Saturday, February 25, 2017

2007 Study: Off-Label Use of Antipsychotic Medications In The Dept of Veterans Affairs Health Care System.

The last summary of the VA's patient population we had, from Ed at Pharmalot, put the total at 530,000 patients.

So, you do the math, and figure out your own percentage of VA consumers being poisoned with these drugs.

Off-Label Use of Antipsychotic Medications In The Dept of Veterans Affairs Health Care System.

And remember, we're not talking about One A Day Vitamins here, unlike the Quacks peddling them.


"This study aimed to determine the prevalence of prescribing antipsychotics to adults without schizophrenia or bipolar disorder and to identify factors associated with such off-label use. Patients with at least one prescription for an antipsychotic medication from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) during fiscal year (FY) 2007 were identified in national VA administrative databases. Rates of off-label antipsychotic use were determined along with average doses. Multivariate logistic regression models identified sociodemographic and clinical characteristics associated with off-label use. Of the 279,778 individuals in FY 2007 who received an antipsychotic medication, 168,442 (60.2%) had no record of a diagnosis for which these drugs are approved. The most common mental illness diagnoses among patients given prescriptions for antipsychotics off label were posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD, 41.8%), minor depression (39.5%), major depression (23.4%), and anxiety disorder (20.0%). Among VA patients with mental illness other than schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, the proportion who received prescriptions for antipsychotic medications ranged from a low of 9.1% among patients with adjustment reaction; to about 20% for those with depression, dementia, or PTSD; and to a high of 40.7% among patients with other psychoses. Doses were low, with over half of patients who received off-label quetiapine, risperidone, or first-generation antipsychotics receiving doses below those recommended for schizophrenia. In logistic regression models, patients diagnosed as having other psychosis or dementia had the highest odds of receiving an antipsychotic medication off label. Off-label use of antipsychotic medications was common. Given that these drugs are expensive, have potentially severe side effects, and have limited evidence supporting their effectiveness for off-label usage, they should be used with greater caution."

Read the entire study or download a free pdf of it at the link. 

Ca. Senator Kamala Harris: "Outrageous" That Administration Says People Who Commit Crimes Qualify For Deportation


Former attorney general of California too and would like higher national office.

Hopefully, such attitudes would finish her…

So far as we've heard, this deportation for crimes only applies to illegal or sanctuary immigrants. There Was that quip about Flag Burners, but that has been deemed a Constitutionally Protected 1st Amendment Right, so, . . .

Thank You Dapandico.

New Hampshire Governor Signs Constitutional Carry Into Law: 2nd Amendment/Constitutional Win

And as readers here would expect, WE, can't access the original article thanks to being on Public/Government WIFI in a Totalitarian, Democrat Run State. 

Now, if it were only that easy to get gun owners and Constitutional Originalists to understand and get as worked up about Totalitarian Junk Medicine running roughshod over those same rights, . . . for Everyone, . . . 

Yeah, that's right, Crazy people live at Your address.

All of you.  Each and Every one of you.


One State at a time.
Fairfax, Va. – Today was a great victory for gun owners in New Hampshire when Gov. Chris Sununu signed Senate Bill 12 into law, allowing law-abiding New Hampshirites to carry their firearms in the manner that best suits their needs.
“New Hampshire now joins an ever-growing number of states in passing constitutional carry,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “Despite the best efforts of Michael Bloomberg-funded groups to distort the truth, the New Hampshire legislature and governor stood strong for freedom.”
Sununu’s signature on SB 12 makes New Hampshire the 12th state to allow constitutional carry. New Hampshire joins its northern New England neighbors Maine and Vermont, both of which allow constitutional carry.
Sponsored by Sen. Jeb Bradley (R-3), Senate Bill 12 will repeal the license requirement to carry a concealed pistol or revolver, unless a person is otherwise prohibited. For those who choose to obtain licenses, SB 12 will also increase the length of time in which a license is valid from four years to five years.
Keep reading…
Thank You Dapandico and NRAILA.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Philly's Soda Tax, By Democrats, Causes Massive Job Losses


Who would have thought?
Via The Blaze:
There is little debate that America faces an epidemic of obesity and obesity-related diseases. In typical liberal fashion, the Democrat-dominated city of Philadelphia decided two months ago that this was a problem that could be solved by government regulation, and promptly passed an ordinance that imposed a massive tax on “sugary drinks.” Theoretically, this was supposed to not only punish people for having the gall to enjoy a Diet Coke (yes, artificially sweetened drinks are also taxed), but also to pay for a universal pre-K program in the city.
If you’re thinking to yourself, “Wait, you can’t stop people from drinking sodas and also reap huge tax receipts on the sales of soda at the same time,” then you’re at least two steps ahead of the City of Philadelphia, and you probably know by now where the rest of this story is going, too.
Keep reading…

Thank You Nick and The Blaze

Household Brand Nestle Leaves California Due To Oppressive State Laws, Taxes

As California continues its leap into the abyss of socialism, businesses large and small are heading for the exits.

Via The Political Insider:

Nestle, a large company known for its food and drink products, is tired of doing business in far-left California. They are packing their bags and heading thousands of miles away to Virginia.

Nestle USA made the official announcement that their headquarters will move from a Los Angeles suburb to Rosslyn, Virginia and is taking more than 1,200 jobs with it.

California is just an awful place to do business, and the Republican-led state legislature in Virginia put together together an incentive package that would make President Trump proud:

The $26-billion-a-year food conglomerate is discreet, of course, about its reasons, citing a desire to be closer to its core customers and other bland corporate pabulum. But the fact is, Nestle and its corporate brethren in California that actually make things are overtaxed and overregulated, and elected officials treat them not as honored members of the community but as rapacious pirates.

A Glendale official, for instance, blithely insisted Nestle’s departure was no big deal, but rather an “opportunity.” Some opportunity.

Though Nestle has offered jobs to their affected California employees in far-off places like Missouri, Ohio and Virginia, the city seems to think it will be able to fill their own Nestle job void by growing the high-tech job base.

“We just completed a study two weeks ago, which shows that we have more than 1,000 businesses in Glendale that are tech-focused,” said Darlene Sanchez, Glendale’s deputy director of community development. “We’d like to see some more co-working space that would cater to this burgeoning technology industry that has organically grown here.”

Meanwhile, Virginia pulled out all the stops to get Nestle to come, offering tax incentives worth some $16 million. Glendale says it didn’t even find out about the move until Wednesday. But there were signs it wanted to leave. Glendale did nothing, as far as we can tell.

Occidental Petroleum and Toyota have recently left California for Texas. The state has lost as much as $68 billion in capital to other states in recent years, due to their unfriendly anti-business laws.

Keep reading…

Thank You Political Insider and Huck Funn

Risperdal (Lawsuits) Case Load Shows No Sign Of Slowing Down

. By

Philadelphia, PAWith Risperdal side effects lawsuits continuing to grow at a compelling rate within a mass tort in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, the file is poised to move forward with a meeting planned for March 9 with regard to the centralized litigation (In Re: Risperdal Litigation, Case No. 100300296).

As reported by senior staff writer Jane Mundy last month, Risperdal saw the second-most compelling caseload growth for 2016 behind Xarelto, with a 39 percent increase in cases for 2016. That translates to 550 additional cases. While pundits noted in the Legal Intelligencer (01/27/17) that Xarelto may be hitting its plateau, Risperdal litigation is expected to continue spiking upwards.

This observation appears to be supported by Risperdal’s manufacturer Janssen Pharmaceuticals. The subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) reported in November of last year that there were no fewer than 15,400 product liability claims filed with regard to Risperdal side effects in various courts around the US. J&J also is reported to have acknowledged that such claims are continuing to rise.

Risperdal (risperidone), an antipsychotic indicated to treat Bipolar disorder (amongst other indications), was originally approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1993 to treat schizophrenia in adults – although that indication was widened to include children in 2007. Side effects of Risperdal can include Risperdal diabetes and related issues with Risperdal blood sugar, tardive dyskinesia (involuntary blinking, or movements of the tongue, mouth, face or limbs), and Risperdal stroke.

However, it remains Risperdal gynecomastia – the growing of male breasts – that has caught the majority of the attention. Various Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuits have alleged that adolescents and young males, with no history of weight issues or other factors exacerbated by an inactive lifestyle, are presenting with breast tissue following use of Risperdal for a period of time. In rare cases, the issue also includes secretion from the nipples.

Numerous plaintiffs have required surgery to have the male breast tissue removed, and have resorted to litigation in order to seek compensation for the emotional trauma that often accompanies the growth of male breast tissue. For them, Risperdal and growing male breasts is a life-altering problem.

Plaintiffs assert that risperidone can stimulate the pituitary gland to produce excessive amounts of prolactin, a hormone instrumental to female breast development and lactation. Abnormally high levels of prolactin have been linked to the development of female-like breasts, or gynecomastia, in men and boys.

Plaintiffs also hold that Janssen and J&J withheld data that associated Risperdal with gynecomastia, and accuse the manufacturer of failure to warn both the medical community and consumers, about the risk.

The most recent Risperdal bellwether trial ended with a verdict in favor of the plaintiff, a male teen who was prescribed Risperdal from age five and who is alleged to have experienced excessive growth of male breast tissue shortly after starting the drug. The jury award was valued at $70 million (Yount v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., Case No. 130402094, in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.)

Janssen and J&J have signaled they will continue to try, and defend cases. There are no plans to remove Risperdal from the market, as the manufacturer continues to reference Risperdal as safe and effective, with benefits outweighing the risks for the particular constituency of patients for whom Risperdal was, and is intended.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Jazz Break: Brand X, Masques

EUGENICS WATCH: Right To Die Fight Hits National Stage

Kaiser Health News

Opponents of aid-in-dying laws are claiming a small victory. They won the attention of Congress this week in their battle to stop a growing movement that allows terminally ill patients to get doctors’ prescriptions to end their lives.

The Republican-led effort on Capitol Hill to overturn the District of Columbia’s aid-in-dying law appeared to have died Friday. But advocates worry the campaign will catalyze a broader effort to fully ban the practice, which is legal in six states and being considered in 22 more.

“The D.C. legislation has catapulted the issue of medical aid in dying onto the federal agenda at a time when Congress has the power to enact a ban on this end-of-life care option nationwide — even criminalizing the practice in the six states where this option is currently authorized,” warned Jessica Grennan, national director of political affairs and advocacy for Compassion & Choices, which supports right-to-die laws.

“If that happens, it will set the end-of-life care movement back to the last century,” Grennan said.

Despite the apparent defeat this week, both sides agree that the debate on Capitol Hill, featuring a Republican moral protest, could be only a taste of what’s to come.
In a vote that hewed closely to party lines, the Republican-controlled House Oversight Committee on Monday approved a bill that would knock down D.C.’s law, which won approval from the mayor and City Council in December. While D.C.’s law mirrors those passed in other states, Congress has unique power to intervene in D.C.’s affairs. Under the Home Rule Act of 1973, Congress has 30 legislative days to overturn any law D.C. passes.

“It’s of deep, personal moral conviction that I stand in opposition” to D.C.’s law, said Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, who chairs the committee, in Monday’s hearing.

Chaffetz appears to have lost round one. Republicans in the House and Senate introduced joint resolutions attempting to block D.C.’s law, but the bills needed to pass the full House and Senate and gain President Donald Trump’s signature by Friday. Trump has declined to take a public stance on the matter.

Because Congress didn’t complete those steps this week, D.C.’s law successfully passes the congressional review period, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C.’s non-voting representative, announced in a press release Friday.

But “our defense of the Death with Dignity Act is only beginning,” Norton said.

That’s because Chaffetz has threatened to launch a second attack on the bill this spring, when Congress approves D.C.’s budget. The Death With Dignity Act calls for spending $125,000 in local money to build a database tracking the assisted-dying program. The law is set to take effect Oct. 1, at the beginning of the fiscal year, but only after the money is approved, according to D.C. mayoral spokeswoman Susana Castillo.

Dr. David Stevens, CEO of the Christian Medical & Dental Associations, which opposes medical aid in dying, said the Republicans’ effort to overturn D.C.’s law may still have broader impact.

“As representatives and senators become more educated about the dangers of physician-assisted suicide,” Stevens said, “I wouldn’t be surprised” if members of Congress introduce laws to “prohibit or at least more closely regulate” the practice.

If Congress passes such a law, the only hope for advocates such as Grennan “would be for the Supreme Court to intervene,” she said. But she noted that Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, a federal appellate judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, has published a book against aid-in-dying efforts. The book, she said, notes “the Supreme Court’s power to overturn the state medical aid-in-dying laws.”

Away from Capitol Hill, the aid-in-dying movement has gained steam: The practice is legal in Oregon, Washington, Vermont, Colorado, California and Montana.

Energized by victories in California and Colorado last year, aid-in-dying supporters are pushing ahead to battlegrounds nationwide. So far this year, 21 states have introduced aid-in-dying legislation, according to Compassion & Choices. And in South Dakota, proponents are trying to get the practice approved through a ballot initiative.

Hawaii, Maryland and Maine appear the most likely to pass new legislation this year, said Peg Sandeen, executive director of the Death With Dignity National Center, another national advocacy group.

But opponents have beaten back similar measures in many states in recent years. And in Alabama, South Dakota and New York, they have gone on the offensive, introducing bills to preemptively outlaw the practice or prohibit insurance from paying for the lethal drugs.

Chaffetz, who is leading the charge against D.C.’s law, has enraged Democrats and D.C. officials, who accuse him of overreaching his power by meddling in local affairs. But Chaffetz and fellow House Republicans at Monday’s vote said moral concerns trump local autonomy.

“Only God gets to decide” when a person’s life ends, declared Rep. Paul Mitchell, a Michigan Republican, during the debate.

Republican Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, who introduced the Senate resolution blocking the bill, also made a legal argument, citing a 1997 law passed under President Clinton that bans the use of federal money for physician-assisted death. Because of that law, Medicare and the Department of Veterans Affairs do not pay for the lethal drugs, so patients must pay out-of-pocket or use private or state-funded insurance. Lankford challenged D.C. to show that its assisted-dying program wouldn’t conflict with that law.

Advocates dismissed that argument. Sandeen, of the Death With Dignity National Center, said D.C.’s program will not use any federal money to help people die. She called the legal argument a “red herring effort,” aimed at distracting attention from politicians’ true reasons for trying to strike down D.C.’s law.

“I’d rather that they said, ‘For religious purposes, I disapprove of this law,'” she said.

This story has been updated to reflect the end of Congress’s review period.

KHN’s coverage of end-of-life and serious illness issues is supported by The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

Thank You Ms Baily and KHN.