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Website of the International Platform Against Childhood Medicalisation

Asura 95, 28043 Madrid - Tel. 615 383 806 - email: plataformaicmi@comunicar.e.telefonica.net

Director: Juan Pundik

 

AGAINST CHILDHOOD MEDICALISATION

In June 2006, the EMEA (European Medicines Agency) approved Lilly laboratory's request allowing the prescription of PROZAC (fluoxetine) to children.  Given this, as well as the undesirable side effects indicated by the laboratory itself on the notice accompanying the drug, determined me to create THE PLATFORM AGAINST PROZAC AND THE MEDICALISATION OF CHILDHOOD by means of an electronic list appeal.  In June, once I had collected a sufficient number of signatures, I addressed the President of the European Commission, Mr. José Durao Barroso, in order to request his non-endorsement of the EMEA's approval.

Receiving neither acknowledgement of receipt nor reply, I repeatedly addressed him my letter, until, on my fifth correspondence I received a letter confided not to those in charge of Public Health and Consumer Defense, but to Mr. Martin Terberger, Head of the pharmaceutical products unit of the Directorate-General for Business and Industry.  This seemed to me a height of impudence.  I gave an account of this to the President of the European Parliament, Mr. Josepe Borrell, who took official action on my complaint for reasons of absence of TRANSPARENCY TO THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION.

I received a letter, dated 10/25/2007, from the Secretary of the Committee of Petitions of the European Union, Alina Vasile, informing me that the Commission would be meeting on 11/24/2007 at 5 p.m.  in order to examine the European Commission's report and my petition.  She invited me to attend and to present a defense speech.

 

I pronounced this defense speech in front of the Deputies of the European Commission of Petitions of the European Parliament:

  1. Oppose it's veto or derogate the Decision C (2006), authorizing the prescription of Prozac (fluoxetine) to children and adolescents under the age of 18 years, granted to the product's manufacturer, Lilly Laboratories, by simple application. 
  2. Derogate article 6 of the European Commission regulation that allows operations that are abnormal and alien to our juridical traditions, like mandating the applicant for an authorization to do the research on the positive effects, the contraindications and possible side effects of the medication manufactured by that same applicant. 
  3. Open an inquest on the scientific validity of the authorizations given to medical products by the EMEA that make use of this aberrant procedure.
  4. Establish a ruling of transparent justice by which authorizations for medicinal substances be granted after studies, proofs and inquests have been carried out by organizations presenting guarantees of independence in regard to the pharmaceutics industry.

Countless studies and inquests published over these past years establish that the enormous increase in the use of antidepressants that increase serotonin levels, often prescribed in association with other drugs that further increase serotonin levels, constitute a threat to the health and the life of the patient.  The European Commission did not take these into account, holding as valid the report issued by the manufacturing laboratory alone.

 We grant medical professionals the right to decide which of our ideas and behaviors should be written up, diagnosed, treated, prescribed for, and even drugged, with the assent of the European Commission.  This democratic system, so painstakingly acquired, runs the risk of giving way, in a very veiled form, to a new sort of totalitarian State that pretends to class children and young adults as dependant, anxious, depressive, phobic, anorexic, bulimic, panic attacked, bipolar, asthmatic, epileptic, hyperactive, etc. and submits them to prescription drugs that have invalidating and segregating effects.  This would simply eradicate in a single stroke of the pen the individual rights and liberties, fought for and won by entire generations of people, some of whom sacrificed their lives, in the founding of the democratic society in which we live.I have come to appear here in Brussels before this Commission of the Deputies of the European Parliament as the representative of the Platform against the Medication of Childhood –that already counts one thousand memberships– to defend the human dignity, the liberty, the democracy and the human rights of future generations, in particular those whose rights are at risk of being replaced by the rights of the market, represented by multinationals.

I thank you for offering me this opportunity to present this defense speech and this petition.

The Preceding petitions had provoked only rare interventions by the members of the European Parliament present.  Mine produced a swell of requests to take the floor.  Two were to defend the goodness of Prozac, the confidence in the studies produced by the manufacturing laboratory, the responsibility of the doctors who were supposed to prescribe it, and the responsibility of the European Commission.  The majority of the members of Parliament used the elements from my paper to ask questions about the prescription of antidepressants to children and young adults.One young representative of the European Commission defended the European Medicines Agency and the Commission.  She alleged that the studies I mentioned had been taken into consideration, and that it had opted for the advantages of prescribing Prozac to children and depressed adolescents, when prior therapeutic treatments had failed.  This, along with a recommendation of prudence to medical professionals when prescribing Prozac to children and adolescents.

I was again given time for a reply.  I insisted on the lack of transparency and serious study of which I accused the European Commission and the European Medicines Agency, as well as the legalized corruption of rules that allow laboratories to constitute themselves judge and judged, as was the case for Mayor's offices of Cork and Tara.  I informed them that in the letters held in my possession, the Head of the Unit of Pharmaceutical Products of the Directorate General of Industry and Commerce of the Commission of the European Parliament admitted that he was not aware of the studies that I had included in my report. 

I insisted that, in my opinion, the responses emanating from by the European Commission via this Directorate General were themselves a demonstration of the Directorate's corruption since we were faced with questions that did not deal with industry and commerce, but with Public Health, Consumer Defense and individual rights and liberties.  That it was impossible to accord the slightest confidence to the European Commission when, a few days earlier, its President had admitted that his support of the invasion of Iraq had been extorted from him through lies, when the pharmaceutical industry was lying to them as well, when they were subjected not only to the lies of the pharmaceutical industry but to the American FDA as well – an FDA presently undergoing a U.S. Senate investigation on grounds of corruption for having accepted funding from the pharmaceutical industry. 

I expressed my opinion on the necessity of opening an inquiry to establish whether or not the European Medicines Agency was also receiving funds from the pharmaceutical industry to gain authorizations for its products.  That, although the pharmaceutical industry offers us the substances with which we fight disease, protect our health and treat illness, it has also been unscrupulous.  It was responsible for the monsters produced by thalidomide, the deaths caused by the anti-inflammatory drug Vioxx, since called of the market, as well as for hundreds of other drugs that get taken off the market each year once their associated iatrogenic consequences, discovered too late, have induced suffering and even death.

The problem is that this must be but a beginning and that the Platform's fight must continue.  Now paths are opening in all directions.  Locally, in relation to schools, hospitals, professional collectives and others of very different sorts, face to face with official organizations, like mayor's offices and the like, with government ministers, deputies, senators and European parliamentarians, and of course, face to face with Brussels.  We must carry on with the Platform as an organization for which each of us is the spokesperson in this fight against the medication of childhood and of everyday life.  I am waiting for ideas, propositions and offers.

 

Juan Pundik
President of the Platform

We have already received over three thousand memberships to the Platform against Prozac and the Medicalisation of Childhood.  If you are not yet registered, you can do so by writing to plataformaicmi@comunicar.e.telefonica.net.  You must include your first and last name, your activity or profession, your full address and your National Identity card number.

 

© PLATFORM AGAINST CHILDHOOD MEDICALISATION