psychs use kids as guinea pigs

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Catseye, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    or do they just have to have that house on Biscayne Bay? There is a huge conflict of interest going on in an industry that profits more the sicker you are and the more they can treat you with drugs. How you can depend on them to get you healthy? They are minimizing profits that way.

    Medical institutions fail to protect the integrity of medical research from the undue influence of the industry. How are we supposed to trust them with our health? Health and profits are mutually exclusive - the healthier you are, the less profits they make.

    Promoting Openness, Full Disclosure, and Accountability and

    A front page article in the New York Times by Gardiner Harris and Ben Carey
    undercuts the professional credibility of the most influential child
    psychiatrists in the world-- Harvard affiliated Dr. Joseph Biederman and Dr.
    Timothy Wilens.

    Senator Chuck Grassley has uncovered evidence showing that these renowned
    Harvard child psychiatrists, recipients of substantial federal grants from the
    National Institute of Mental Health, failed to disclose at least $3.2 million
    dollars they had received from drug companies between 2000 and 2007.

    Such failure to disclose is a violation of federal law. The evidence
    uncovered by Senator Grassley is now in the Congressional Record.

    Universities ask professors to report their conflicts but do almost
    nothing to verify the accuracy of these voluntary disclosures. But, as Dr.
    Robert Alpern, dean of Yale School of Medicine, acknowledges, "It's really been
    an honor system thing. If somebody tells us that a pharmaceutical company pays
    them $80,000 a year, I don't even know how to check on that."

    Universities are dependent on taxpayer largesse, they should not be
    absolved from being held accountable. The health institutes could place
    restrictions on Mass General hospital's grants or even suspend them altogether.
    But will the NIMH take action or pretend the problem is isolated?

    Harvard- Mass-General's consulting arrangements with drug makers, the Times
    notes, "were already controversial because of the researchers' advocacy of
    unapproved uses of psychiatric medicines in children....In the past decade, Dr.
    Biederman and his colleagues have promoted the aggressive diagnosis and drug
    treatment of childhood bipolar disorder, a mood problem once thought confined to

    Indeed, the Pediatric Bipolar Program at Mass General has been in the forefront
    of aggressive recruitment campaigns for manic-depression studies. A television
    ad (November, 2001), MGH sought 4 to 18 year old child subjects making false
    claims suggesting: "Your child may be facing a chemical problem that you can't
    manage without help." "We're Mass General, and we can help."

    This is an example of disease mongering.

    See: YouTube link at:

    The enormous influence wielded by Dr. Biederman and his Harvard colleagues who
    have been conducting dubious industry-sponsored drug experiments on young
    children demonstrates that the Harvard mantle bestows a veneer of credibility
    even for medically unsupportable, radical use of toxic drugs in young children.

    The Times notes that although many of Dr. Biederman's studies are small and
    often financed by drug makers, his work helped to fuel a controversial 40-fold
    increase from 1994 to 2003 in the diagnosis of pediatric bipolar disorder and a
    rapid rise in the use of antipsychotic medicines in children.

    AHRP urges Sen. Grassley to obtain informed consent documents and adverse event
    reports from ALL pediatric psychotropic drug trials conducted by
    Harvard-Mass-General psychiatrists--whether published or not.

    Of note: Dr. Kayoko Kifuji, the Tuft's trained child psychiatrist who
    "diagnosed" Rebecca Riley as bipolar when she was 28 months old, and
    prescribed a lethal drug cocktail that killed the child at age 4, insists that
    she followed Harvard-recommended psychopharmacological prescribing practices.

    Contact: Vera Hassner Sharav


    June 8, 2008, Front Page

    Researchers Fail to Reveal Full Drug Pay


    A world-renowned Harvard child psychiatrist whose work has helped fuel an
    explosion in the use of powerful antipsychotic medicines in children earned at
    least $1.6 million in consulting fees from drug makers from 2000 to 2007 but for
    years did not report much of this income to university officials, according to
    information given Congressional investigators.

    By failing to report income, the psychiatrist, Dr. Joseph Biederman, and a
    colleague in the psychiatry department at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Timothy E.
    Wilens, may have violated federal and university research rules designed to
    police potential conflicts of interest, according to Senator Charles E.
    Grassley, Republican of Iowa. Some of their research is financed by government

    Like Dr. Biederman, Dr. Wilens belatedly reported earning at least $1.6 million
    from 2000 to 2007, and another Harvard colleague, Dr. Thomas Spencer, reported
    earning at least $1 million after being pressed by Mr. Grassley's investigators.
    But even these amended disclosures may understate the researchers' outside
    income because some entries contradict payment information from drug makers, Mr.
    Grassley found.

    In one example, Dr. Biederman reported no income from Johnson & Johnson for 2001
    in a disclosure report filed with the university. When asked to check again, he
    said he received $3,500. But Johnson & Johnson told Mr. Grassley that it paid
    him $58,169 in 2001, Mr. Grassley found.

    The Harvard group's consulting arrangements with drug makers were already
    controversial because of the researchers' advocacy of unapproved uses of
    psychiatric medicines in children.

    In an e-mailed statement, Dr. Biederman said, "My interests are solely in the
    advancement of medical treatment through rigorous and objective study," and he
    said he took conflict-of-interest policies "very seriously." Drs. Wilens and
    Spencer said in e-mailed statements that they thought they had complied with
    conflict-of-interest rules.

    John Burklow, a spokesman for the National Institutes of Health, said: "If there
    have been violations of N.I.H. policy - and if research integrity has been
    compromised - we will take all the appropriate action within our power to hold
    those responsible accountable. This would be completely unacceptable behavior,
    and N.I.H. will not tolerate it."

    The federal grants received by Drs. Biederman and Wilens were administered by
    Massachusetts General Hospital, which in 2005 won $287 million in such grants.
    The health institutes could place restrictions on the hospital's grants or even
    suspend them altogether.

    Alyssa Kneller, a Harvard spokeswoman, said in an e-mailed statement: "The
    information released by Senator Grassley suggests that, in certain instances,
    each doctor may have failed to disclose outside income from pharmaceutical
    companies and other entities that should have been disclosed."

    Ms. Kneller said the doctors had been referred to a university conflict
    committee for review.

    Mr. Grassley sent letters on Wednesday to Harvard and the health
    institutes outlining his investigators' findings, and he placed the letters
    along with his comments in The Congressional Record.

    Dr. Biederman is one of the most influential researchers in child psychiatry and
    is widely admired for focusing the field's attention on its most troubled young
    patients. Although many of his studies are small and often financed by drug
    makers, his work helped to fuel a controversial 40-fold increase from 1994 to
    2003 in the diagnosis of pediatric bipolar disorder, which is characterized by
    severe mood swings, and a rapid rise in the use of antipsychotic medicines in
    children. The Grassley investigation did not address research quality.

    Doctors have known for years that antipsychotic drugs, sometimes called major
    tranquilizers, can quickly subdue children. But youngsters appear to be
    especially susceptible to the weight gain and metabolic problems caused by the
    drugs, and it is far from clear that the medications improve children's lives
    over time, experts say.

    In the last 25 years, drug and device makers have displaced the federal
    government as the primary source of research financing, and industry support is
    vital to many university research programs. But as corporate research executives
    recruit the brightest scientists, their brethren in marketing departments have
    discovered that some of these same scientists can be terrific pitchmen.

    To protect research integrity, the National Institutes of Health require
    researchers to report to universities earnings of $10,000 or more per year, for
    instance, in consulting money from makers of drugs also studied by the
    researchers in federally financed trials. Universities manage financial
    conflicts by requiring that the money be disclosed to research subjects, among
    other measures.

    The health institutes last year awarded more than $23 billion in grants to more
    than 325,000 researchers at over 3,000 universities, and auditing the potential
    conflicts of each grantee would be impossible, health institutes officials have
    long insisted. So the government relies on universities.

    Universities ask professors to report their conflicts but do almost
    nothing to verify the accuracy of these voluntary disclosures.

    "It's really been an honor system thing," said Dr. Robert Alpern, dean of Yale
    School of Medicine. "If somebody tells us that a pharmaceutical company pays
    them $80,000 a year, I don't even know how to check on that."

    Some states have laws requiring drug makers to disclose payments made to
    doctors, and Mr. Grassley and others have sponsored legislation to create a
    national registry.

    Lawmakers have been concerned in recent years about the use of unapproved
    medications in children and the influence of industry money.

    Mr. Grassley asked Harvard for the three researchers' financial disclosure
    reports from 2000 through 2007 and asked some drug makers to list payments made
    to them.

    "Basically, these forms were a mess," Mr. Grassley said in comments he
    entered into The Congressional Record on Wednesday. "Over the last seven years,
    it looked like they had taken a couple hundred thousand dollars."

    Prompted by Mr. Grassley's interest, Harvard asked the researchers to
    re-examine their disclosure reports.

    In the new disclosures, the trio's outside consulting income jumped but was
    still contradicted by reports sent to Mr. Grassley from some of the companies.
    In some cases, the income seems to have put the researchers in violation of
    university and federal rules.

    In 2000, for instance, Dr. Biederman received a grant from the National
    Institutes of Health to study in children Strattera, an Eli Lilly drug for
    attention deficit disorder. Dr. Biederman reported to Harvard that he received
    less than $10,000 from Lilly that year, but the company told Mr. Grassley that
    it paid Dr. Biederman more than $14,000 in 2000, Mr. Grassley's letter stated.

    At the time, Harvard forbade professors from conducting clinical trials if they
    received payments over $10,000 from the company whose product was being studied,
    and federal rules required such conflicts to be managed.
    Mr. Grassley said these discrepancies demonstrated profound flaws in the
    oversight of researchers' financial conflicts and the need for a national
    registry. But the disclosures may also cloud the work of one of the most
    prominent group of child psychiatrists in the world.

    In the past decade, Dr. Biederman and his colleagues have promoted the
    aggressive diagnosis and drug treatment of childhood bipolar disorder, a mood
    problem once thought confined to adults. They have maintained that the disorder
    was underdiagnosed in children and could be treated with antipsychotic drugs,
    medications invented to treat schizophrenia.

    Other researchers have made similar assertions. As a result, pediatric bipolar
    diagnoses and antipsychotic drug use in children have soared. Some 500,000
    children and teenagers were given at least one prescription for an antipsychotic
    in 2007, including 20,500 under 6 years of age, according to Medco Health
    Solutions, a pharmacy benefit manager.

    Few psychiatrists today doubt that bipolar disorder can strike in the
    early teenage years, or that many of the children being given the diagnosis are
    deeply distressed.

    "I consider Dr. Biederman a true visionary in recognizing this illness in
    children," said Susan Resko, director of the Child and Adolescent Bipolar
    Foundation, "and he's not only saved many lives but restored hope to thousands
    of families across the country."

    Longtime critics of the group see its influence differently. "They have given
    the Harvard imprimatur to this commercial experimentation on children," said
    Vera Sharav, president and founder of the Alliance for Human Research
    Protection, a patient advocacy group.

    Many researchers strongly disagree over what bipolar looks like in
    youngsters, and some now fear the definition has been expanded
    unnecessarily, due in part to the Harvard group.

    The group published the results of a string of drug trials from 2001 to 2006,
    but the studies were so small and loosely designed that they were largely
    inconclusive, experts say. In some studies testing antipsychotic drugs, the
    group defined improvement as a decline of 30 percent or more on a scale called
    the Young Mania Rating Scale - well below the 50 percent change that most
    researchers now use as the standard.

    Controlling for bias is especially important in such work, given that the scale
    is subjective, and raters often depend on reports from parents and children,
    several top psychiatrists said.

    More broadly, they said, revelations of undisclosed payments from drug makers to
    leading researchers are especially damaging for psychiatry.

    "The price we pay for these kinds of revelations is credibility, and we just
    can't afford to lose any more of that in this field," said Dr. E. Fuller Torrey,
    executive director of the Stanley Medical Research Institute, which finances
    psychiatric studies. "In the area of child psychiatry in particular, we know
    much less than we should, and we desperately need research that is not
    influenced by industry money."

  2. tansy

    tansy New Member

    and especially with regard to children due to a group of psychiatrists having hijacked ME to make it their own.

    After the concerns about the overuse of ADs in the young; it would appear even stronger meds are being used more often now.

    This was reported in the Independent recently. Letters to the editor in this Sunday's edition reflected the high level of public, and professional, concern over the marked increased use of these meds for children.

    The Independent's article can be read at

    tc, Tansy
    [This Message was Edited on 06/24/2008]
  3. bunnyfluff

    bunnyfluff Member

    I think that w/CFS=FMS being called a phsyciatric disorder by so many, it makes me wonder if the drugs aren't just more of an experiment. I'm not sure anyone is ever cured just by drugs alone.

  4. tansy

    tansy New Member

    "Dangerous' dementia drugs to be reviewed"

    By Jeremy Laurance
    Friday, 20 June 2008

    The prescribing of powerful anti-psychotic drugs to patients with dementia is to be reviewed immediately, ministers have said.

    The announcement follows evidence that up to half of GPs are prescribing the drugs as a "chemical cosh" to subdue challenging patients, despite safety warnings issued four years ago. Ivan Lewis, a Health minister, ordered the review at the launch of a proposed national dementia strategy to improve care for the 570,000 sufferers in England.

    Two drugs, risperidone and olanzapine, are widely used in treating schizophrenia but carry an increased risk of stroke in elderly patients. However, a recent survey of 355 GPs by BBC Radio 4 found more than half admitted prescribing them.

    Mr Lewis said: "This first-ever national dementia strategy... will set out how we will improve the quality of life for people with dementia and their families, improve their quality of care, increase awareness and ensure earlier diagnosis and intervention."

    Source: The Independent