Why the Dangers of Abilify Aren’t Common Knowledge

There is a lack of cohesive information about Abilify because the manufacturer suppresses information about Abilify, the FDA is not mandated for safety,  Drug advertising on television contributes to the deception that Abilify and other drugs are safe and the advertising revenues can skewer the objectivity of the media and  health insurance companies fail to be a voice for consumer protection, and the field of mental health is largely unscientific and problematic.

Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) Suppresses Knowledge and is Not Worthy of Patient Trust

There is a lack of cohesive information about Abilify because the manufacturer suppresses information about Abilify, the FDA is not mandated for safety,  Drug advertising on television contributes to the deception that Abilify and other drugs are safe and the advertising revenues can skewer the objectivity of the media and  health insurance companies fail to be a voice for consumer protection, and the field of mental health is largely unscientific and problematic.

Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) Suppresses Knowledge and  is not Worthy of Patient Trust

Abilify isn’t Bristol Myers Squibb’s first bad mental health drug.  As mentioned previously, Bristol Myers Squibb had a similar “sister drug” Nefazodone/Serzone  that was removed from the market “in some countries” for liver damage and related deaths .The United States continues to allow the drug and Canada removed the drug from its marketplace in 2003.    Nefazadone and Abilify hit some of the same receptors and have some similar chemicals.

In 2007 Bristol Myers Squibb was fined $490 million by multiple attorney generals for its marketing practices for Abilify.  Abilify was pushed on the elderly in nursing homes and it was noted that this could cause death.

Bristol Myers Squibb, through the FDA  pushed for greater and greater audiences to target Abilify as it actively took steps to suppress information and minimize its legal liability- including removing “patient trust” as a component of its mission statement.

From at least 2006 until early 2012 when the survivor contacted the Bristol Myers Squibb Board of Directors, the company’s website stated 30 days in detox as the recommended treatment for discontinuing the drug.

In 2012, a colleague of the survivor filled out a form on the Bristol Myers Squibb website requesting a list of detox centers for Abilify.  The request went unanswered.

The company removed all reference to 30 days in detox from their website in early 2012, yet withdrawal still occurs and the need to go to detox may still present for some patients.

In 2016, after the elections, Bristol Myers Squibb agreed to pay a fine of $19 million to over 40 Attorney Generals to “put Abilify behind them.”

Abilify My Cite is a pill form of Abilify that can remotely track its ingestion- why invent a pill that has to be monitored if it is taken unless you are very concerned about what may happen if it is not taken?  Medication should be beneficial to patients and they should want to take it. Coupled with the knowledge that the Bristol Myers Squibb website used to say 30 days in detox when ceasing Ablify, this may be a self-serving invention on behalf of Bristol Myers Squibb to avoid the dangerous withdrawal instigated by the medication.    Abilify could be a drug that is more dangerous to get off that it is beneficial to take in some cases, and the manufacturer may know this yet does not let the public know this in a cohesive fashion.

Bristol Myers Squibb has over 150 staff attorneys and they use these attorneys to influence the FDA, bleed attorneys that file suit, and to potentially stonewall patients and develop deals with the Justice Department, even deals with claw backs whereby executives will have to pay back compensation in the future if they are caught with future wrongdoing. Bristol Myers Squibb, has had insider trading issues and they had a major accounting scandal in 2002 and needed to come to an agreement with the Justice Department.   There offices have been raided by the FBI. They seem to put profits ahead of being a responsible corporate citizen and even the safety of their customers.  

Bristol Myers Squibb has been accused of illegally providing practioners with incentives for prescribing Abilify.   Bristol Myers Squibb terminated its Abilify sales force in 2012 and turned the distribution of the drug over to its Japanese strategic partner Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.
Here you can see A Timeline of Legal Actions Against Antipsychotic Manufacturers:  Eli Lilly & Co., Bristol Myers Squibb, Janssen & Astrazeneca March 2007 for the time period 2001-2007.

The FDA is not mandated for Safety and Violates the Hippocratic Oath

It is a fair assessment to state that the U.S. FDA is the least stringent with regard to acceptance standards for new drugs (we accept what others do not) of any Westernized nation, and that most Americans- presume that FDA acceptance implies that the drugs were shown to be safe at that time at the time of their acceptance.  The low standards and false confidence are a breeding ground for dangerous drugs like Abilify.

Health Canada Institute and its Health Products and Food branch has a mandate of “minimizing the health risk factors to Canadians while maximizing the safety provided by the regulatory system for health products”.  In the US, the FDA- is not specifically mandated for safety- and there is an increased emphasis on getting “innovative” drugs to market quickly. The acceptance decision is a risk benefit decision and the numerator and the denominator are not specified. For mental health drugs, the risk of mental health dangers, making the need for safety less important.     In addition, if a competitor did not disclose a danger, the new drug is not required to disclose this danger.

Bristol Myers Squibb’s Nefazadone/Serzone , a depression drug that hits similar receptors as Abilify and has some common  ingredients was found to cause serious liver damage and even death. Many Europen countires put pressure on Bristol Myers Squibb and they removed the drug from Europe in around 2001-2002.  Nefasadone was withdrawn from the Canadian market by Health Canada Institute in October of 2003 due to safety concerns. The US FDA rejected a consumer petition to have the drug removed from the market and Bristol Myers Squibb removed the drug from the market in 2004.  The FDA allowed the drug to go generic and issued a black box warning but did not recall the drug.

By getting drug approval for new groups or new applications, once a drug has been approved, a manufacturer extends the patent life for the drug for all applications.  This was done with Abilify and the drug was accepted for various treatments for pediatrics in the later years, despite the fact that the incident reporting for the drug showed a 10% fatality rate for the number of incidents reported.

In many cases the approval for new applications was just rubber stamped and no reference was made to the original animal studies, which could have been helpful in identifying common causes of damage or death.  . With respect to pediatric schizophrenics, an internal FDA email states they could not find any pediatric schizophrenics to test, yet the patent was extended. This shows that no new research was done to show whether or not there could be unique dangers of this medication to children.

Abilify is not the only bad drug out there.  PharmacyMyths.net is an excellent site developed by Prof. Donald Light and has an excellent article regarding the FDA and big pharma corruption   More FDA Corruption and Big Pharma Whinning  Natural News Blog by Hesh Goldstein April 14, 2017 provides insights  on FDA corruption.

In 2009, an open letter regarding FDA corruption sent by FDA officials to incoming President Barack Obamaan was sent to the President.    Nothing was done. There was hope that President Trump would take on FDA corruption but nothing has been done.  This need for intervention by our government for safety sake exceeds and supersedes excessive profit margins and high prices for prescription drugs.  Many drugs, like Abilify are damaging to the body. Some, like Abilify are even a cause of death.

The bad drugs and bad policies and practices of the FDA are more of a threat to our freedom and safety and financial well-being as individuals and as a nation than ISIS or any external terrorist threat.  We are imploding from within and few politicians are willing to have the courage to address this, and the media has a conflict of interest with all of the pharma advertising revenue, making the truth hard to find.

The corruption and practices of the FDA are so engrained that it needs to be shut down and built up from the ground up and that this could be done through our Allies like the Canada UK, Israel, and Finland that have more objective and safety concern procedures for approving and monitoring drugs.

Drug Advertising Contributes to the Deception That Abilify and Other Drugs Are Safe and Advertising Revenues Can Impact the Media’s Objectivity

Cartoon ads of a woman deciding to add Abilify to her regiment of depression medicines makes the decision to take Abilify look like a no brainer.  It isn’t.

The fact that pharmaceutical advertising is allowed on television is problematic in that in addition to promoting a false sense of security that the drugs are safe and effective, the media is beholden to the advertising dollars and does not aggressively or objectively search or report stories on bad drugs or corruption in the FDA.  A History of Drug Advertising:  The Evolving Roles of Consumers and Consumer Protection by Julie Donohue published in The Milbank Quarterly, December 2006 provides a good overview of the history and public debate surrounding drug advertising on television.

There is also a practice called ghosting whereby pharmaceutical companies pay foreign scientists or doctors to publish their self-serving studies in foreign journals and then flood the US Market and journalists with these bogus studies.  This is illegal but it is done. Some efforts have been made to prosecute this under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act but far too little is done.

Insurance Companies Fail to be a Voice for Consumer Protection

Health insurance in the minds of many has come to mean access to health care services and even health, when in fact it is a business.  Fundamentally, insurance is about pooling risk so that if a catastrophe happens you will not be overly exposed. The dynamics of health insurance have changed over time, and insurance used to provide a check in the system in that they assured providers were legitimate, provided guidance on best practices and investigated dangers, while this may still be priorities for health care companies, costs may over-ride safety and the cost effectiveness of prescribing pills may over-ride other treatments or solutions.  Individual safety may be compromised.

Health insurance also clouds the value proposition of health care in that consumers do not shop for services by price or value and supply and demand do not enter freely into the pricing of goods and services when health insurance is involved.

Insurance companies most typically now see themselves as buying agents and do not play an active role in policing the quality of care provided by hospitals, doctors, or pharmaceutical companies and this leaves large cracks in the safeguards of a free economy healthcare system, particularly when the manufacturer and the FDA abdicate their responsibility for safety as they did with Abilify.

Arguably, insurance companies passively yet directly call the shots in mental health.  In order for the treatment to be covered by insurance, a diagnoses must be given, and frequently the diagnoses is an oversimplification that can have serious ramifications.  Patients or their families can look to providers to have definitive answers to life problems, when in fact, for many issues, deprivation, lack of love or lack of care and lack of truth are often fundamental issues and these can be buried in family systems.  The idea that a pill is an answer can be a seductive lie and the sedative effects of the pill can mask the problems.

Many diagnoses are made without any testing or technique and a diagnoses like bipolar can have lasting impacts and be detrimental to true healing or facing the real issues.  Once on medications for such conditions it may not be possible to get off the medications, due to the impact of the medication.

An incorrect mental health diagnosis can set a person down a path of unnecessary, inappropriate and harmful medications such as Abilify that can cause very real health problems that may be overlooked or misconstrued as mental illness when it is in reality complications from the medication.

Most recently, on the positive side,  Blue Cross Blue Shield I believe it is of Alabama has come out stating it will no longer pay for prescriptions of Oxycodone.   It is interesting to note the Oxycodone hits the same receptors as Abilify and that Oxycodone can have a dangerous and painful withdrawal.