|Category: Childrens Health
||Date published: July 29,
|Here's another gross distortion of the truth by
TeenScreen. On its web site, in response to the question, is
TeenScreen related to TMAP, the Texas Medication Algorithm
Project? It says: "No. ... Some Web postings inappropriately
and inaccurately claim that TeenScreen is a bridge to
medication and hence the TMAP program. This is entirely
"There is absolutely no relationship between
TeenScreen and TMAP. ... TeenScreen does not endorse any
particularly mental health treatment or medication."
"TMAP ... is a medication formulary for seriously
mentally ill adults in Texas. The adults served by this
program are cared for in public programs. TeenScreen and TMAP
have nothing to do with one another."
TeenScreen says. Now lets look at the truth.
put, a TMAP (aka, algorithm) is a list of drugs that doctors
are required to use in treating persons with specific
illnesses who receive medication funded by the government with
Contrary to what TeenScreen claims, this
list is not limited to mentally ill adults in Texas. In fact,
Texas has a children's version that apes the adult version and
is used for kids in hospitals, foster care institutions,
prisons, juvenile programs and every other public program that
is funded with tax dollars in Texas.
It all started in
the mid-90s while Bush was governor. TMAP was developed by
what's referred to as an "expert consensus" made up of a group
of "experts" already known to have favorable opinions of
certain drugs, chosen by drug company sponsors, Janssen
Pharmaceutica, Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly, Astrazeneca,
Pfizer, Novartis, Janssen-Ortho-McNeil, GlaxoSmithKline,
Abbott, Bristol-Myers-Squibb, Wyeth-Ayerst and Forrest
In 1997-98, with pharma funding, a panel
was assembled to determine which drugs would be used in
treating children and decided that the same drugs used on
adults could be used on kids. There were no studies conducted
to test the safety of giving the TMAP drugs to kids and most
had never been FDA approved for use by children.
Experts are speaking out against these lists.
According Dr Grace Jackson, author of the new book, Rethinking
Psychiatric Drugs : A Guide for Informed Consent, "Outside of
emergency & trauma medicine, where algorithms can and do
save lives, the use of medical flowcharts and guidelines must
be evaluated carefully and critically. This is because the
algorithms have arisen from "Evidence Based Medicine" -- a
statistically based approach to studying treatment effects in
populations, rather than a reality based approach to
discerning treatment effectiveness in each unique individual."
The TMAP is still being used to push drugs on kids in
Texas, according to an article by the Associated Press on
February 09, 2005, "As lawmakers work to revamp Texas' foster
care system, they also are reviewing the use of mind-altering
drugs by foster children."
In October, 2004, the Texas
inspector general for the Health and Human Services Commission
said his office interviewed staff at three state licensed
wilderness camps, which provide care for foster children, and
found that the average child arrives on four or five
After investigating the issue of
drug use with foster kids, in an April, 2004 report, Texas
Comptroller, Carole Keeton Strayhorn, blasted the agency for
giving children drugs so ``doctors and drug companies can make
An update on Texas, comes from noted author
Dr John Breeding who reports, "We are fighting off a swarm of
efforts to codify New Freedom language into Texas law. Driven
by Big Pharma and psychiatry, Texas is a focal point as the
Texas Medication Algorithm Project started it all, the same
folks were behind the New Freedom Commission, and the end
result is more and more folks on drugs," said Breeding.
TeenScreen's underlying motive is to recruit customers
to funnel money to pharma by drugging kids and a TMAP model,
under whatever name it goes by in each state, is the list of
the drugs that the new customers will be given. In fact to
push the overall scheme along, the Bush appointed New Freedom
Commission (NFC) has recommended that TMAP be used in all 50
And it is spreading to other states. In Ohio,
the list is called "OMAP" and includes all the high-priced
psychotropics such as Paxil, Zyprexa, Adderall, Zoloft,
Risperdal, Seroqual, Depakote, Prozac, Wellbutron, Zyban,
Remeron, Serzone, and Effexor.
But first things first,
they have to get TeenScreen in schools and this is where the
NFC comes in. Its recommendations include, "Early detection of
mental health problems in children and adults - through
routine and comprehensive testing and screening - will be an
expected and typical occurrence." "Both children and adults
will be screened for mental illnesses during their routine
Citing recommendations by the NFC,
TeenScreen's Executive Director, Laurie Flynn, reports the
Bush plan, "to launch a nationwide mental illness screening
program in government institutions, including the public
school system, for all students from kindergarten up to the
While testifying before the committee on
March 2, 2004, Flynn praised the NFC for recommending
TeenScreen. "I am especially pleased to report that the
commission named the ... TeenScreen Program a model program
for early intervention."
Flynn's testimony discussing
TeenScreen's goal of finding students to "link them with
"In 2003, we were able to screen
approximately 14,200 teens at these sites; among those
students, we were able to identify approximately 3,500 youth
with mental health problems and link them with treatment. This
year, we believe we will be able to identify close to 10,000
teens in need, a 300 percent increase over last year."
Make no mistake, the lists are being used to drug
children and any new recruits will end up on drugs.
For instance, according to a report in the April 25,
2005, Columbus Dispatch, as of July, 2004, nearly 40,000 Ohio
children on Medicaid were already on psychiatric drugs. After
concerns were raised nationally about the number of kids being
medicated, a reporter for the Dispatch investigated
prescriptions records paid for by the Ohio Medicaid program
and discovered that 31% of children ages 6 to 18 in foster and
group homes, were on mental-health drugs. And 22% of kids in
detention were on psychiatric drugs as of January, 2005, with
many on five or more.
These drugs have never been
approved for kids and they have been found to cause suicide
and violence. Nearly all the children involved in violent
rampages in recent years have been on the antidepressants
known as SSRIs.
Christopher Pittman, the 12-year-old
who shot and killed his grandparents while they slept, and
then burned down the house, was on Zoloft. In describing the
event, Christopher said it was like he was watching a show on
television and that he could see everything happening but
there was no way to stop it.
One of the country's
leading experts on SSRIs, Dr Ann Tracey, explains that people
on these drugs, like Christopher, will appear as if they are
wide awake, when in fact they are half asleep walking around
in a dream-like state.
Despite the testimony of two
highly qualified psychiatrists that Christopher was
"involuntarily intoxicated" on Zoloft that night, the jury
found him guilty, and barring a miracle, this poor child will
sit in prison for the next 30 years because a negligent doctor
placed him on a lethal medication.
Dr Grace Jackson is
against giving kids drugs. "It would be difficult to engage in
a form of medical experimentation more potentially hazardous
than child psychopharmacology. With increasing frequency,
researchers have demonstrated how and why the psychiatric
drugs are powerful neuroendocrine disruptors which exert
negative effects upon cognition, growth, metabolism, and
reproductive functioning," she explained.
Jackson, "The question should not be whether or not American
children are being "overdrugged" -- rather, the question
should be: what evidence justifies the drugging of even one
State Officials Compromised By TMAP
Allan Jones was an Investigator in the Pennsylvania
Office of Inspector General, when the PennMap scheme was set
up in Pennsylvania. According to Jones, "TMAP and the NFC
represent the deceptive marketing of fraudulent science
through the corruption of our governmental safeguards at all
When charged with examining the receipt of
drug company funds by state employees, Jones said, "I began to
look at the overall issue of Pharma marketing and immediately
became alarmed that the tactics used in marketing to the
private sector were being replicated with public employees.
Trips, perks, travel, honorariums, consultant fees etc."
"The most shady aspects of the program emerged
quickly," he said, "the recommended drugs were exclusively
new, patented and expensive and were selected by persons with
financial ties to Pharma; and the claims of increased efficacy
and safety made by the drug companies and State employees,
were contradicted by the available science," Jones discovered.
"The pharmaceutical industry purchased the "opinions"
of a few key doctors and the endorsement of a few key state
administrators, and in exchange they illicitly opened the
market for billions of tax dollars spent on dubious and
dangerous drugs," Jones said.
Pharma giant, Janssen,
took the lead in exerting influence over state officials by
creating "Advisory Boards" made up of State Mental Health
Directors who were regularly treated to all expense paid trips
and conferences. By influencing 50 key officials, the company
knew that it would have a good shot at getting a TMAP list
adopted in every state.
For example, Ohio Mental
Health Director, Michael Hogan, and California Director,
Stephen Mayberg, are New Freedom Commission members who
control mental health services in their respective states, and
both are members of a Janssen advisory board.
has proven to be so useful that Eli Lilly has given him a
"Lifetime Achievement Award." In granting the award it was
noted that Hogan had given over 75 presentations at
conferences since he accepted the position on Bush's New
According to my ace records
researcher, Sue Weibert, every conference that she was able to
track down that featured Hogan, was sponsored by drug
companies, and the group that organized the conference
solicited money from pharma to pay the key note speaker.
Hogan is also on TeenScreen's Advisory Board.
In Florida, Flynn has Jim McDonough, the Director of
the Florida Office of Drug Control, in her back pocket.
In a March 22, 2004 email to McDonough she griped
about paying the Florida gang $120,000 a year and not getting
enough in return. "We've been working with David Shern and USF
for 18 months or so and still haven't got a program going,"
she said, "At this point I'm inclined to re-think the use of
our resources. We're sending about $120k to USF annually. ...
but ultimately we're not achieving our goals in the
community," she wrote.
Flynn went on to tell McDonough
that she had to find kids to screen and said, "I'm looking for
a horse to ride here!"
At this point, the NFC, TMAP,
and TeenScreen, working together, have managed to weave
together a web of key government officials who control funding
for the nation's mental health services in states all across
By using TeenScreen, pharma has hopes of
roping in 7-12 million new customers, according to Flynn's
March 2002 testimony:
"The need for increased ...
screening is evidenced by the fact that close to 750,000 teens
are depressed at any one time, and an estimated 7-12 million
youth suffer from mental illness. While treatments are
available for these severely disabling disorders, sadly, most
children do not receive the treatment they need. Among teens
that are depressed, 60-80 percent go untreated."
Officials Starting To Get Busted
As it turns out,
bribing state officials is really not uncommon. In
Pennsylvania, Allen Jones discovered that Janssen and Pfizer
had both been courting the same guy, Steve Fiorello, the State
Pharmacist. Each company had paid Fiorello as a consultant,
treated him to travel accommodations, and provided him with
educational grants to promote PennMap.
Fiorello was in
a unique position. He was paid about $82,000 to oversee
pharmacy operations at Pennsylvania's mental health hospitals,
and he was also a member of the committee that determined
which drugs would be on the PennMap list for doctors to
prescribe at those hospitals.
When finally busted, the
ethics commission charged that he "played both sides; he
participated with Pfizer ... as to its drug-selling
strategies, and he participated on the committee as to
selecting drugs for the state formulary."
report said Fiorello had earned money from Pfizer while
serving on a panel that chose what drugs would be used and
that he improperly took money from Janssen and Duquesne
University. The Commission fined him $27,000.
2002 company publication showed that Janssen knew exactly what
it was paying for. Under Faculty Bio, Janssen described
Fiorello as being "responsible for the formulation of policies
and procedures for drug use for ten state hospitals and
facilities including the development and implementation of the
Flynn & Hogan - Expert Consensus
So where does TeenScreen fit in here? After all, it
insists on its web site that it is absolutely not involved
with this list business.
Well low and behold, that's
not quite true. Just look what my talented records researcher,
Sue Weibert, discovered in "The Journal of Clinical
Psychiatry," Vol 60, 1999 Supplement 11: under Expert
Consensus Guideline Series: Treatment of Schizophrenia 1999.
Here we have none other than Laurie Flynn listed as an
"expert" who took part in creating the list. She surely must
have forgotten about this.
Flynn and her band of
pushers from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI)
must be geniuses when it comes to picking drugs because 39
members of NAMI got to cast votes in determining which drugs
could be on this list. The only group with more votes than
NAMI was academic experts with 42 votes.
"expert" who took part in this "expert consensus" process was
Flynn's good buddy, Mr Mike Hogan.
On its web site,
TeenScreen claims that it does not endorse any specific drugs.
Well the author obviously did not check with its Executive
Director because she sure does.
"Experts" Flynn and Hogan recommended the most expensive drugs
on the market for the treatment of schizophrenia: Risperdal,
Seroquel, and Zyprexa.
No affiliation with drug
companies either huh? According to the report, "This project
was supported by unrestricted educational grants from Eli
Lilly and Co; Janssen Pharmaceutica, Inc; Novartis
Pharmaceuticals Corporation; Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical;
Pfizer, Inc; Zeneca Pharmaceuticals."
The truth is,
NAMI is pharma's main front group and is used to implement
every marketing scheme the industry dreams up. As its former
Executive Director, Flynn was its top pusher for 16 years. The
group even admits that its goal is to help pharma "grow the
market," in an excerpt from the its 2000 990 entitled,
"Guidelines for the Relationship between NAMI and the
Campaign's Founding Sponsors."
plans, and pharmaceutical companies want to grow their markets
and to increase their share of the market. A. NAMI will
cooperate with these entities to grow the market by making
persons aware of the issues involving severe brain disorders,
by giving professionals and providers the NAMI perspective, by
bringing into treatment persons who are not being served, and
by helping persons to adhere to their treatment plans. (2000
990 is available at Guidestar.com).
On March 2, 2004,
Flynn testified at a congressional hearing that in the
screening process, "youth complete a 10-minute
self-administered questionnaire that screens for social
phobia, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, major
depression, alcohol and substance abuse.
amazing, if Flynn is right, all it takes is ten minutes and a
paper and pencil to unearth any one of 30 deep-seeded mental
illnesses. I'm surprised they haven't figured out a way to cut
out the middle-man doctor and set up a drive through for kids
to go pick up their pills at Walgreens without a prescription.
That's probably in the works.
Experts warn that
TeenScreen will do more harm than good. "It is impossible, on
cursory examination, or on the basis of the Program's brief
written screening test, to detect suicidality or "mental
illness," however we define it. Indeed, the fears evoked by
the process of seeking out mental illness can create
psychiatric symptoms," according to Dr Nathaniel Lehrman, MD,
former Clinical Director, Kingsboro Psychiatric Center,
Brooklyn NY; former Assistant Clinical Professor of
Psychiatry, Albert Einstein and SUNY Downstate Colleges of
"Searching out those "illnesses," rather
than relying on the troubled to seek help for themselves,
violates the privacy of those in whom these "illnesses" are
sought," Lehrman warns, "for those youngsters whose screenings
supposedly reveal such "mental illness," the major treatment
will then be drugs."
"Aren't eight million kids on
ritalin enough?" Dr Lehrman wants to know.
is always bragging that its screening tools are free.
Apparently that was also a scam to convince schools to adopt
the program. According to a September 27, 2004, email to Jim
McDonough, schools will have to pay a fee beginning in 2006:
"The DPS (the 19 minute computer administered
screening tool) that TeenScreen offers has been sold to Mental
Health Systems ... Sites can continue using the DPS, but
starting Jan 2006, they will have to pay a few hundred
dollars. (The exact prices is yet to be decided) ... The DPS
will still be offered by TeenScreen, it will just not be free
On December 4, 2002, Flynn spoke to the NFC,
and explained the cost of setting up one TeenScreen program:
"Implementation in just one school district often requires
piecing together over a dozen funding streams from the
education and mental health fields."
Think about that
for a minute, "piecing together over a dozen funding streams."
So how much are local tax payers going to end up paying for
school employees to set up a TeenScreen program in every
Something is very wrong here. This is pharma's
marketing scheme, yet tax payers are paying to set it up,
paying school employees to administer the survey, paying for
"clinicians" and "case managers," and in 2006, the use of the
survey itself will cost money.
On top of all that,
mark my word, tax payers are going end up paying for shrinks
for students without insurance and Medicaid programs will end
up funding at least three-fourths of the drugs prescribed.
As I've said before, this has got to be the most
brilliant scheme that I have come across in my 2 years of
investigating the pharmaceutical industry. Its all profit -
tax dollars funneled through kids directly into pharma
No Laughing Matter
pharmaceutical industry is taking over the world right before
our very eyes. The harmful effects of the drug-makers'
take-over is well-documented in Bob Whitaker's book, "Mad In
Right now pharma has over a 100 NAMI type
marketing front groups in place all over the globe. It has
succeeded in greasing enough palms to compromise the few
government officials necessary to control the Federal and
State funding allocated for prescription drug programs, and it
has doctors in every field of medicine writing out
prescriptions for expensive psychiatric drugs as if they were
the cure-all for everything under the sun.
so bad, that Dr Lehrman notes a need for public awareness of
the extent to which the American medical profession is being
prostituted by the drug companies, "In no other medical
specialty has that prostitution reached the depths it has in
my specialty, psychiatry," he added.
infiltrated the staff responsible for prescribing drugs in the
country's health care facilities, to boost profits by
overmedicating patients, with most of the funding coming from
tax dollars, causing state Medicaid programs to go broke left
In addition, it controls the media with
billions of advertising dollars so that when it does get
busted for hiding harmful effects of drugs that kill people or
paying doctors to push drugs for ailments they were never
approved for, or shooting poisonous vaccines into infants for
profit, or any of the other 1000 money-making schemes that its
got going on any given day, the story might make front page
headlines for a day or two at most.
It took hold of
the nation's regulatory agencies by making sure to get the
majority of government researchers and scientists on their
payrolls so that they will readily approve new drugs and then
allow companies to make a killing off selling new drugs by
hiding their adverse effects until people start dropping over
But most importantly, Pharma has gained a
stronghold on every branch of government by funneling a steady
stream of campaign cash to politicians to make sure that
favorable legislation is passed and investigations of industry
crimes are shut down.
Last, but certainly not least,
it now appears more and more likely every day that pharma is
going to have its way with the nation's children via the
public school system. God help us.
Evelyn Pringle firstname.lastname@example.org
is a columnist for Independent Media TV and an investigative
journalist focused on exposing government corruption)
(Records researchers, Sue Weibert and Ken Kramer
contributed to this report)
work by author is copyright protected. If you would like to use this
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