Wednesday, June 18, 2008

THE BIPOLAR CAREER OF JOSEPH BIEDERMAN

ALTERNET The New York Times reported the following about Joseph Biederman: "A world-renowned Harvard child psychiatrist whose work has helped fuel an explosion in the use of powerful anti-psychotic medicines in children earned at least $1.6 million in consulting fees from drug makers from 2000 to 2007 but for years did not report much of this income to university officials, according to information given congressional investigators."

Due in part to Biederman's influence, the number of American children and adolescents treated for bipolar disorder increased 40-fold from 1994 to 2003, and as Bloomberg News reported (September 2007), "The expanded use of bipolar as a pediatric diagnosis has made children the fastest-growing part of the $11.5 billion U.S. market for anti-psychotic drugs."

Pediatrician and author Lawrence Diller notes about Biederman, "He single-handedly put pediatric bipolar disorder on the map." Biederman has been in a position to convince many doctors to diagnose bipolar disorder in children and to medicate them with anti-psychotic drugs. In addition to being a professor at Harvard, Biederman is also chief of research in pediatric psychopharmacology at the Massachusetts General Hospital, which publishes more than 30 papers yearly on psychiatric disorders. And Biederman himself has authored and co-authored approximately 500 articles, 70 book chapters, and more than 450 scientific abstracts, as well as being on the editorial board of many professional journals. . .

In addition to his popularization of bipolar disorder for children, Biederman is one of the most significant forces behind the commonplace diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Congressional investigators also found that Biederman conducted studies of Eli Lilly's attention deficit hyperactivity disorder drug Strattera that were funded by NIH at the same time he was receiving money from Lilly that exceeded the maximum amount permitted.

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