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Dr. Gregory Pais, ND
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Home arrow Blog arrow PSYCHIATRISTS HIDE TIES TO DRUG COMPANIES
PSYCHIATRISTS HIDE TIES TO DRUG COMPANIES
Editorial "Nature Neuroscience" Vol. 11, #9, Sept. 2008
This editorial in an obscure (to me) medical journal highlights a conflict of interest affecting the health of our children. Citing a recent Senate investigation it reveals an ethics scandal involving academic psychiatrists who study the effectiveness of psychiatric drugs, while failing to disclose the millions of dollars they receive from the drug companies that make the drugs they're studying. One such incident involves a psychiatrist at Harvard-Dr. Joseph Biederman-who did not fully reveal over $1,000,000 that he got from drug companies in consulting fees. Which calls into question the impartiality and validity of the drug trials he guided. This kind of ethical deceit is all too common in the world of drug research. It's particularly unacceptable and dangerous in child psychiatry as the result of using powerful drugs in children can be severe.

One of the biggest scientific obstacles and a seemingly obvious deterrent is that psychiatric drugs aren't tested on children, they are tested on adults. We have absolutely no idea of their effects on the developing brain or how they change its function. When these drugs are used on children it's an experiment, not science. Few psychiatric drugs are approved for children. Instead, once the FDA declares them safe, practitioners can prescribe them "off label", or outside their approved use, to children. Drug companies don't want to pay to test their drugs on kids-it's too expensive and too risky. As long as "off label" use is allowed, they don't have to. The parents and the children assume all the risk. Which means that it takes kids getting hurt, or even killed, before action is taken. Witness the 2004 FDA ruling to put a 'black box' warning on anti-depressants for children after reported suicides of children taking these drugs.

There are so many other options-nutritional, herbal, and homeopathic-why not choose one? Homeopathy is the safest form of medicine I know. No homeopathic medicine has ever been associated with the suicide of a child taking it, not one. And if you think that's because drugs are used more, that's not true. Homeopathy is the #2 medicine in the world. If there were pediatric suicides from taking homeopathic medicines we'd know it. It is ethically unconscionable that these psychiatrists take money from drug companies and then promote the unproven use of these drugs on our children. It's flat out wrong.

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