The world renowned Dr. Joseph Biederman, Professor of Psychiatry and Child Psychiatrist at Harvard University; and Chief of Clinical and Research and in Pediatric Psychopharmacology and Chief of the Adult ADHD Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, who sparked Pediatric Bipolar Disorder, was exposed by Congressional Investigators and the New York Times for not reporting much of the $1.6 million he collected from drug manufacturers from 2000 – 2007 until just recently. The figure could be higher because 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 Congressional Investigator, Mr. Grassley, that it paid him $58,169 in 2001.
Two of Biederman’s colleagues in the psychiatry department at Harvard Medical School received an additional $2.6 million from drug companies from 2000 to 2007. Biederman and his colleagues violated rules meant to police conflicts of interest, according to Senator Charles Grassley, R-Iowa. They failed to report income from drug companies while receiving federal funds from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Senator Grassley stated, “Obviously, if a researcher is taking money from a drug company while also receiving federal dollars to research that company’s product, then there is a conflict of interest.”
The New York Times stated, “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.” The New York Times also reported that Biederman fueled an explosion in the use of powerful antipsychotic medicines in children.
There was no mention of funds received for his work at Massachusetts General Hospital for his ADHD program, as the investigation was for Harvard only.
These drugs all have Black Box warnings, yet doctors continue to prescribe them to our children. Doctors are also receiving gratuities from drug companies, by means of samples, gifts, food and who knows what else which exert significant influence on provider behavior.
The pharmaceutical companies state that mental illnesses are the result of some type of chemical imbalance that can only be corrected with their drugs. There is no scientific proof to their claims but they support drug sales of more than $27 billion a year in the United States and $80 billion worldwide.
This all leaves us with one question, “Who can we trust?” Be smart and do your homework.
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