Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Lorraine Bracco Lands New Role As Pharma Prostitute

Lorraine Bracco Lands New
Role As Pharma Prostitute

03/15/ '05 by Fintan Dunne,

Lorraine Bracco, who plays psychiatrist Dr. Jennifer Melfi on HBO's "The Sopranos," for a year and a half in real life was fighting clinical depression with medication and therapy, CNN reports:
"Bracco's ready to talk about her fight with depression in hopes of knocking out stigmas about antidepressants and their effects. The mother of two went to drug manufacturer Pfizer in hopes of getting the word out, which she'll do with a Web site ( and a series of commercials."
Yeah, Lorraine just figured: "Hey, I'll call Pfizer and maybe together we can beat depression." And Pfizer said "Wow, what a great idea Lorraine. Now, why didn't we think of that? Soooo glad you called."

Really? Just how stupid do these people think we are?

The pharma industry is a big funder of medical propaganda in shows on TV. Now that Bracco is whoring for Pfizer, she can look forward to continuing stardom. That's how the system works - for whores, that is.

And it gets worse. Pfizer are now heavily promiting the Bracco story on their website, as a come-on to rope in more suckers.

Bracco play a psychiatrist in the TV show, which carries a lot of credibility with suckers, I mean patients. Hopefully, the ghosts of those who committed suicide from side-effects of these SSRI's will come and haunt her dreams.

Drug marketing people have spent fortunes on adverts along the lines of "9 out of 10 doctors reccommend (insert product here)." With Bracco they get to imply "Leading psychiatrist (actor) reccommends Zoloft." The TV-land viewers can't tell the difference between a real psychiatrist and an actor, so this will work beautifully. But not ethically.

No real leading psychiatrist would make such an endorsement, but the Pfizer marketing boys and girls think it's really clever and cool to use an acting whore as a stand-in. It isn't. It's manipulative and deceptive. Anyway, if Bracco really had any intention of helping people, she would have worked with a professional body -not a single manufacturer.

Or she might even have worked with a patient group such as MindFreedom Support Coalition International (website), which has exchanged letters with Pfizer about their claim that, "Zoloft is a medicine that helps correct the chemical imbalance of serotonin in the brain."

"What imbalance? What correction?," asks MindFreedom. The latest back and forth debate between Pfizer, Inc. and the MindFreedom Scientific Panel makes for fascinating reading.

Pfizer responded to MindFreedom's assertion that there is no scientific evidence for alleged "chemical imbalances" in the brain:
"We disagree with MindFreedom's assertion that this is a harmful and deceptive statement. One of many examples in the literature that you may wish to consult in this respect is The American Psychiatric Press Textbook of Psychopharmacology 219-37."
The MindFreedom Scientific Panel replied:
"If the Textbook of Psychopharmacology which you cite had been held to the same [conflicts of interest]standard as medical journals, readers would know that one of the editors, Charles Nemeroff, has been a major stockholder in Pfizer. They would also know that the book is published by the American Psychiatric Press, an arm of the American Psychiatric Association, which receives large financial contributions from Pfizer." [source]
Pfizer's best retort was a peer-reviewed citation stating:
"The therapeutic effect of SSRI antidepressants is thought to result from an enhancement of 5-HT neurotransmission due to long-lasting adaptive changes in serotoninergic neurons"
(our emphasis)
"Is thought"? Well, that about summarises the flimsy scientific basis of the "chemical imbalances" theory of depression. Speculation and hype - no evidence.

Besides the questionable science behind the SSRIs, there the big downside, coyly alluded to on the new Pfizer/Bracco website in this warning:
Brought to you by Pfizer, the makers of Zoloft. Those starting medication should be watched closely for suicidal thoughts, worsening of depression, or unusual changes in behavior.
Yeah, exactly. And this comment says what pharma prostitute Bracco does not:
Every single test done by the pharmaceutical companies themselves showed that the SSRIs were no more effective and were often LESS effective than a placebo. Of course, the companies kept these papers secret for years and years.
This comment says more:
Before you shut down your mind's ability to work magic, try ANYTHING but SSRI or anti-psych type drugs. Do Yoga, do taichi, take omega fatty acids and quit eating meat --- because when you shut down a necessary parta of your immune system such as seratonin or dopamine, you're just asking for long term, really bad outcomes.
And this comment says it all:
Pfizer sucks and so do their drugs (and whoever makes Prozac needs to be smacked...really hard) Anti-depressants haven't worked for me. Oh, they work for a bit, and then they stop working and I'm worse off than I was before. Then they up the dose, and I have bad side-effects, then they stop working again.

In fact, I ended up in the hospital for a week in early February. Now, I'm about to have no job, I have no money, and a mountain of debt b/c I can't work. I'm going to the psychiatrist tomorrow to get my meds adjusted for the third time in a month. Not that I can actually afford the treatment or anything. All the Zoloft's accomplished is to make me so sleepy and out of it that I can't function (mild hallucinations, memory lapses, etc). It's just compounded the depression.

That's the problem w/ anti-depressants, often times you have to try so many before finding one that works. I'm on my second med so far and it's even less effective than the first. And higher doses give me migraines (the lower dose did too, but they finally went away for the most part after THREE WEEKS). So, on to the third drug in 6 mos.
For the other side of the story check: Wed Feb 9 Audio Interview:
David Oaks
, Mental Health Rights Activist
Listen Here [mp3] or Download & Listen
A nonviolent revolution of freedom, equality, truth &
human rights for people affected by the mental health system.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lets not forget Pfizer's other misrepresented, dangerous neurotoxin called "Neurontin", google it ... and start taking it tomorrow. Remember, suicide solves everything!

9:54 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home