Author Jim Gottstein talks about and reads portions of his book, The Zyprexa Papers.
It was just a normal day before Dr. David Egilman called me out of the blue on November 28, 2006. The days are short that time of year in Anchorage, Alaska, and it was getting dark by mid-afternoon. Dr. Egilman told me he had been hired as an expert witness by one of the law firms representing patients who had taken Zyprexa and contracted diabetes or other metabolic problems. He wanted to know about documents relating to Zyprexa I might have. In truth, he was feeling me out to see whether I might be willing to subpoena him, so he could legally send me secret documents. These documents revealed the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly (Lilly) had from the beginning suppressed information showing Zyprexa caused these life-threatening conditions. In addition, they showed Lilly had illegally marketed this powerful and dangerous drug for use in children and the elderly. He wanted me to then send them to Alex Berenson, a reporter for The New York Times with whom he was already working on a Zyprexa exposé.
Less than a month later The New York Times began a series of front-page stories about the documents subpoenaed by Jim Gottstein, which became known as the Zyprexa Papers. A month to the day after the first of these New York Times articles, Gottstein had been hauled in front of the legendary United States District Court judge, Jack Weinstein, of the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn. Although Mr. Gottstein believed he obtained the Zyprexa Papers legally, Judge Weinstein decided he had conspired to steal the documents, and Lilly threatened him with criminal contempt charges. The Zyprexa Papers by Jim Gottstein is a riveting first-hand account of what really happened, including new details about how a small group of psychiatric survivors spread the Zyprexa Papers on the Internet untraceably. All of this within a gripping, plain-language explanation of complex legal maneuvering and his battles on behalf of Bill Bigley, the psychiatric patient whose ordeal made possible the exposure of the Zyprexa Papers.
On Your Mind: Podcast
Timothy J. Hayes, Psy.D. interviews Jim Gottstien
Psychrights.com And The Zyprexa Papers: Fighting Battles For Psychiatric Rights With Jim Gottstein
Psychiatric rights continues to be a contentious issue as psychiatric drugging and other controversial treatments continue to be used in alarmingly increasing rates. This strikes a particularly painful chord for Jim Gottstein, who had personally experienced how abusive the psychiatric health system can be. Not long after his personal experience, he went on to become an advocate for people being subjected to involuntary commitment and forced drugging by launching litigation campaigns. He documents one particularly compelling story of how he helped one individual go through these hearings in his book, The Zyprexa Papers. Jim joins Timothy J. Hayes, Psy.D. to explain in detail how he fought and won that landmark case. Tune in and take part in this conversation that opens our eyes to the realities of the psychiatric system and big pharma and how a few brave voices are fighting back.
The Zyprexa Papers: Reviews
The Zyprexa Papers
by David Antonuccio, PhD, Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, Volume 22, Number 2, 2020, published April 2021.
You don’t have to be an activist to appreciate this book. But you do have to be someone who cares about your fellow humans who might be harmed at the altar of corporate greed. If you fall into that category, then you’ll want to read this book.
The Zyprexa Papers: A Courtroom Drama
by David Healy, Psychosis , June 19, 2020
Many people coming to this book might figure that the Bigley saga plays second fiddle to what is after all called The Zyprexa Papers. A switch from the dizzying heights of New York courtroom drama to an Alaskan backwater. But Bill Bigley’s case is the beating heart of this book. The Zyprexa papers are the bait for Gottstein’s masterly portrayal of how the system treated Bill and will treat you and anyone you know who comes into contact with it… Gottstein waited 7 years to finish this book. It takes a certain amount of time and distance to write a book as good as this.
The Zyprexa Papers: A Legal System for Drug Companies and Lawyers… Not the Public
by Bruce E. Levine, CounterPunch, September 4, 2020
The Zyprexa Papers is not simply about the harm done by blockbuster psychiatric drugs and drug company illegal marketing. It is also about the perversion of the U.S. legal system, as Gottstein illuminates the courts’ use of secrecy orders in settlement agreements to the detriment of the public.
Outing Drug Company Corruption Comes at a Cost
by Maryanne Demas, Indian Journal of Medical Ethics, December 29, 2020.
Harvard-trained lawyer Jim Gottstein is the author of the new book, The Zyprexa Papers. It is a compelling, first-hand account of how a humble attorney from Alaska manages to expose the rot inside one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world. In my view, the most important aspect of the book – and why it is worth reading – is that it highlights the obligation of doctors to become fully informed about the harms of antipsychotic drugs and raises awareness of the circumstances in which a patient’s right to consent to a medical therapy is violated.
Heroes and Villains Populate the Pages of “The Zyprexa Papers”
by Susan Rogers, Key Update, May 18, 2020.
“The Zyprexa Papers” is a deep dive into the Bizarro World of psychiatry, Big Pharma, and the judicial system. As Jim writes, “To me, it is crystal clear locking people up and drugging them against their will is not ‘for their own good’ but instead very harmful to them. One of my goals in writing this book is to show this truth.” Mission accomplished.
The Zyprexa Papers by Jim Gottstein
by Eric Maisel, PhD., ericmaisel.com, February 4, 2020.
“The Zyprexa Papers. Sounds like a thriller starring Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts. It’s not. It’s the riveting account of Alaska attorney Jim Gottstein’s encounter with the pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, a battle centered around Eli Lilly’s wanton misuse of the drug Zyprexa.”
Big Pharma Meets Big Diagnosis, Big Courts, and Big Psychiatric Hospitals
by Paula J. Caplan, PhD, Mad in America, January 31, 2020.
“Jim Gottstein’s blockbuster new book, The Zyprexa Papers, is essential reading. It should be required reading for every well-meaning friend or family member of someone who suffers emotionally, as well as for legislators who genuinely want to weed out corruption and harm.”
Big Pharma: drugging involuntary psychiatric patients
by Tom Sandborn, DooneysCafe.com, July 2, 2002.
The Zyprexa Papers is a book that should be read by anyone who cares about freedom and human decency. Gottstein lifts the veil of secrecy that shrouds far too much of Big Pharma’s malign impact on human rights and human health.
About Jim Gottstein
Jim Gottstein grew up in Anchorage, Alaska where his father was a prominent businessman and his mother one of the most beloved women in town. Jim was on track to go into the family grocery and real estate empire, studying for a business degree at the University of Oregon when the law found him during his required Business Law class. He didn’t miss a question the entire class and realized law was a good fit. He managed to get into Harvard Law School as the only sky-diving applicant from Alaska that year.
After graduating from law school in 1978, Jim went into private practice in Anchorage with Robert M. Goldberg, primarily representing Alaska Native organizations. In 1982, he experienced a psychotic break due to sleep deprivation and was introduced firsthand to the mental illness system. He was told he would be permanently mentally ill and to forget about his law career. Luckily, he escaped psychiatry and the experience led him to legal representation and other advocacy for people diagnosed with mental illness not as lucky as he. Jim opened his own law office in 1985, generally focused on business matters, and is now mostly retired from the private practice of law. In 2002, Jim founded the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights (PsychRights) to mount a strategic litigation campaign against forced psychiatric drugging and electroshock, and to inform the public about the counterproductive and harmful nature of the drugs and shock.