’s In Utero, will have som adverse effect from these drugs. These numbers are far too staggering to ignore. These effects range anywhere from irritability, no big deal right. All the way to serotonin syndrome and extreme withdrawal, to serious malformations like Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, and PPHN like our son Matthew died from. A condition wherein every breath the child takes fails to provide oxygen to their body and even if treated 25% will die.

      If I was asked, should a woman have a baby while taking these drugs, my answer would have to be no. But last time I checked, as a man, I don’t have a say in womens Reproductive Health anyway, do I?

      • June 13, 2009 5:32 pm

        Wow Thanks Amery. Good point about The Patriot Act. My main point about forced treatment is that any woman who asks for help for severe PPD will be more likely to be locked up just as they have started to do in New Jersey. In fact, one woman simply called the hotline they set up and the police showed up at her house one hour later. Another woman confided in her doctor that she was having depression and a social worker and cop showed up AT the office to escort her, children in tow, to the hospital for forced treatment. And in Minnesota where I was forcibly treated it was for going to the hospital FOR HELP after taking Zoloft for only three days and becoming suicidal and homicidal.

        Most moms would do anything for their children. In my case I was willing to die if that meant I knew Isaac would be safe. It does not have to be that way.

        Forced treatment is a major problem. The hospital where I was locked up is currently forcing ELECTROSHOCK on Ray Sandford twice a month. They come to his home and forcibly escort him out, drive him 30 miles and hook him up to ECT machines.

        Even Melanie Stokes told her family that she did not want ECT because it was killing her. But they thought they knew what was best and kept sending her to the hospital for more shock and drug cocktail med changes.

        I just love getting lectured about my compassion for women with “perinatal mood disorders.” Translation how dare you talk bad about my drugs. People don’t get that we are doing this to help them get information. If they don’t want the information we can’t change their minds.

        But I know that it was survivors and drug awareness websites speaking out on the internet that ultimately gave me the information I needed to get off Zoloft. My psychiatrist refused to tell me any of the dangers of the drug even as I continued breastfeeding Isaac on it.

        We have many states with forced treatment laws, it’s not like we need to add another level of – to use Helen’s words – paranoia among doctors and other health care professionals to demonize women and new moms and make us all appear crazy.

        This bill is sick. Just step back and think about The MOTHERS Act for a second. ALL new mothers are being targeted as threats to themselves and others. All babies are being disregarded.

        To pretend that this has nothing to do with medication is absurd. In fact, it’s surprising that Helen has the guts to write something like that on a blog entry titled “Between $13,095,010 – $16,487,497 dollars paid to MOTHERS Act pushers in recent years.”


  1. Between $13095010 – $16487497 in pHARMa dollars paid to MOTHERS … | Georgia Today
  2. Yes, We Can Pretend We Did It All On Our Own (The MOTHERS Act – How at least $13 to 16.4 million in pharma dollars buys a bill) « The Bitter Pill
  3. Yes, We Can Pretend We Did It All On Our Own (The MOTHERS Act – How at least $13 to $16.4 million in pHARMa dollars buys a bill) « The Bitter Pill

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