Friday, November 07, 2008

Lawsuit Alleges Drug Manufacturers Targeting Methods Too General

Richard Scruggs, an Oxford attorney, is most popularly recognized for his paving the way for a settlement between the tobacco industry and the U.S. States in 1998. More recently, he has set his eyes on another tragic situation reaching epidemic proportions: ADHD medication and our children.

Stating a conspiracy grouping psychiatrists and the drug manufacturer of Ritalin, Scruggs contends that over 4 million
children are taking Ritalin when it is not even necessary. Filed in the state court in San Diego, CA and the federal court in Hackensack, NJ, the lawsuits claim that the American Psychiatric Association, Novartis AG, and a popular non-profit “support” group called Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder have inappropriately and unnecessarily expanded upon the definition of this disorder to include children that would otherwise not be diagnosed with ADHD.

But why expand on the definition of ADHD to include many “normal” children? For profit of course.

By playing on the basic nurturing nature of a caregiver, the defendants of the lawsuits are playing on the fears of the caregiver wanting a healthy child. But by the expanded standards, virtually every child within the United States would be diagnosed with ADHD.

With over 90 percent of Ritalin sales found in the United States, professionals are finding it hard to explain why Europe and other countries are not experiencing this enormous influx of ADHD diagnosed children.

This spring, the White House launched an important initiative to reduce the number of children using this popular treatment.

Scruggs hopes to alter the method by which Ritalin is prescribed.

2 comments:

kateinvoke said...

Hi Jeannine,
We are fueling conversation about a new documentary film, Generation RX, which scrutinizes the widespread prescription of psychotropic or behavioral drugs to America's children. www.generationrxfilm.com

According to a peer reviewed study on Bio-Med Central, 6.7% of American kids are on behavior-enhancing medication, and are three times more likely to be prescribed psychotropic medication than children in Europe. http://www.capmh.com/content/2/1/26/abstract

We know this topic is controversial--what do you think? Are behavioural drugs justified, or over-prescribed? I found your blog and I think you'll have valuable things to say about this film. Please email me at kate.legresley@invokemedia.com if you would like a free copy of the Generation RX DVD, and we'll mail you one.

Jeannine Virtue said...

You are correct; this topic is controversial (to say the least). It is my belief that the so-called "lifestyle drugs" should be prescribed only after all safe options have been exhausted. All too often, these drugs are used as a first-line treatment, and at increasingly younger ages. I would be interested in reviewing "Generation RX". Thank you for the offer.