Thursday, January 11, 2007

Just the Zyprexa Facts, Ma'am

Not the lies from the blogosphere (like this and this) and the New York Times. Taking a page directly from Wal-Mart, Lilly has now set up a website called This strikes me as a bit of a desperate PR move by Lilly.

What’s on the site?

Well, on a few occasions, it makes statements like: “Illnesses that affect the brain, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, are thought to be caused by certain chemicals in the brain being out of balance.” Please. There may well be brain issues in people with various “mental illnesses,” but this whole ‘chemical imbalance’ thing is 95% marketing, 5% science. Find a serious scientist who will step up to the mic and tell us about the definitive chemical imbalance that causes bipolar, schizophrenia, or much of anything else in the mental disorder world.

Check THIS out:

News reports claim that Lilly encouraged doctors to prescribe Zyprexa to children and elderly populations for non-approved uses. Is this true?

Lilly is committed to following the highest ethical standards and to promoting our medications only for approved uses.

However, it is important that the public understands physicians can and do prescribe medications outside the labeled uses. We believe that the final word on treatment and medication choices is well-placed in the hands of treating physicians who are best qualified to make the most informed decisions in prescribing medications for their patients.

It is important for doctors to be aware of information about medications, so they have the best available clinical data to help them make informed decisions when choosing a treatment for patients.

The statement that the final word on treatment rests with treating physicians is used repeatedly on the site. Obviously physicians write the prescriptions, but Lilly is helping to make doctors “aware of information” about medications (i.e., Zyprexa) to help them make “informed decisions” in prescribing medications (i.e., Zyprexa) for their patients (who may or may not have bipolar or schizophrenia).

You really should check out their Zyprexafacts site. It’s a laugh a minute. Remember that Lilly was able to push Prozac through the FDA based on the most meager evidence imaginable (Please see Breggin’s Talking Back to Prozac or Healy’s Let Them Eat Prozac – some of you might be having a cow that I’m citing Breggin, but his bit on how Prozac was approved is spot on), yet Lilly described Prozac as having an unprecedented amount of empirical support. We're not dealing with a company that has a history of honesty about its meds.

One more thing. Healy has also uncovered evidence suggesting that Zyprexa may be associated with suicidality. Perhaps Lilly can cover that on their website next.

Hat Tip: HealthCareVox.


Anonymous said...

Interestingly enough, Lilly registered long before it registered

CL Psych said...

Imagine my shock. However (and I can't believe I'm saying this), in defense of the drug companies, including Lilly, if I made any type of medication, regardless of whether it was dangerous or not, I'd also register just so that someone else didn't do it.

That being said, I think it's pretty clear that Zyprexa is certainly hazardous for one's health in many cases.