by Jack Burns, The Free Thought Project:
With the FDA recently authorizing the world’s first “smart pill”, many ethical questions are being raised by medical doctors. Forced medication by the state seems imminent.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved what may be the world’s first “smart pill.” Abilify MyCite, (aripiprazole) a “pill with a sensor that digitally tracks if patients have ingested their medication” was approved for sale and distribution by the FDA in mid-November. Now, a month after the drug’s approval, several of the world’s leading medical doctors are questioning the ethics surrounding the controversial drug.
Presumably using “compliance” with taking prescribed medicines as justification, the drug, “has an ingestible sensor embedded in the pill that records that the medication was taken.” Abilify MyCite was “approved for the treatment of schizophrenia, acute treatment of manic and mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder and for use as an add-on treatment for depression in adults.” Abilify is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), a class of drugs which, by law, must contain the following black box warning label for consumers. That black box warning label reads:
• Elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis treated with antipsychotic drugs are
at an increased risk of death. ABILIFY is not approved for the treatment of patients with
dementia-related psychosis. (5.1)
• Increased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults taking antidepressants. Monitor for worsening and emergence of suicidal
thoughts and behaviors. (5.3)
Additionally, Abilify has been linked to serious impulse control problems in patients. In May of 2016, the FDA issued a warning to consumers about the drug’s dangers associated with compulsive and impulsive behavior. According to the FDA, taking Abilify can lead to the following behaviors among others:
Although pathological gambling is listed as a reported side effect in the current aripiprazole drug labels, this description does not entirely reflect the nature of the impulse-control risk that we identified. Additionally, we have become aware of other compulsive behaviors associated with aripiprazole, such as compulsive eating, shopping, and sexual actions…uncontrollable urges…Those with a personal or family history of obsessive-compulsive disorder, impulse-control disorder, bipolar disorder, impulsive personality, alcoholism, drug abuse, or other addictive behaviors. Consider reducing the dose or stopping the medicine if such urges develop.
Did you catch that? The very drug which the FDA just approved for bipolar disorder should be reduced or not taken if those same people develop impulsive or compulsive gambling, shopping, eating, and sexual behaviors. Complicating issues for a drug which is known to cause someone to kill themselves and engage in impulsive behaviors, the FDA has now approved the “smart pill” form of Abilify to ensure the person is taking the medicines as prescribed.
Therein lies the crux of the controversy. Not only is the SSRI Abilify already unsafe for many if not most people to take (black box warning), but the drug may indeed worsen the already impulsive actions of bipolar, and compulsive (OCD) patients.
With the FDA approving the smart pill which links to handheld computers, the family of the patient, the doctor, and presumably the pharmacy and insurance companies can now be certain if the patient is taking the medicines as prescribed. That may be comforting for families who have family members who won’t take their meds. But for people who simply do not want to take medicines which might lead to them killing themselves, have sex with total strangers, or gamble all their money away, the choice may now be taken out of their hands, especially if a judge or a court orders medicinal compliance.
Here’s how Abilify MyCite Works:
Abilify MyCite, can be swallowed just like any other pill. When that happens, the ingestible sensor inside it sends a message to a patch worn by the patient, which then transmits the information to a mobile app that the patient can monitor. If a patient opts to allow it, the patient’s caregivers and doctor can access the data online, too.
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