Watchdog Group Accuses American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry of Fraud for Pharma
Psychiatrists on Pharma Payroll Mislead the Public
Despite new FDA warnings that ADHD stimulants can have fatal side effects for children, including heart attack, stroke, sudden death and psychosis, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) has issued new ADHD diagnosing and treating guidelines, (called a practice parameter), which will only increase the number of children needlessly prescribed the deadly drugs. Though ADHD drugs are prescribed to millions of children without any evidence that ADHD is a physical/biological disease or illness, the AACAP alleges that ADHD is a “valid neurobiological condition,” a “medical illness on par with diabetes or asthma.” The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), a mental health watchdog, charges that this claim is 100% fraud, lacking scientific validation and conflicting with opinions of experts who are not paid for by the pharmaceutical industry. CCHR says the organization and the lead author who created the new guidelines are funded by drug companies, and calls them pharmaceutical whores, lying to the public about the validity of the ADHD diagnoses, and putting their own vested interests before the lives of American children.
Psychiatric disorders are not physical illnesses, and there are no biological tests, such as blood tests, urine tests, brain scans or X-rays, which can confirm the existence of any psychiatric disorder. Dr. Mary Ann Block, D.O., states “ADHD is not like diabetes and Ritalin is not like insulin. Diabetes is a real medical condition that can be objectively diagnosed. ADHD is an invented label with no objective, valid means of identification…Diabetes is an insulin deficiency. Attention and behavioral problems are not a Ritalin deficiency.”
Neurologist Dr. Fred Baughman agrees, “There is no evidence today that ADHD is an abnormality/disease, much less a diagnosable one.”
Nearly 32 million U.S. prescriptions were written in 2005 for powerful ADHD stimulants such as Ritalin, chemically similar to cocaine, raking in nearly $3 billion in profits. The ADHD guidelines discloses that its primary author as well as a co-chair on the publication have conflicts of interest:
· Steven Pliszka, the principle author of the new ADHD diagnosing guidelines, “receives or has received research support, acted as a consultant and/or served on a speaker’s bureau” for the ADHD drug manufacturers Shire Pharmaceuticals Group plc, McNeil Pediatrics, and Eli Lilly and Company.
Similarly, Oscar Bukstein, a co-chair in the development of the practice parameter, “receives or has received research support, acted as a consultant and/or served on a speaker’s bureau” for Cephalon, Inc., Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc., McNeil Pediatrics, Shire Pharmaceuticals Group plc, Eli Lilly and Company and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
Seeking to minimize the conflicts of interest of the publication’s co-chairs who received payments from the pharmaceutical companies that would benefit from the “guideline” promoting their products, AACAP asserts that two other co-chairs did not report conflicts of interest. AACAP provided no conflict statement for 13 other individuals named in the “attribution” section, who worked on the publication, asserting that conflict information on these persons may be viewed on the AACAP web site. However, no such information is located on the web site, and according to its administrators, the document regarding the conflicts of interest of the other authors is still “in progress,” and the conflicts are, therefore, undisclosed. Further conflicts of interest include:
· In 2005, the AACAP received substantial financial contributions from at least eight major drug companies, including Shire Pharmaceticals, manufacturer of Adderall and GlaxoSmithKline, manufacturer of Dexedrine.
· Another individual acknowledged for her contributions to the AACAP ADHD guidelines is Mina Dulcan—principal author for the original ADHD guidelines in 1997. A 2004 financial disclosure for Mina Dulcan provided by Healthwise states that Dulcan served on the Strattera Global Advisory Board for Eli Lilly and Company and was previously on the Advisory Board for Metadate CD (an ADHD drug).
CCHR has been exposing psychiatric violations of human rights and the dangers of psychiatric drugs since 1969. Visit CCHR online at http://www.cchr.org for more information.