National Vice President
News that Blue Cross Insurance are warning physicians to exercise care and caution when prescribing antidepressants comes as no surprise in lieu of the recent antidepressant crisis that has plagued America for so long now and has recently come to a swift and direct result. Scrambling for damage control is a normal response under the circumstances by insurance companies nationwide. Blue Cross simply follows suit. Their actions should be viewed cautiously and with enough skepticism from those many Americans left victimized and harmed by antidepressant use. Many want to believe that insurance companies are operating in the best interest and safety of the patient. Others more attune to reality remain skeptical. What truly motivates insurance companies to take this initiative in warning doctors to be careful?
The bottom line is that the FDA has issued Black Box Warnings on all highly marketable Antidepressants after conducting a long investigation. Even with insurmountable evidence to establish their link to suicide this investigation dragged on. In a twisted and at times almost unbelievable fashion, Congress themselves had to step in to demand that the FDA disclose its data regarding certain drugs. Frustrating, and at times even ludicrous, this investigation revealed not only a clear definitive link to suicide by these drugs, but the FDA’s and drug industries desperate attempts to hide, cover-up, conceal, distort (call it what you may) clinical trial data.
In light of all these facts, it is little wonder that insurance companies are gearing up to minimize loss. Their logic in warning doctors to err on the side of caution when prescribing antidepressants is used in an attempt to save them billions in potential lawsuits.
Take for example, in the past, if a member of your family committed suicide and was taking an antidepressant or withdrawing from an antidepressant, your legal recourse, and protections under insurance is difficult at best and more often than not, nonexistent. Now up the stakes, by throwing the fact that these drugs have black box warnings on them, clearly spelling out their potential for harm. Insurance companies are between a rock and a hard place, under the gun to justify not paying claims to potential victims of the antidepressant suicide fallout.
An industry that has previously been in the driver’s seat, one that ultimately has had the final say in denying suicide victims claims, no longer has an unobstructed path to tread down. It treads today on shaky ground; no longer sure that denying death claims due to suicide, when antidepressants are involved, is in its best interest.
Accountability measures need to be enacted that would ensure that the families of victims of this antidepressant suicide crisis receive immediate protection and justice in the form of financial compensation.
Several flaws in a questionable system stress the importance of accountability here where it has been previously lacking. They are as follows:
- Proper and full informed consent needs to be provided to the patient in writing prior to any psychiatric “treatment”. This entails revealing to the potential patient the risk of suicide when prescribing an antidepressant.
- Toxicity testing on suicide victims is not mandated and needs to be required. Victim’s families are not provided with the information on the importance of toxicity screening and are not given the actual procedure on how to request testing at the time of death.
- Suicides have been and are still routinely blamed on a person’s mental state or a person’s psychiatric diagnosis, rather than on the psychiatric “treatment” that the person had received prior to his death. This occurs routinely without scientific backing or verification of it being a fact. In this way, drug harm, is often overlooked or disregarded.
- Overall, s uicides are rarely investigated on a national level. This prevents critical information from being gathered and used to factor into determining possible links or causes of suicide. Statistics need to be obtained.
- Under “Right to Treatment”, insurance companies have been required to cover dangerous and risky psychiatric “treatment” even when the diagnosis itself does not withstand evidence-based criteria. Simply put, a person is diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder based on lists of subjective behaviors rather than on confirming, objective blood tests or brain scans.
The overall picture is one that shows the drug industry, and the psychiatric Industry conveniently not being held accountable. Both groups arm themselves with strong lobbying groups in Washington whose sole purpose is to grease the palms of our political representatives.
In the midst of all this confusion, insurance companies are left with half-hearted attempts at restoring order in a disordered and chaotic system.
For more information on the risks of suicide and antidepressants and the recent “Black Box Warnings” on antidepressants, please visit us at www.ablechild.org.