Saturday, July 18, 2009

Biederman's ADHD Scam

I've been waiting for this for a long time. Paul Solomon reports that "Harvard child psychiatrist Joseph Biederman, whose work has helped fuel an explosion in the use of powerful antipsychotic drugs in children, has been caught up in controversy since a Congressional inquiry by Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) in 2008." I was horrified when I first heard this con artist spouting off about how perfectly normal it is to prescribe antipsychotic drugs for children as young as 2 and diagnose Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (a completely spurious diagnosis that is making a fortune for quacks like Biederman and pharmaceutical companies) and bipolar disorder (imagine diagnosing that in a 2-year-old) in such tiny kids.

According to Paul Solomon, at the hearing aimed to investigate the bribes that Biederman received from pharmaceutical companies to present these vile ideas as scientifically valid, the following exchange took place:

Biederman appeared at a deposition on February 26, 2009, and was questioned by several lawyers for the states, who were claiming that makers of antipsychotic drugs defrauded state Medicaid programs by marketing their medicines improperly. At the deposition, Biederman was asked what rank he held at Harvard.

"Full professor," he answered.
"What's after that?" asked Fletch Trammell, one of the attorneys.

"God," Biederman responded.

"Did you say God?" Trammell asked.

"Yeah," said Biederman, after which there was a moment of stunned silence.

You can read the rest of Paul Solomon's great article here.

Of course, the man who is capable of giving antipsychotic meds to toddlers couldn't have said anything other than what he did. Biederman and people like him have been playing god for decades. At the behest of pharmaceutical companies, they come up with nonexistent diagnoses to feed people more and more needless and dangerous pills.

The idea that people who find social situations difficult must have some disorder and need to be medicated is offensive in the extreme. The idea that if you have trouble concentrating on what you do you also have a disorder and need to pop pills for the rest of your life is equally idiotic. The attempt to diagnose 2 and 5-year-olds with bipolar disorder are so cynical that they defy belief. I saw an investigative report program about a 5-year-old who was diagnosed with schizophrenia because he dressed up as a superhero and went to church dressed like that (A 5-year-old pretending he's a superhero, wow, that is so unhealthy).

People like Biederman are not as much to blame here, in my opinion, as the parents of these poor kids. Biederman is just out to make himself a fortune by poisoning kids he doesn't even know. As for the parents, however, it's terrifying that they would prefer to have any kind of a wild diagnosis attached to their kids instead of working on bringing them up. They zombify their kids with Ritalin and other poisons instead of talking to them and spending time with them. It's easy to blame all of the child's problems on some fictitious "disorder". Taking responsibility for your child's actions would be much more difficult and painful. Who needs that? Let's pump 'em full of chemicals and make Biederman a fortune in the process.


Tom Carter said...

Thanks, Clarissa. This is a serious problem that deserves much more attention than it gets.

I recommended your post and quoted from it on Opinion Forum.

Clarissa said...

Thank you, Tom. I'm honored to appear on your site. :-)

Brian Bagent said...

Clarissa, you and I don't see eye to eye regarding much in health care, but you nailed this one on the head. Just bear in mind that not all, not even most, doctors are like this guy. Most pharmacists are not, either.

Here's a good article by one of my favorite authors, Fred Reed, that addresses this malaise. I don't know if the link will work, so if it doesn't, just copy and paste the url inside the "a href" tags.

Clarissa said...

Thank you, Brian.

Pagan Topologist said...

"unexistent" is not a word, I think. It should be nonexistant or maybe non-existent. (I am a bit surprised that my spell check is not flagging any of these, so maybe I am wrong.)

Clarissa said...

Ooh, I created a new word! :-)

Thanks, David.