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Better Childhoods Through Chemistry

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Pediatric Drug Proponents Pushing Pills

 

by Evelyn Pringle and Martha Rosenberg

 

Where do parents and teachers get the idea there's "something wrong" with their kid and only an expensive drug can fix it? From Pharma's seamless web of ads, subsidized doctors, journals, medical courses and conferences, paid "patient" groups, phony public services messages and reporters willing to serve as stenographers.


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Free stenography for Pharma from sympathetic media includes articles like "One in 40 Infants Experience Baby Blues, Doctors Say," on ABC News and "Preschool Depression: The Importance of Early Detection of Depression in Young Children," on Science Daily.

 

For many, the face of the drugs-not-hugs message is Harold Koplewicz M.D. author of the pop best seller It's Nobody's Fault , and former head of NYU's prestigious Child Study Center. In a 1999 Salon article, Koplewicz reiterated his "no-fault" statement, assuring parents that psychiatric illness is not caused by bad parenting. "It is not that your mother got divorced, or that your father didn't wipe you the right way," he said. "It really is DNA roulette: You got blue eyes, blond hair, sometimes a musical ear, but sometimes you get the predisposition for depression."

 

Many regard the NYU Child Study Center which Koplewicz founded and led before leaving in 2009 to start his own facility, as helping to usher in the world of brave new pediatric medicine in which children, toddlers and infants, once expected to outgrow their problems, are now diagnosed with lifelong psychiatric problems. The Child Study Center is "a threat to the health and welfare of children," and its doctors are "hustlers working to increase their 'client' population and their commercial value to psychotropic drug manufacturers," charged Vera Sharav, president of the watchdog group, the Alliance for Human Research Protection.

 

A look at the Center's stated mission provides no reassurance. Its goal of "eliminating the stigma of being or having a child with a psychiatric disorder," and "influencing child-related public policy," sounds a lot like a Pharma sales plan.   And its boast about having "a structure that allows recruitment of patients for research studies and then provides 'real-world' testing for successful controlled-environment findings," could send chills down the back of parents afraid their kids will be guinea pigs or money-making subjects.

 

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Martha Rosenberg is an award-winning investigative public health reporter who covers the food, drug and gun industries. Her first book, Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp The Public Health, is distributed by Random (more...)
 

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