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Comments by Brian Shilhavy
Health Impact News Editor

New York University research scholar and law professor Mary Holland recently addressed the United Nations at the 25th International Health and Environment Conference.

Professor Holland has been one of the lone voices in the U.S. addressing the legal ramifications of removing parental rights to informed consent for childhood vaccines. She has previously written for Health Impact News on this issue. See:

Killing the Messenger: U.S. Vaccine Law and Policy

Professor Holland sees major civil rights issues involved in government vaccine policies that remove informed consent rights to refuse mandatory vaccinations. She reminds the United Nations that history has shown us the results of such overt government intrusion into personal medical rights. World-wide human rights legislation has been put into place to protect individuals from government intrusion into medical abuse, starting with the Nuremberg Code just after the atrocities of Nazi Germany after World War II.

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A Sydney law firm has launched a class action on behalf of people who as children and adolescents were prescribed the anti-depressant drug Paroxetine.

Drayton Sher Lawyers has called for expressions of interest from people who were prescribed the drug, commonly known as Aropax in Australia, when they were 18 or younger.

Solicitor Tony Nikolic​ said hundreds of people had indicated they would join the class action, which he expects to file in the Federal Court at the end of May.


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50% hike in antidepressant use in UK children

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50% hike in antidepressant use in UK children

Prescriptions for antidepressants in children rose 54% between 2005 and 2012 in the UK, an international study has revealed.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said it was ‘very concerned’ by the rise in use of the drugs in children both in the UK and other countries which it said was ‘not justified’.

Similar increases of 60% in Denmark and 49% in Germany were recorded over the same period, while antidepressant use in children went up by 26% in the USA and 17% in The Netherlands.

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A rise in the use of anti-depressant drugs among children is a concern, the World Health Organization has said.

A warning in 2004 brought a fall in use of the drugs, after fears that some could lead to suicidal behaviour.

But a new study shows that between 2005 and 2012 there was a 54% increase in the number of young people prescribed them in the UK.

It also showed rises in Denmark (60%), Germany (49%), the US (26%) and the Netherlands (17%) in the same period.

'Matter of concern'

World Health Organization (WHO) director of mental health Dr Shekhar Saxena said the research, published in the European Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, raises serious questions.

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Deaths from 'Benzo' Sedatives Quietly Increasing

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Deaths from 'Benzo' Sedatives Quietly Increasing

Prescription opioids have made headlines for skyrocketing rates of deaths from overdoses, but a new report shows that overdose deaths from another group of medications — sedatives called benzodiazepines — are also increasing.

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Antidepressants can raise the risk of suicide, biggest ever review finds

Antidepressant use doubles the risk of suicide in under 18s and the risks to adults may have been seriously underestimated, researchers found   


(Suicidality and aggression during antidepressant treatment: systematic review and meta-analyses based on clinical study reports

http://www.bmj.com/content/352/bmj.i65 )

Antidepressants can raise the risk of suicide, the biggest ever review has found, as pharmaceutical companies were accused of failing to report side-effects and even deaths linked to the drugs.

An analysis of 70 trials of the most common antidepressants - involving more than 18,000 people - found they doubled the risk of suicide and aggressive behaviour in under 18s.

Although a similarly stark link was not seen in adults, the authors said misreporting of trial data could have led to a ‘serious under-estimation of the harms.’

"It is absolutely horrendous that they have such disregard for human lives."

Professor Peter Gotzsche, Nordic Cochrane Centre


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Maternal Antidepressant Use Tied to Autism

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Maternal Antidepressant Use Tied to Autism


In a major study, published yesterday in JAMA Pediatrics, the use of SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy was found to increase the risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by 87-percent. Previous studies reveal that more than 13-percent of women currently use SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy.
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Research raises questions over ADHD drug effects

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Research raises questions over ADHD drug effects

Researchers voiced concern on Wednesday about poor quality studies on the popular ADHD treatment Ritalin, saying evidence of some benefits, but also of sleep problems and appetite loss, suggests the drug should be prescribed with caution.

Ritalin is sold by Swiss pharmaceutical firm Novartis NOVN.VX, known generically as methylphenidate and also sold under the brand names Concerta, Medikinet and Equasym. It has been used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)for more than 50 years.

The Cochrane Review researchers, who conducted a full assessment of studies on the benefits and harms of the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) drug, said evidence on its use in children was poor.

"Our expectations of this treatment are probably greater than they should be," said Morris Zwi, a London-based consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist, who worked on the review.


Read more at Reutershttp://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/25/us-health-adhd-ritalin-idUSKBN0TE01320151125#LigkTRWhgBfFUpBU.99
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Researchers Urge Caution In Prescribing ADHD Drug: Ritalin May Not Treat Symptoms


A team of health experts warned via a new Cochrane Review that physicians should take caution in prescribing the drug methylphenidate, commonly known for its brand name Ritalin, to patients with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder because despite the drug's health benefits, it may also cause harmful side-effects.

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Many Antidepressant Studies Found Tainted by Pharma Company Influence

A review of studies that assess clinical antidepressants shows hidden conflicts of interest and financial ties to corporate drugmakers

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