National Association for Research on Schizophrenia And Depression (NARSAD)

NARSAD is, according to its description, “the largest donor-supported organization that supports research on brain and behavior disorders.” Former NIMH director Herbert Pardes has been president of NARSAD’s Scientific Council since its formation in 1986—the same year that NIMH established its Schizophrenia Branch of research.[1] In fact, that incestuous relationship between NARSAD and NIMH has continued. NARSAD prides itself on the fact that many of the researchers it funds “go on to get much larger grants from National Institute of Mental Health and other major funders.”[2]

At a NARSAD symposium held on October 30, 2009 and moderated by one of its advisory board members, Dr. Robert Hirschfeld, attendees were told, “We take no pharmaceutical money, we take no money from the government to fund our researchers….”[3] Yet elsewhere, they state: “Two family foundations cover all NARSAD’s operating expenses, so 100 percent of all funds donated go directly to research.”

  • NARSAD’s 2007 Annual Report shows potentially $185,000 in Pharma donations from: Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Forest Pharmaceutical ($50,000 +), Eli Lilly and Company, Janssen, ($30,000 +), AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, Wyeth-Ayerst ($10,000 +) and Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, NAMI—Eastside Wayne County and Virginia Chapters ($5,000.00 +).[4]
  • Their 2008 annual report shows almost double that—potentially $236,000—from Pfizer ($100,000),Forest Pharmaceutical ($50,000+), Janssen and Wyeth-Ayerst ($30,000+), Eli Lilly & Co., Merck Employee Giving Campaign ($10,000+), Bristol-Myers Squibb Company ($5,000+) andAstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals ($1,000+).
  • Further, Dr. Hirschfeld, a psychiatrist, brings with him access to many pharmaceutical companies. During an 11 year period (1992-2003) he received more than $5.7 million in pharmaceutical company grant money for research—an average of over half a million dollars a year. And between 1974 and 1990 he also received $25 million from NIMH for clinical studies.[5] He has served as an advisor or consultant to Abbott, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Forest, GSK, Janssen, Eli Lilly, Novartis, Organon, Inc., Pfizer, Pfizer-Roerig Shire, Organon, Sandoz, Pharmacia and Upjohn, UCB Pharma, and Wyeth-Ayerst, and Zonagen, Inc.[6] And he was the Chair of Work Group to Develop Guidelines for Bipolar Disorders of the Task Force on DSM-IV (Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)—which came under major scrutiny because of the undisclosed financial ties of many of the DSM Task Force members to drug companies.[7]
  • An interview with Hirschfeld regarding a “bipolar screening tool” he developed—prompted by a man who worked for Avis Pharmaceuticals—was published “in collaboration with NARSAD, The Mental Health Research Association” (NARSAD) and “supported by an educational grant from GlaxoSmithKline.”[8]
  • As of 2009, NARSAD had awarded over $256 million through 3,775 research grants to more than 2,900 scientists at more than 440 institutions in the US and 28 other countries.[9]
  • Pharmaceutical companies that have funded NARSAD over the years include Bristol-Myers Squibb, Forest, Eli Lilly, Janssen and AstraZeneca.[12]
  • NARSAD broadly distributes a report “Conquering Depression” funded by Wyeth that pushed the drug model agenda about “biochemical imbalances” needing “drug treatment.” Under the section heading, “Are Antidepressant Medications Effective?” NARSAD stated, “They most certainly are. Estimates are that eight or nine out of every ten patients with depression can be helped by currently available antidepressants.”[13]
  • In 2002, NARSAD awarded Dr. Joseph Biederman its “Senior Investigator award.” Biederman later came under investigation for his Pharma conflicts of interest that helped drive up the number of the children prescribed dangerous antipsychotic drugs that can cause life-threatening diabetes.[14]

NARSAD’s Scientific Council includes:

  • Herbert Pardes, M.D.: President and President and CEO and former NIMH Director (1977-84) and President of the American Psychiatric Association (1989) when he admitted that schizophrenia could not even be defined: “I do not know what this disease is yet; I do not know how many diseases it may entail.”[15]
  • As testimony to the biased advice the Board is likely to give NARSAD regarding treatment modalities, consider that when Pardes was head of NIMH, his Chief of the Center for Studies of Schizophrenia was Dr. Loren Mosher who also founded and served as first Editor-in-Chief of the Schizophrenia Bulletin.[16]
  • As the Washington Post reported in a tribute to Dr. Mosher following his death in 2004, while at NIMH Dr. Mosher “decried excess drugging of the mentally ill; large treatment facilities like St. Elizabeth’s Hospital [in Washington DC] that he would have preferred to raze; and the sway pharmaceutical companies had over professional groups.” He established a highly workable “largely drug-free treatment regimen for schizophrenics” used at his Soteria House center. “His position was based on a view that schizophrenics are tormented souls who needed emotionally nourishing environments in which to recover. He said drugs were almost always unnecessary, except in the event of a violent or suicidal episode,” The Post detailed. After showing studies of patient recovery to NIMH, the project lost its funding amid a strong peer backlash and, as Mosher wrote, “By 1980, I was removed from my post altogether…All of this occurred because of my strong stand against the overuse of medication and disregard for drug-free, psychological interventions to treat psychological disorders.”[17]
  • In 1998, Dr. Mosher resigned from the APA, which he called a “drug company patsy.” As late as 2002, he said that 85-90% of his clients returned to the community without conventional hospital treatment.[18]
  • In 1984, Pardes left NIMH to become Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University’s College of Physicians Surgeons and in 1989 was also appointed Vice President for Health Sciences for Columbia University.[19] Pardes came under scrutiny in 1999, when a New York Post story, “Shrinks for Sale,” exposed how Columbia University, affiliated with the New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI), was “king” at obtaining pharmaceutical company dollars. Pardes created the Office of Clinical Trials at Columbia in 1991 and by 1999 it was generating $10 million a year for the university and its affiliates, largely through Pharma funding. A Pharma industry source was quoted in the article: “The sense is that you come to Columbia University and we will get your drugs approved.” Pardes also served as chairman of the state task force that recommended state approval of risky experiments on “mental patients” who couldn’t give informed consent. Patients were placed at risk, with one man dying during an experiment funded by a drug maker and children as young as 6 were being used as guinea pigs for Prozac experiments—also without fully informing the parents of the dangers.[20]
  • Nancy C. Andreasen, M.D., Ph.D.: Served as Editor-in-Chief of the American Journal of Psychiatry for 13 years; past president of the American Psychopathological Association and the Psychiatric Research Society and Founding Chair of the Neuroscience Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.[21] She has served as a consultant to Janssen and received travel expenses from Lilly and AstraZeneca.[22] She was on the APA’s DSM-IV Task Force review and a consultant for DSM-III Review as well as a consultant to the NIMH Training Grant Section (1978-79).[23]
  • Pierre Blier, M.D., Ph.D.: Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Ottawa; Endowed Chair, Mood Disorders Research; University of Ottawa Institute of Mental Health Research; Canada Research Chair in Psychopharmacology. Grant/research support from and on the Speakers’ Bureau for Eli Lilly, Forest, Lundbeck, Sepracor, and Wyeth.[24]
  • Peter F. Buckley, M.D.: Professor and Chair, Department of Psychiatry, Medical College of Georgia. Grant/research support from AstraZeneca, Janssen, Pfizer, Solvay, Wyeth and NIMH. Consultant (honoraria and expenses): Janssen, Abbot, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Eli Lilly.[25]
  • Jan A. Fawcett, M.D.: Financial conflicts disclosures include Abbott Laboratories, Alphapharm, Eli Lilly, Wyeth, Merck and she has been an expert witness in cases involving pharmaceutical companies. She is also Chair of the Mood Disorders Work Group of the DSM-V Review Task Force and sits on the Scientific Advisory Board for Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.[26]
  • Frederick K. Goodwin M.D.: Former NIMH director, (under Senate investigation for failing to disclose Pharma funding). Goodwin earned at least $1.3 million between 2000 and 2007 for giving marketing lectures to physicians on behalf of drug makers—a fact he did not reveal to the audience, broadcaster or producers of “The Infinite Mind,” that he hosted on the National Public Radio during its 10-year run. Subsequently, NPR removed the program from its schedule. Lichtenstein Creative Media issued a statement that this income was a violation of the contract between the company and Goodwin. He has received grant/research support from Abbott, was a consultant for Glaxo-Wellcome, Eli Lilly, Pfizer and Scios and on Speakers’ Bureau for Glaxo-Wellcome, Janssen, Eli Lilly, Pfizer, and Scios.[27]
  • Robert Hirschfeld, M.D.: Professor and Chair, University of Texas Medical Branch, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences: Serves as an advisor or consultant to Abbott Laboratories, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Forest Laboratories, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen, Eli Lilly, Novartis, Organon, Inc., Pfizer, Shire, Sandoz, Pharmacia and Upjohn, UCB Pharma, and Wyeth-Ayerst, and Zonagen, Inc.[28] Chair of the Work Group to Develop Guidelines for Bipolar Disorders of the Task Force on DSM-IV—which came under major scrutiny because of the undisclosed financial ties of many of the DSM Task Force members to drug companies.[29]
  • Steven E. Hyman, M.D.: Provost of Harvard University and Professor of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School, former NIMH director (1996-2001) before returning to Harvard to become the provost and a neurobiology professor at Harvard Medical School has consulted for Neurion, Seaside Therapeutics, Merck, Novartis, and GSK and one biotech venture-capital partnership unrelated to psychiatry (Fidelity Biosciences) since 2005.[30] He was on the Board of the Dana Foundation, Biomed Council and Alzheimer’s Study Group.[31]
  • Robert B. Innis, M.D., Ph.D.: Senior Investigator in Molecular Imaging Branch, NIMH.[32] He has conducted research with PET scans supported by NIMH and “research support from Eli Lilly.”[33]
  • Lewis Judd, M.D.: Professor of psychiatry and chair of the UCSD Department of Psychiatry and former director of NIMH (1987). Judd recognized that in the 1970s, Congress had become deeply distrustful of NIMH because psychiatrists still had no way of distinguishing mental health from mental illness.[34] In 1987, as Eli Lilly was gearing up to market Prozac, NIMH launched its Depression Awareness, Recognition and Treatment (DART) Program to convince the American people that they suffered from “clinical depression” caused by a “chemical imbalance in the brain” that could be helped by a prescription drug. The rationale for DART was laid out in an article in the American Journal of Psychiatry whose authors were NIMH directors Lewis Judd and Frederick Goodwin.[35] Judd created the biopsychiatric marketing strategy, “Decade of the Brain,” which was signed into United States law by Presidential Proclamation on July 17, 1990 and funding to NIMH soared.
  • Helping market the DART program, Eli Lilly paid for the production of 8 million brochures titled Depression: What You Need to Know and 2,000,000 posters. Judd stated at the time: “By making these materials on depressive illness available, accessible in physicians’ offices all over the country, important information is effectively reaching the public in settings which encourage questions, discussion, treatment, or referral.”[36]
  • Judd has conducted other studies with Lilly grants including one with Dr. A. John Rush on the effectiveness of medication in treating minor depression.[37]
  • Charles B. Nemeroff, M.D., Ph.D., (under Senate investigation for failing to disclose Pharma funding) was chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Emory University and “one of the nation’s most influential psychiatrists,” he failed to disclose he had received $2.8 million in consulting deals with drug makers over seven years and failed to report at least $1.2 million of that to Emery University. He was the principal investigator for a five-year $3.9 million grant financed by the NIMH for which GSK provided drugs Despite his conflicts, in November 2009, he was named Chairman of the psychiatry department at the University of Miami medical school.[38]
  • In 2006, Nemeroff stepped down as editor of Neuropsychopharmacology after publishing a favorable review of the vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) device, manufactured by Cyberonics. Nemeroff neglected to publish that he was a paid consultant for Cyberonics. In 2003, he coauthored a review in Nature Neuroscience failing to mention his significant financial interests in three therapies that he reviewed favorably, including owning the patent in one of the treatments—a lithium patch.
  • At one time Nemeroff consulted for 21 drug companies. Has received grant support from AFSP, NARSAD and NIH. On the Scientific Advisory Board of AstraZeneca, Forest, Johnson & Johnson, Pharma Neuroboost and Quintiles, and NARSAD; Employed by: Served on the Board of Directors of ASFP, ASPIRE Mental Health, NovaDel Pharmaceuticals, and the George West Mental Health Foundation. He has equity in CeNeRx and Reevax, and stock in Corcept and NovaDel.[39]
  • Martin B. Keller, M.D.: (Under Senate investigation for failing to disclose Pharma funding) Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, chairman of the psychiatry department at the Alpert Medical School, Brown University. He obtained research grants from GSK and was accused of getting ghostwriters to write the controversial Paxil study 329 that covered up adverse effects of the drug on children. In 2006, Keller acknowledged in deposition that he had been accepting tens of thousands of dollars in consulting fees from GSK and Scientific Therapeutics Information—a company acting on GSK’s behalf—during and after the years he was conducting crucial research on the efficacy and safety of Paxil in children.[40]
  • In 1999, it was disclosed that Keller earned more than $842,000 while serving as chief of the psychiatry department at Brown—$556,000 in 1998, $444,000 in 1997 that came from pharmaceutical companies—Pfizer, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Wyeth-Ayerst and Eli Lilly—that manufactured the antidepressant drugs that he “lauded in a series of medical research reports.” After a three-year criminal investigation by the Attorney General’s Office, Brown University “agreed to return $300,170” of taxpayer money to the state of Massachusetts for psychiatric research Keller’s psychiatry department never performed.
  • Keller did not disclose the extent of his financial ties with companies to the medical journals that published his research—this includes $93,199 in 1998. Additionally, he made $304,185 from antidepressant manufactures while touting these drugs benefits in several journals.
  • He has also received funding from Upjohn, Eli Lilly, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson, and Smith Kline Beecham. Other significant financial affiliations include Wyeth and Pharmacia & Upjohn.[41]
  • Robert M. Kessler, M.D.: Professor of Radiology and Radiological Sciences Associate Professor of Psychiatry Vanderbilt University He initiated the positron emission tomography (PET) program at the National Institutes of Health and served as its first director, conducting numerous studies on “mental illness.”[42] He has received funding from Bristol Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, GSK, Ortho-McNeil, Pfizer and Wyeth.[43]
  • David A. Lewis, M.D.: Departments of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh Director, Translational Neuroscience Program, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. Received research/support from Merck and Pfizer and is a Consultant for BMS, Pfizer and Forest.[44]
  • Jeffrey A. Lieberman, M.D. Professor of Psychiatry, Chairman Department f Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Financial Disclosure: Honoraria, consulting fees, research grant support: AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Upjohn Pharmacia, Novartis, Eli Lilly, Janssen, Pfizer, Hoechst AG, & AstraZeneca. Corporate Speakers Bureaus: AstraZeneca, Janssen, Eli Lilly and Pfizer.[45]
  • Steven M. Paul, M.D.: Executive Vice President, Science and Technology, Eli Lilly and Company President, Lilly Research Laboratories.
  • Daniel S. Pine, M.D.: Research scientist at the National Institute of Health (NIH). He is also Chief of Development and Neuroscience Branch, Chief of Child and Adolescent Research in the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program, NIMH. He also an advisor to Active Minds, Anxiety Disorders Association of America and Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. Dr. Pine also serves as the Chair of the Psychopharmacologic Drug Advisory Committee for the Food and Drug Administration and the Chair of the Developmental Working Group for the DSM-V Task Force.[46]
  • Robert M. Post, M.D.: He is with Department of Psychiatry, George Washington University, Washington, DC, and Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania and was Unit and Section Chief and then Chief of Biological Psychiatry at NIMH.[47] Consultant forAbbott Laboratories, Glaxo-Wellcome Pharmaceuticals, Janssen, Novartis, Pfizer, Shire and UCB Pharma.[48] He has served on speakers’ bureaus for Bristol-Myers Squibb and GSK.[49] He had conducted research on bipolar with psychiatrist Melissa P. DelBello in 2005, funded by a grant from Eli Lilly.[50]
  • Judith L. Rapoport, M.D.: Chief, Child Psychiatry Branch, NIMH. In 2008, she received NAMI’s “Mind of America Scientific Research Award” with a $50,000 prize.[51]
  • Carolyn B. Robinowitz, M.D.: President of the APA, 2008. As president elect she spoke out against stringent black box warnings alerting parents to the suicidal risks their children could be exposed to when taking antidepressants. She told the New York Times the labels might cause a “black-box panic,” adding that “a black-box warning may serve as another barrier to care that people need.”[52] She was the Founding Director of the Office of Education, and she has also served as President of the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology and the American College of Psychiatrists.[53]
  • Alan F. Schatzberg: (Under Senate investigation for failing to disclose Pharma funding) Chairs the psychiatry department at Stanford University. Consultant for Abbott, AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, co-founder of Corcept, Forest Labs, Merck, Neuronetics, Novartis, Pathways Diagnostics, Pharma Neuroboost, Quintiles, Synosis, and Wyeth. Speakers’ Bureau for GSK; has equity holdings in Corcept, Forest, Merck, Neurocrine and Pfizer, and named inventor (holds patent) on pharmacogenic use patents on prediction of antidepressant response.[54]
  • In 2008, Schatzberg was investigated for his failure to disclose the $6 million he owned in stock in Corcept Therapeutics, which participated in a National Institutes of Health study he oversaw. In 2002, when Schatzberg didn’t report any income from Johnson & Johnson, but the drug maker reported to Senate investigators that Schatzberg was paid $22,000 that year. In 2004, Schatzberg reported Lilly had paid him between $10,000 to $50,000, while Lilly said that they had paid him more than $52,000. Despite the conflicts, the APA elected Schatzberg its president in 2009.
  • Nora D. Volkow: Director, US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in 2003. Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Associate Dean of the Medical School at the State University of New York (SUNY)-Stony Brook. Most of her professional career at the Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) in Upton, New York, where she held several leadership positions including Director of Nuclear Medicine, Chairman of the Medical Department, and Associate Director for Life Sciences.[55]
  • Karen Dineen Wagner: (Under Senate investigation for failing to disclose Pharma funding) A clinical professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, between 2000 and 2008, Wagner had worked on NIH-funded studies on the use of Paxil to treat teenage depression and was a co-researcher on Study 329 with Martin Keller above. Between 1998 and 2001, she was one of several researchers participating in more than a dozen industry-funded pediatric trials of antidepressants and other drugs. In her Zoloft study, Wagner said she had received “research support” from several drug makers, including Pfizer, but did not disclose she had received “sizeable payments” from Pfizer for work related to the study. Between 2000 and 2005 GSK paid her more than $160,000, though she reported only $600 to the university. In 2002, Eli Lily also paid her over $11,000, which was not disclosed.[56]
  • Wagner gets research/support from NIMH, and is a consultant for or on the Advisory Board of Abbott, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Forest, Janssen, Novartis, Otsuka, Pfizer, Sanofi Aventis, and Solvay.[57]




[4] “2007 Annual Report,” NARSAD, 2007.


[6], Authors and Disclosures section;;







[13] Eliot Valenstein, Blaming the Brain, p. 177.


[15]; “The mounting attack on schizophrenia,” Psychiatric News, 24, pp. 3 & 13.





[20] Douglas Montero, “Shrinks for Sale,” New York Post, 26 Feb. 1999.




[24], Authors and Disclosures section.

[25], Authors and Disclosures section.



[28], Authors and Disclosures section;






[34] Tanya M. Luhrman, Of Two Minds, The Growing Disorder in American Psychiatry, (New York NY)


[36] Joseph Glenmullen, M.D., Prozac Backlash, 228-229.












[48], “Fourth International Conference on Bipolar Disorder,”;