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FDA PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGIC DRUGS ADVISORY COMMITTEE WITH THE PEDIATRIC SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE ANTI-INFECTIVE DRUGS ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Monday, February 2, 2004
DR. RUDORFER: May we have the next speaker, please. Joyce Storey.
MS. STOREY: My son, Brian Storey, was 17 years old in 1997. Our family doctor diagnosed him with severe depression. He took blood, checked for drugs or any medical condition. He found neither. He gave me 14 Zoloft pills and said come back in two weeks. He never told me they had side effects and he even said if a person is drinking or doing drugs, that Zoloft works well with them.
Five days later, my son killed a woman. When they arrested him, he was drug-tested. They found no illegal drugs, he was only on Zoloft.
During his trial, the kids that testified with him and against him said he did no drugs or alcohol. The psychiatrist that examined him was Dr. James Merkangis from Connecticut. He is also a Doctor of Neurology and is on the faculty at Yale University. He said Brian had a manic reaction to Zoloft. He testified Brian told him it was like being in a dream.
The news media called my son the All-American boy, and he was. He is now serving life without parole. Six months later, another boy at my son’s high school, Jeff Franklin, 17 years old, on Prozac, took an ax to both his parents and three of his brothers and sisters. Both of his parents died. He is serving two life sentences.
This is not a coincidence. There is a common denominator, teenager, severely depressed, on an SSRI antidepressant. What is scary is that you are only hearing from a few of us that this has happened to, and there are a lot more out there.
I am praying you will look at these drugs very closely and, at the very least, take them out of the hands of pediatricians and GPs. These doctors are not psychiatrists, and they do not have the knowledge and experience in treating mentally ill children.
My son never had a chance. There are 13 million people on these drugs, 6 to 8 million are children. The question is why are we handing these drugs out like candy, and the answer is $17 billion a year business. It is always about money. Please help before more families are destroyed.
DR. RUDORFER: Thank you.