Skip to comments.VA testing drugs on war veterans
Posted on 06/17/2008 9:44:15 AM PDT by PurpleMan
"The government is testing drugs with severe side effects like psychosis and suicidal behavior on hundreds of military veterans, using small cash payments to attract patients into medical experiments that often target distressed soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, a Washington Times/ABC News investigation has found."
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
We all know the VA could never be negligent.
Well, who do they want the VA to test drugs on?
From what I know, the VA has made huge positive strides in the care and treatment of Vets, especially those returning from the Gulf who are no longer in the military’s health system. . They are no longer “your father’s VA.”
That being said, this, as we say, “wipes the board clean.”
Because it is dedicated to single mission of caring for vets, I think it works better than most single payer models. However, it also shows us all the many problems that can occur with any “globally budgeted”, government paid system, including non-accountability and neglect.
This and the recent scandals at VA hospitals.
Ritalin and Prozac?
Most. Depressing. Post. Of. The. Day.
You make a valid point to the degree that the VA has to have the people who have the “affliction” to be able to test the drug.
However, why just target Vets? Why not firemen? Policemen? Other people with PTSD?
The way they it seem underhanded and slimey. No wonder the article referred to the WWII Mustard gas tests, the Cold War LSD test, the Tuskegee Syphilis Study. THe VA’s track record stinks on rye.
“...recent scandals at VA hospitals.”
Huh? Must have missed those.
Because that's who the VA has access to. I don't like the VA, and they might be unethical here.. just think the story was a little bit over the top.
Just last year.
Yeah, I have to agree. I am working for the VA on developing treatments for head injury, and since there really is no current treatment available, any good prospect is going to be fast-tracked into field testing. This isn’t because we view the soldiers as expendable guinea pigs, it’s because they can’t afford to wait for the red tape to be cleared. Yes, we want to make sure it’s safe first, but the prospect of nasty side effects probably isn’t as bad as the prospect of lifetime disability after a severe brain injury. Often times in these cases it’s a matter of choosing the lesser of two evils, so I wouldn’t rush to judgement here.
Got it. But why is not this study....er...experimant done under the auspices of the National Institute of Mental Health?
In a larger picture, every active duty servicemember or Vet who reads the story is going to walk away with a further impression, and most definately incorrect that the VA is hosed.
Too bad for all.
Also new drugs and treatments are field tested all the time to all kinds of people - they are called medical trials. This is nothing new nor is it shocking.
This has nothing to do with attempting to treat people with PTSD. It’s just a convenient source of people who may be willing to be experimented upon for small cash payments. One of the drugs was an anti-smoking pill (Chantix).
If they’re targeting returning vets who may be in a bad state emotionally and/or financially because they think those are the easiest people to hook, and then not telling them about the possible side effects, then it stinks on ice. Period.
The VA gets bashed for not doing enough, now for doing too much. It’s not a perfect system and it can use some CHANGE!
That was the thrust of the article, how the entire government needs CHANGE!
VA not doing enough..
I disagree in this way. IMHO, it’s not that they are not “doing enough” it’s that they are not doing the right things. We have, what, 30,000 combat wounded with another estimated 150,000 affected by Traumatic brain injury (a number from the bipartisan Congressional Brain Injury Task Force).
After being “at war” for nearly 8 years, I get the impression that the VA is still operating in a 1980 cold-war mentality. Hell, ask servicemember(and their ofiicer and enlisted leadership) about the VA and I’ll bet the scream in unison,” Stay away from it! It’s hosed!”
I am a service member. I think it can use some real help. The article is not about fixing the problem, it’s about controlling the VA.
” I think it can use some real help”
“It” meaning the VA, I assume?
Curious as to how. (I have my own ideas)
I don’t know actually. It seems that the VA is in constant turmoil and could use some sort of operational assistance. I haven’t studied the situation closely yet.
My question is why do we need a separate health care system to treat veterans. Abolish VA and use those funds to pay TRICARE premiums for eligible vets.
“medical experiments that often target distressed soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan”
gee, let me just take a wild guess
in war time, increase in numbers of soldiers with mental/emotional problems
some can’t get back to active duty/adjustment to civilian life - “stress” related mental conditions too severe and continuing too long for a few
standard drugs not showing sufficient effectiveness in some cases
some patients asked if they want to participate in clinical trials of newer drugs
informed consent given and, as in many clinical trials, stipends also paid
i imagine this scenario has played out in wartime and immediate post-war periods for 200+ years of U.S. history
if my scenario-guess is correct, nothing really schocking
full disclosure here: I am currently receiving long-term medical out-patient care (past six months) at a VA hospital and it is the best care and most professional medical service I have had in my life
“I am currently receiving long-term medical out-patient care (past six months) at a VA hospital and it is the best care and most professional medical service I have had in my life.”
You know, I have heard professionally and anectotally) that what you say is absolutely true. It is unfortunate that the VA is not out in front of this fact be continually telling everyone.