Today marks the anniversary of the 1987 signing of the Declaration at the International Conference against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking. As Kofi Anna, Secretary-General of the United Nations notes in his remarks commemorating today’s important milestone, “Let’s talk about drugs… ” Underlines the need for children, families, peers, teachers and communities to talk about drug abuse, admit that it is a problem, and take responsibility for doing something about it.”
With this important event in mind, our organization is pleased with the Food and Drug Administration’s recent action regarding issuing a statement that the drug Paxil should not be used on children because of the increase risk of suicidal impulses. This recent announcement comes nine days after Great Britain issued a similar ban of the drug known as Seroxat (another name for Paxil) for children.
The growing number of behavioral drugs used on school-aged children is at an alarming level. Our organization is concerned with the rise in the use of these drugs as well as the fact that parents are not being provided with all information regarding the many dangerous side effects that the drugs have. This clearly is in violation of parent’s informed consent rights and disables a parent’s ability to make an educated, sound decision. This announcement reinforces the fact that Federal laws are needed to protect our children’s health and safety.
The recent Paxil finding is just one example of the broader issue, which is selling drugs to our children without disclosing risks. The selective distribution of deceptive marketing materials to parents demonstrates the immediate need for federal policies and an investigation into the mental health and drug industries marketing campaign targeting our children. With profit as a common factor and billions hanging on the line, it is little wonder that Paxil’s manufacturer failed to disclose certain clinical trials and the potential risks involved while taking their drug. The fact that the pharmaceutical industry has a tight grip on the American public and is a billion dollar industry should raise the question to many: “What other information is being withheld from parents and consumers regarding the many behavioral drugs being prescribed to our children today?”
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