Mathy Downing’s 12-year-old, Candace, was a far cry from a problem child. Downing describes her as having been “compassionate” and athletic. Candace was a member of her school’s swim and lacrosse teams. But when her pediatrician recommended that the family place her under the care of a psychiatrist, life changed in terrible fashion for the family.
“She was never depressed,” said Andy Downing, her father. “She had anxieties from testing at school. Had a lot of friends. Played basketball on a team. And I just kept asking myself over and over again, ‘This doesn’t make sense.’ Twelve-year-old girls don’t hang themselves.”
Candace was placed on the SSRI medication, Zoloft, at the prescribing of the psychiatrist. The Downings had no idea that suicide was a listed side-effect of Zoloft. When they found out, it was too late. Candace, a happy and motivated child, committed suicide after months of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor use.
The Downings filed a lawsuit against Zoloft’s maker, Pfizer. They settled out of court for an undisclosed amount. For Pfizer, settling out of court means putting a fast wrap on what could be public relations turmoil. When you are talking about a billion dollar industry for Pfizer, out of court settlements are worth every penny.
I never thought about it in this way, but this entry makes some very valid points. I found it to be quite eye-opening and, for lack of a better word, sobering when I read the line about out-of-court settlements. It’s almost like “par-for-the-course.” That’s so damn sad. Pfizer is arguably the biggest, most profitable drug company in the U.S; I mean, they define ‘Big Pharma.’
After checking really quick, I just saw on their own earnings reports (found online), that they had well over 50 billion dollars in revenue for 2017 alone. It just goes to show, these drug companies actually know what it’s like to assess a human life in dollars and cents. Of all the labeled “conspiracy theories” in today’s world, it seems like the public hears more and more evidence, every single day, of how Big Pharma really isn’t one.
As scary as it is to admit, it’s pretty f*cking real.