A recent blog of mine described how unethical and illegal drug company activities have driven the prescription of toxic antipsychotic drugs to children. Now the "success" of this campaign has been documented in the Archives of General Psychiatry. In a comparison between the years 1993-1998 and 2005-2009, prescriptions of antipsychotic drugs for per 100 children (0-13 years old) rose from 0.24 to 1.83. That's more than a sevenfold increase. Given that most of prescriptions are for the older children in this age range, the rate would be substantially higher among preteens and 13-year-olds. For adolescents (14-20 years old) the increase was nearly fivefold.
The dramatic rise of antipsychotic prescribing in youth occurred in conjunction with the illegal marketing of the drugs by their makers, resulting in multibillion-dollar settlements with the government
The American Psychiatric Association announced yesterday that rigorous scientific analysis of the newly adopted fifth edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, often called its “diagnostic bible” and itself promulgated after rigorous scientific analysis, revealed that over 300 million Americans, or 95 per cent of the U.S. population, suffer from mental illness. The organization’s newly elected president, noted Harvard child psychiatrist Dr. Joeph Biederman, urged the country to “set other, petty concerns aside, and rally to ensure that these poor sick people get the help they so desperately need. Our rigorous scientific analysis tells us this is a problem that must not be ignored.”
Johnson & Johnson, the company that makes the antipsychotic drug Risperdal, has tentatively agreed to a settlement of $2.2 billion to resolve a federal investigation into the company's marketing practices. Although details are not fully finalized, this includes "a roughly $400 million criminal fine for the illegal promotion of the antipsychotic Risperdal," according to the Wall Street Journal. It's been well documented that Johnson & Johnson confidentially paid psychiatrists such as Harvard's Joseph Biederman to promote adult drugs such as the powerful antipsychotic drug Risperdal for children. The company has even ghost-written at least one of the Harvard professor's "scientific" articles.