Summary:

First paragraph reads:  "MS. WEATHERS:  My name is Patricia
 
      Weathers.  I am a New York mother and president and
 
      co-founder of ablechild.org, a national grassroots
 
      parent organization representing over 900 members,
 
      such as Mrs. Vicky Dunkle whose 10 year-old
 
      daughter died in her mother's arms as a direct
 
      result of the antidepressant prescribed her.
 

http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/ac/04/transcripts/2004-4065T1.htm


DR. GOODMAN:  Thank you.  Speaker 65,
 
      please.
 
                MS. WEATHERS:  My name is Patricia
 
      Weathers.  I am a New York mother and president and
 
      co-founder of ablechild.org, a national grassroots
 
      parent organization representing over 900 members,
 
      such as Mrs. Vicky Dunkle whose 10 year-old
 
      daughter died in her mother's arms as a direct
 
      result of the antidepressant prescribed her.
 
                I am one of the lucky ones.  My child is
 
      still alive.  My own story has been featured on
 
      "Good Morning, America," "The Today Show," A&E
 
      investigative reports and "The New York Times,"
 
      just to name a few.  I have testified before state
 
      legislatures and twice before Congress.  My
 
      activism began after my son's school coerced me to
 
      place him on Ritalin, a drug that caused him to
 
      become extremely withdrawn.  The school
 
      psychologist and psychiatrist then diagnosed him
 
      with social anxiety disorder and recommended Paxil
 
                                                               421
 
      as a, quote, wonder drug for kids.
 
                On Paxil, he began hearing voices in his
 
      head, drew violent pictures and even attacked me.
 
      I could no longer recognize my own son.  He pleaded
 
      with me at one point, "Mom, make it stop."  I
 
      finally realized that it was the Paxil that put him
 
      in a drug-induced psychosis so, naturally, I
 
      removed him from the drug.  I was then charged with
 
      medical neglect when there was no proof that
 
      anything was medically wrong with him.  I soon
 
      discovered social anxiety disorder, like bipolar
 
      disorder and attention deficit disorder, are not
 
      medical conditions.  Parents are told that their
 
      child has a chemical imbalance or a neurobiological
 
      illness.  We risked our child's life based on this
 
      fundamental lie.
 
                I now know this is not true but, more
 
      importantly, so do you.  The FDA is well aware that
 
      there are no x-rays, biopsies, blood tests or brain
 
      scans that verify these mental disorders as a
 
      disease or illness.  My point is simple.  The FDA
 
      should not be condoning or approving these drugs
 
                                                               422
 
      without evidence of disease, illness or physical
 
      abnormality that would justify risking our
 
      children's lives with a harmful and potentially
 
      lethal drug.
 
                We are gathered here today, discussing
 
      warning labels on antidepressant drugs.  Why?  The
 
      FDA had enough evidence 14 years ago to issue these
 
      warning labels on these drugs and you know this.
 
      Now the FDA must do more.  The FDA's own mission
 
      statement says that it is responsible for helping
 
      the public get accurate science-based information.
 
      It is failing.  The FDA is risking our children's
 
      lives based on nothing more than junk science.  The
 
      FDA is responsible for protecting the public
 
      health, not vested interests.  I remind you that
 
      children's lives are in your hands and I call...
 
                [Applause]