Kiddie Prozac Docs Took Millions From Drug Makers - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-09-2008, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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Kiddie Prozac Docs Took Millions From Drug Makers


Three prominent advocates of antidepressant use by children received millions of dollars from antidepressant manufacturers, casting into question the integrity of their already-controversial research.

The New York Times reported Saturday that Harvard University psychiatrists Joseph Biederman and Timothy Wilens received $1.6 million each from drug companies between 2000 and 2007. Thomas Spencer, another Harvard psychiatrist, received $1 million.

The payments were uncovered by Congressional investigators searching for conflict-of-interest violations. Federal law requires researchers who receive National Institutes of Health funding to report annual outside earnings above $10,000 to their universities. Biederman, Wilens and Spencer all took NIH money, but never reported the full extent of their drug company income.

That the researchers' results were influenced by the payments isn't clear, but the situation is ugly. Biederman has a very high profile; as the Times describes, he "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 ... and a rapid rise in the use of antipsychotic medicines in children".

Childhood antidepressant use is hotly debated by scientists: it's not clear whether they work as well in kids as in adults, and the drugs may have profound effects on still-developing brains.

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), leader of the Congressional investigation, has pushed for a national registry of commercial payments to researchers.

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-09-2008, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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This whole industry of addicting children to drugs is absolutely insidious (and wildly profitable, of course). Don't even get me started on ritalin...

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-09-2008, 10:54 AM
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This can't come as any surprise. The relationship between pharmaceutical companies and doctors is sleazy at best. Most of the successful pharmaceutical sales reps I've known have been very attractive mid 20's to mid 30's women. They manage relationships through kickbacks, gifts and flirting to get their client doctors to prescribe their brand of medication and to not prescribe generics once the patent has elapsed. These doctors don't care what the meds cost because they're too busy enjoying the kickbacks. I guess they don't make enough money already.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-09-2008, 10:59 AM
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This whole industry of addicting children to drugs is absolutely insidious (and wildly profitable, of course). Don't even get me started on ritalin...
or me on vaccines . . .

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-09-2008, 11:02 AM
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That should involve hard jail time.

All the free stuff that doctors and researchers get from the drug companies is nothing short of bribery. Free trips [sorry conferences] to South Beach or Vegas, dinners monthly [damn, product briefings] and laptops [sorry again, product information delivery and display devices].

It is the one subject guaranteed to set Thanksgiving dinner on fire at the Bear spread when the in-law Doctors are in the house. One of the two has come around.


Linkie to article: Researchers Fail to Reveal Full Drug Pay - NYTimes.com

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-09-2008, 11:04 AM
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That should involve hard jail time.

All the free stuff that doctors and researchers get from the drug companies is nothing short of bribery. Free trips [sorry conferences] to South Beach or Vegas, dinners monthly [damn, product briefings] and laptops [sorry again, product information delivery and display devices].

It is the one subject guaranteed to set Thanksgiving dinner on fire at the Bear spread when the in-law Doctors are in the house. One of the two has come around.
You talk poly ticks 'round the dinnah tayble?

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-09-2008, 11:22 AM
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You talk poly ticks 'round the dinnah tayble?
With a mom in law that was on the National board for Habitat for Humanity and CASA, a Sis in Law who is an ER Doc in Dayton, a Bro in Law who is a MD Physiatrist [which means he works on many Workmans Comp cases, a Father in Law who is part of the Audubon Society's National Bird Population Analysis team[looking at the drastic reduction of bird populations], I really REALLY have no choice.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-09-2008, 11:25 AM
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As an aside on the bird population thing, an example, the common house sparrow population has been reduced by 75% from 1970 to 2007 nationally.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-09-2008, 11:28 AM
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Kids acting like kids, and parents take them to the Doctor to get medicated!

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