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  • Harvard doctor behind explosion in antipsychotic drug use in children paid $1.6M by drug makers


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    Tuesday, October 18, 2011 3:10 pm Email this article
    There was a 40-fold increase in the diagnosis of bipolar disorder in children from 1994 to 2003. This dramatic increase was partly fueled by the research of Joseph Biederman MD, Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard University, "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" notes a 2008 article in the New York Times. Harvard’s Timothy E. Wilens, MD paid $1.6 million

    Harvard’s Timothy E. Wilens, MD paid $1.6 million by drug companies from 2000-2007

    Timothy E. Wilens, MD, a colleague in the psychiatry department at Harvard Medical School, belatedly reported earning at least $1.6 million from 2000 to 2007.

     

    Harvard’s Thomas Spencer, MD paid $1 million

    Harvard’s Thomas Spencer, MD paid $1 million by drug companies from 2000-2007

    Thomas Spencer, MD, another Harvard colleague, “reported earning at least $1 million after being pressed by Mr. Grassley’s investigators.”

     

    But The Amounts Paid May Be Higher Than This

    Financial disclosure statements made to Harvard indicated they had only made a couple hundred thousand during this period rather than $1 million to $1.6 million

    “Basically, these forms [ the financial disclosure statements made by these researchers to Harvard University as required by the university ] 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 [whereas they had each made at least $1 million to $1.6 million during this period ].”

     

    Dr. Biederman Lied About Payments from Johnson & Johnson

    Dr. Biederman Lied : Said he was paid $0 by Johnson & Johnson for 2001, then said he was paid $3500, but actual amount was $58,000

    The amounts paid to these researchers may be even higher than what is reported here.

    “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,” the article notes.

    “But Johnson & Johnson told Mr. Grassley that it paid him $58,169 in 2001, Mr. Grassley found.”

     

    Dr. Biederman’s research fueled a 40-fold increase from 1994 to 2003 in the diagnosis of pediatric bipolar disorder

    Do you trust them and their recommendations that lost more children have bipolar disorder and need drugs? I don’t.

    “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,” the article notes.

    “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.”

    “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.”

    “... 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.”

     

    Do You Trust Them?

    Do you trust them and their recommendations that lost more children have bipolar disorder and need drugs? I don’t.

    This article reveals that Dr. Biederman lied to Harvard University about how much he was paid.

    Then they lied to Congressional investigators.

    Do you trust people like this who want you to believe that more children have bipolar disorder and need to take drugs that are made by drug companies who have paid them more than a million dollars?

    I don’t.

     

    A Crime Again Humanity?

    I see the wide-spread drugging of children as a crime again humanity

    I see the wide-spread drugging of children as a crime again humanity.

    Surely this cannot be a good thing.

    Surely humans have not evolved to this point so that now large numbers of children need drugs.

    I find this impossible to believe.

     

    I No Longer Believe The Drug Research

    The drug research is all infected with drug money

    I used to be interested in drug research.

    I used to be interested in what the University researchers had to say about drugs.

    I used to be interested in the recommendations from the national guidelines for blood pressure and cholesterol and diabetes and psychiatry.

    However, I am no longer interested.

    I am no longer interested because I now realize that all the drug research is infected with drug company money.

    I no longer believe the drug research.

    I no longer believe the national guidelines for blood pressure or cholesterol or diabetes or psychiatry or any other area of medicine.

    I no longer believe the doctors who take money from the drug companies and write articles about drugs or give speeches at medical conferences.

    I no longer believe any of this.

    Would a drug company ever pay a researcher to do a study who said bad things about their drugs?

    No, never.

    Would a drug company ever pay a researcher to write a paper if the researcher believed their drugs were not effective?

    No, of course not.

    Would a drug company ever pay a researcher to give a speech at a medical conference if the researcher believed in a natural treatment for the condition?

    No, absolutely not.

    This is why you never hear about these researchers talking about natural treatments.

    The drug companies only pay researchers who will say that their drugs are safe and effective and more people should use them.

    I know what the next thousand drug studies are going to say.

    They are all going to say, “These drugs are safe and effective and more people should take it.”

    But I don’t believe it.

    Sadly, all the drug research is infected with drug money.

    I no longer look at these researchers in search of the truth.

    Instead, I look at them as nothing more than salesmen for the drug companies.

    They will only pay researchers who help them to sell more drugs.

    The research is no longer about the truth.

    It’s about money.

    REFERENCES

    Harris G, Carey B. Researchers fail to reveal full drug pay. New York Times. 2008 June 8
    June 8, on-line. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/08/us/08conflict.html

    Moreno C, Laje G, Blanco C, Jiang H, Schmidt A, Olfson M. National trends in the outpatient diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder in youth. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2007 Sep, 64(9):1032-39. [40-fold increase in diagnosis of bipolar disorder in children.]

    LINKS

    Joseph Biederman, MD
    http://www.massgeneral.org/doctors/doctor.aspx?id=17789

    Timothy E. Wilens, MD
    http://www.massgeneral.org/doctors/doctor.aspx?id=16800

    Thomas J. Spencer, MD
    http://www.massgeneral.org/doctors/doctor.aspx?id=16415

     

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