Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Ambien - Anecdotes from the Battlefield
Frontline, PBS.org, the excellent investigative weekly documentary, rebroadcast last night the following show (see link) "The Wounded Platoon".
This is the second time I have watched this documentary.
It traces the progress of 42 soldiers upon their return to the US from Iraq. It is a most disturbing overview of how combat soldiers attempt to "blend back in" to ordinary, tedious, civilian life.
The most interesting part of the documentary is how many of these soldiers ended up under severe PTSD AFTER their initial return. Some were sent back with a clean bill of health, when in fact they were close to mental implosion.
Several of the platoon were medicated up to the gills with a cocktail of sleeping pills, from Ambien to heavier psychotropic drugs, such as Prozac, Klonopin and Zoloft with horrific side effects. (See Links)
What was not discussed in this documentary was what pharmaceutical companies provided the US ARMY with these sleeping pills and what ones continue to provide VAST QUANTITIES to the US military.
Who are the pharmaceutical companies that are providing these drugs to our US military?
#1. Ambien by Sanofi-Aventis
#2. Klonopin by Roche
#3. Zoloft by Pfizer
#4. Paxil by Glaxo Smith Kline
#5. Prozac by Eli Lily
How much is the US military charged for these massive doses of prescriptions?
According to a 2008 GAO study, the DOD tripled its expenditures on prescription drugs from $1.6 billion in 2000 to $6.2 billion in 2006. It is expected to double even further by 2015 to $15 billion.
(See Links for full details)
A recent story linked above illustrates from where these drugs are distributed, i.e. Walgreens.
In 2009, the CBO wrote a report on one of the DODs main contractors, TRICARE Mail Order Pharmacy Program. (see Link) www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=10009
The full details are contained in a PDF file and is well worth reading.
Three large corporations control 80% of the distribution market and they are ---
McKesson Corporation Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen.
With the huge increase in PTSD sufferers throughout the military, these companies will most likely reeap the benefits as combat veterans return and attempt to "blend back in" to normal living.
As one of the Army MDs said in the documentary ---
"PTSD is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation".