Newspaper and internet articles, psychiatry, Random

Dr Drew Pinsky, Celebrity Rehab and Abbott Laboratories’ Depakote.


Dr Drew is notorious for receiving $275,000 from GSK ‘for his services’ to Wellbutrin. His reputation is in shreds due to him promoting this drug unabashed without admitting that he was actually getting paid by GSK to do so. In one particular and ridiculous radio interview he said Wellbrutin (an antidepressant) could have the effect of enabling women to have multiple orgasms. What a plonker; I wonder who participated in that particular study! An Article in the ‘Atlantic’ reported that Dr Drew’s habit of taking money from pharma doesn’t appear to end with GSK. The Article reported that Johnson & Johnson also paid Dr. Drew $74,500, just two years ago.

Last night I came across an old series of ‘Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew’ and recorded it. I was interested to see what this guy was like and if he was believable. The show centres around celebrities who are in various stages of rehab for prescription and illegal drug abuse.

The one that I found really interesting was Gary Bushey, a well known actor. He had been in an accident a number of years before and had suffered a brain injury. Dr Drew enlisted the help of psychiatrist Dr Charles Sophy to test for lasting brain injury. He recommended Depakote. In fact, this drug was mentioned 5 times in about 54 seconds,  twice by Dr Drew, once by Dr Sophy, and twice by Gary himself.

At the end of the meeting, referring to the drug, Gary asked ‘what’s in it for me?’ Dr Sophy answered “a better life”. Funny that; I was under the impression that pharma advertising on American television had to be accompanied with a list of all the possible side-effects. There was no mention that Depakote can come with a number of serious side-effects including depression, abnormal thinking, new or worsening mental or mood changes, emotional upset, depression, psychosis, aggression, hyperactivity, hostility, and behavioral deterioration. Then there is the suicidal thoughts here. That’s quite a number of possible side-effects omitted. A better life? Not necessarily!

In May 2012 Abbott Labs agreed to pay a fine of $1.5 billion to resolve its criminal and civil liability arising from the company’s unlawful promotion of the prescription drug Depakote, Here. According to this statement, the FDA approved Depakote for only three uses: epileptic seizures, bipolar mania and the prevention of migraines.

My point.

Unless I’m very much mistaken, Gary did not have Epilepsy, was not Bipolar and never mentioned having Migraines. Promoting this drug for Gary’s brain-injury on television is surely another example off-label promoting? I wonder who Abbott had to pay to get this advertising? Was it Dr Drew again, Dr Sophy, the TV Channel or all three? Either way, I’d bet my life that money changed hands here somewhere. Naughty, Naughty!

View on YouTube.

10 thoughts on “Dr Drew Pinsky, Celebrity Rehab and Abbott Laboratories’ Depakote.”

  1. Meanwhile, here’s Dr Cosmo Hallstrom, a private psychiatrist based in London, waxing lyrical about a pernicious little drug called Lyrica.–Why-falling-victim-panic-attacks.html#ixzz23WUFr1hw

    I wouldn’t suggest he was being paid to promote it – if he were, he would probably get his facts right. This drug is not new at all. It was first produced in 2004. It has had a mixed history. In time it was licensed for use in cases of fibromyalgia in the US and Europe. In the US, however, where it carries strong warnings, it has not been licensed for cases of anxiety.

    Oh, and it’s also the drug that Wendy Welch believes is responsible for the death of her husband Bob, former musician with Fleetwood Mac.


  2. Hi Leonie- The actor your mentioned is Gary Busey who’s been acting since the 70s. He’s probably best known for playing Buddy Holly in “Great Balls of Fire” He’s also brilliant comedian. I’m sorry you wasted a few hours of your life watching Dr. Pinsky’s horrible VH1 show “Celebrity Rehab”.

    I don’t know if you know an actor named Jeff Conaway- he was on that show show twice. He became famous for his roles in “Taxi” and “Grease”. He was hit by a prop on the set of “Grease” and became hopelessly addicted to pain killers. To see a very handsome man in his 20s and 30s look in his 50s like he was a man in his 80s was sad. To hear him on camera screaming in the background as he was trying to get off the drugs in what appeared to be cold turkey was horrific. You heard him yell in pain and vomit. He later died about a year ago, never able to get off these drugs. Pinsky also had teen superstar Leif Garrett trying to detox off of something- I can’t recall what drug it was, and once again you heard the screams, the vomiting and saw him pale an sweating and sicker than anything, all for the camera.

    The “Celebrities” are dubious and most are Z listers, at best doing anything to get into the “Celebreality” franchise of VH! which has brought back so many Z listers to bonafied B listers as they long for the days that they were actually real B listers and in demand in TV/Film. On his last round of show, he had Tiger Wood’s mistress who claimed she was addicted to sex, and pretty much walked around with her assets on display to the camera. I guess it was ratings season.

    It’s a sad comment as well, to see so many people who you loved in the 80s doing this kind of work now.

    As for Depakote, I’ve met several hundred people who are on it or were on it. Great drug to make you gain weight. Everyone I know put on an abnormal amount on it, an average of 30-40 pounds. Great way to make your depression worse, and start all the other symptoms you mentioned. Not to mention secondary and tertiary symptoms like diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, and all that fun stuff.

    And yes, my p-doc put me on Wellbutrin because of orgasms. The whole situation stopped when I got rid of the boyfriend. Hmm. Let’s see. Put a woman on Wellbutrin because her boyfriend is so inept or get rid of the boyfriend and buy a toy and leave it in the nightstand.

    Didn’t mean to ramble so much. Great article.


  3. “I was under the impression that pharma advertising on American television had to be accompanied with a list of all the possible side-effects.”

    DTC Ads would have to run 10 minutes to list those Direct Effects.

    And if anyone would like to republish those pages, and I wish Thousands of people would, they have my permission to publish.

    Those lists/tables of Adverse Reactions are NOT the property of the Drug Companies or the United States Government.

    I Own the damning indictments, as does every other American Citizen.


      1. They weren’t just charged, they were both convicted and sentenced for Rebecca’s murder while the prescribing Quack was given Immunity from prosecution in trade for her testimony against them.

        “From the Patriot Ledger article:

        Years before she became a board-certified psychiatrist, Dr. Kayoko Kifuji was diagnosing children as young as 2 as bipolar and hyperactive – and prescribing powerful cocktails of mood-altering drugs to quiet them.

        By the time Kifuji finally passed the psychiatric board exam – on her fourth try – one of her youngest patients, Rebecca Riley, had a little more than a year to live.”

        Another blogger I know had their account canceled for running a sarcastic take on this miscarriage of justice which included the Quack’s business address.

        Kafuji’s business address should be in a Federal Penitentiary.


  4. Hi this is kind of of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually
    code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding skills so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s