National Vice President
A hearing scheduled for yesterday, July 20, 2004, by the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, headed by Congressman Greenwood of PA, was abruptly shut down just hours before it was to convene. This hearing, requested by victims, was scheduled to address both the withholding of clinical trial data from the public by drug companies, and the role of the FDA in the antidepressant investigation. Representatives from 7 pharmaceutical companies, their trade association, as well as, representatives from the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and one top FDA official, were all scheduled to testify before the Subcommittee. Ablechild learned from the Associated Press that the hearing was suspended due to Congressman Greenwood’s announcement that he was seeking career opportunity from the pharmaceutical industry. This clearly raises ethical concerns.
Ablechild received a flood of calls from families outraged over the government’s depraved indifference to human rights, its lack of responsibility, and its blatant disregard for the public safety. Ablechild has put in an emergency request to the Senate to reopen these hearings to the public immediately, due to this Subcommittee’s inability to act in the best interest of the public. Parents contacting Ablechild know that the Subcommittee is unduly influenced and request that immediate action should be taken to uphold the integrity of this investigation.
On behalf of parents nationwide, Ablechild contacted Senator Santorum, from PA, specifically requesting that he take steps to reopen these hearings to ensure that the health and well being of our children is not, in any way, compromised. Ablechild points to the death of little Shaina Dunkle, from Pennsylvania, who at the age of 10, died from the direct result of antidepressants. Mrs. Vicky Dunkle, has repeatedly appealed to both Congressman Greenwood and Senator Santorum, asking for accountability in the death of her daughter. We have appealed to Pennsylvania, reminding them that Shaina Dunkle’s death should not be disregarded by the power plays of special interest groups influencing politicians and investigative hearings.
The government has the responsibility to protect public safety. Ablechild eagerly awaits Senator Santorum’s response.