April 28th, 2011
A mother was involved in a ten-hour stand-off with a police SWAT team after refusing to give her child some medication.
Maryanne Godboldo, from Detroit, was accused of medically neglecting her 13-year-old daughter Ariana by not administering her with an anti-psychotic drug.
Staff from the Child Protective Services, accompanied by police, turned up at Godboldo’s home to take her child into state care.
A SWAT team then descended on the 56-year-old woman’s house with a tank and automatic rifles after she was accused of firing a gun at police officers.
After a ten-hour stand-off, which resulted in the mother giving herself up, Ariana was taken into protective custody.
The girl had been home-schooled by her mother but wanted to start going to a regular school, which required her to take a number of immunisations, reports Prisonplanet.com.
The girl then suffered adverse reactions to these shots and her mother was told to put her on a prescribed pyschotropic drug.
‘She began acting out of character, being irritated, having facial grimaces that have been associated with immunisations,’ the child’s aunt, Penny Godboldo, told the Detroit News.
The mother at first took the advice of doctors and gave Ariana the medication, Risperdal, but stopped after she said it was making her daughter’s condition worse.
Risperdal is an anti-psychotic medication which works by changing the effects of chemicals in the brain.
It is used to treat, among other things, schizophrenia, as well as the symptoms of bipolar disorder and autism.
‘Child Protective Services was trying to force her child to take a dangerous medication, Risperdal, against her will,’ said the Godboldo family lawyer.
Maryanne Godboldo is now facing criminal charges including firing a weapon in her house and resisting a police officer.
Her bail has been set at $500,000.
‘We’re hoping that Ariana is returned home, this whole matter is released, because we don’t think that the mother has done anything at all,’ attorney Wanda Evans told My FOX Detroit.
Ariana remains in protective custody, at the Hawthorne Center in Northville.
Officials have said they have not medicated the girl since she has been in their care.
June 11, 2009
by Elizabeth Lopatto, Jef Feeley and Margaret Cronin Fisk
Eli Lilly & Co. officials wrote medical journal studies about the antipsychotic Zyprexa and then asked doctors to put their names on the articles, a practice called “ghostwriting,” according to unsealed company files.
Lilly employees also compiled a guide to hiring scientists to write favorable articles, complained to journal editors when publication was delayed and submitted rejected articles to other outlets, according to documents filed in drug-overpricing suits against the Indianapolis-based company, the largest manufacturer of psychiatric medicines.
Drugmakers’ use of ghostwriters has created “a huge body of medical literature that society can’t trust,” said Carl Elliott, a University of Minnesota bioethicist who has written about the practice.
Lilly sought to make Zyprexa “the number one selling psychotropic in history,” according to a 2000 plan distributed to its product team. The memo was among more than 10,000 pages of internal documents unsealed last month in lawsuits by insurers and pension funds seeking to recoup money spent on the drug. They allege Lilly exaggerated Zyprexa’s effectiveness.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t have a guidance document or regulations specific to ghostwriting, said Karen Riley, an FDA spokeswoman.
Lemons declined to answer specific questions about ghostwriting. There is no evidence in the unsealed documents that doctors were paid to sign off on the ghostwritten items.
“We believe these documents describe the marketing of a widely promoted and powerfully dangerous psychotropic medication,” said Thomas Sobol, lead attorney for the insurance plans. “Transparency is critically important.”
Lilly isn’t the only drugmaker to use ghostwriters to win favorable play in medical journals. Merck & Co. and Pfizer Inc. also have faced claims they used ghostwriters as part of their marketing plans.
In May 2008, Whitehouse Station, New Jersey-based Merck agreed to pay $58 million to 29 states and to stop ghostwriting articles to resolve claims that its advertisements for the withdrawn painkiller Vioxx hid the drug’s health risks.
Pfizer paid $60 million to 33 states in October to settle claims it improperly marketed its Bextra and Celebrex pain relievers. New York-based Pfizer agreed to halt off-label marketing of the medicines and stop ghostwriting about them. It withdrew Bextra in April 2005. Celebrex is still on the market.
Antipsychotics have become the U.S.’s best-selling class of drugs, with 2008 sales of $14.6 billion, according to IMS Health, a health-care consulting firm.
The insurers suing Lilly contend it should pay as much as $6.8 billion in damages for downplaying Zyprexa’s health risks and marketing the drug for unapproved uses to increase profits.
The antipsychotic is Lilly’s top-selling drug, with $4.7 billion in sales last year, accounting for almost a quarter of the company’s revenue. Lilly officials said in 2002 they sought to boost Zyprexa sales to $6 billion within four years, according to a document unsealed in the insurers’ case.
Lilly agreed in January to pay $1.42 billion to the U.S. government and more than 30 states to settle off-label marketing allegations over Zyprexa. The agreement included a $615 million penalty for a federal criminal charge of illegally marketing the drug to elderly patients for off-label uses.
The company also faces suits from 12 states over its Zyprexa marketing practices. Cases brought by South Carolina and Connecticut officials are set for trial later this year.