What is mental illness? Schizophrenia? Autism? Bipolar disorder? Depression? Since the 1950s, the profession of psychiatry has attempted to provide definitive answers to these questions in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
New guidelines for mental illness turn shyness in children from a personality trait into a mental disorder that warrants drug treatment. Drug companies already target children, who fidget too much in class or have trouble concentrating on their homework, with stimulant drugs for treating attention deficit disorder. Now children who sit too quietly or are more withdrawn than their peers will also be targeted with medication for social anxiety disorder or depression.
The Chicago Tribune reportedthat drug companies paid more than $25 million to Illinois doctors to promote and use drugs from the pharmaceutical companies. Nearly 40 physicians got payments and perks exceeding $100,000 between 2009 and early 2011.
Eight drug companies paid more than $220 million to doctors and promotional speakers in 2010 to promote their drugs.
Starting in 2013, all drug and medical device companies must report such information to the federal government which will make these disclosures available to the public.
The most controversial payments involve consul
Drug companies have long kept secret details of the payments they make to doctors and other health professionals for promoting their drugs. But 12 companies have begun publicizing the information. ProPublica pulled their disclosures into a database so patients can search for their doctor.
People love how Facebook lets them comment on and share other people’s posts. But the idea of sharing on social media has got drug companies scared. When Facebook told drugmakers that they had to start allowing comments on their Facebook pages, some of those pages started disappearing.
“Take On Depression” suddenly disappeared. “ADHD Moms” vanished, too. So did “Epilepsy Advocate.” In the past, drug companies had been reluctant to create Facebook pages without a guarantee that they’d be closed to public comments — a unique accommodation on Facebook’s part. But that accommodation ended last week.