Reaping profits, diseases and early deaths
On March 4-6, 2016, the continuing education program known as Child & Adolescent Psychopharmacology 2016 was being delivered at the Westin Copley Place in Boston. The first day of presentations featured three controversial psychiatrists: Dr. Joseph Biederman, Dr. Timothy Wilens and Dr. Thomas Spencer, who have been influential in helping pharmaceutical companies market their drugs to doctors.
These psychiatrists became infamous because they failed to report the full extent of their earnings from drug companies to the institutions they worked for, Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), while they were also getting grants from the National Institute of Health.
According to Congressional Record, Volume 154 Issue 91 (Wednesday, June 4, 2008), U.S. Senator Charles Grassley, as the ranking member on the Senate Finance Committee, asked to see the conflict of interest forms Biederman, Wilens and Spencer had submitted to Harvard and MGH for the years 2000-2007. When he received them, he and his aides found them very hard to decipher and giving the impression that the doctors had not received much money from drug companies.
When the psychiatrists were asked to review the reports, Biederman and Wilens admitted to having each received approximately 1.6 million dollars and Spencer admitted to receiving a million. Senator Grassley also obtained reports from some of the drug companies paying these individuals and found that many of the sums the psychiatrists reported were still understated.
In the last decade, Biederman’s endeavors to assist in the marketing of the modern antipsychotic drugs to be used on young children who were supposedly bipolar drew a lot of pushback and controversy. Antipsychotics can cause serious negative side effects. They commonly cause rapid weight gain and the development of diabetes in patients which can lead to early deaths.
A long study conducted by Neuroscientist Nancy Andreasen and others on the use of antipsychotics on schizophrenic patients showed that these drugs were causing a loss of brain tissue at a rate of about one percent a year.
The modern antipsychotics are also associated with shortened life span. In 2005, the FDA began requiring black box warnings on literature about these drugs after they found from a review of 17 studies that elderly patients with dementia put on antipsychotics were dying 1.6 to 1.7 times faster than comparable elderly not put on the drugs. In 2006, findings were published from a large study of the treatment of mental patients in eight of the states of the U.S. The study revealed that patients with serious mental health problems treated by our mental health system were dying, on average, 25 years earlier than the general population. One of the major reasons cited for this was the use of the modern antipsychotics and their tendency to cause diabetes and other serious physical side effects.
Dr. Biederman was especially involved with doing research to justify the use of Johnson & Johnson’s antipsychotic drug Risperdal on young children. Risperdal is now notorious for causing young men to grow breasts, even ones that are lactating. Many of these gentlemen are requiring mastectomies.
Studies have also shown that Risperdal and other antipsychotic drugs have a tendency to inhibit bone formation, causing osteoporosis and increased risk of bone fractures. Of course, inhibiting bone formation is unhealthy for anyone, but it is especially so for growing children.
Traditional medicine and psychiatry remain very odd bedfellows. Medicine is primarily concerned with locating diseases in patients’ bodies and curing them. Psychiatry is mainly concerned with drugging people, despite not finding diseases in their bodies and its drug treatments always cause diseases in its patients’ bodies, often of a serious and even life-threatening nature.
Unfortunately, the marketing of antipsychotic drugs in recent years has caused hundreds of thousands of children to be administered these very toxic substances. According to a study published in the medical journal Psychiatry in 2015, about 60% of the children, ages 7-12, who were put on antipsychotics were being drugged with these toxins for the invented diagnosis known as ADHD. As usual, most were boys.