Psychiatrist Joseph Biederman comes under fire for fueling child drugging epidemic while being funded by Pharma

Harvard child psychiatrist Joseph Biederman has been advocating powerful medication for mental illnesses such as ADHD and bipolar disorder for decades. His methods are now coming under scrutiny.

Paul Solomon
Digital Journal
July 18, 2009

Harvard child psychiatrist Joseph Biederman, whose work has helped fuel an explosion in the use of powerful antipsychotic drugs in children, has been caught up in controversy since a Congressional inquiry by Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) in 2008.

Biederman has been criticized for being an advocate of diagnosing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and bipolar disorder in even the youngest of children, and using antipsychotic medicines to treat them. Pharmaceutical companies are continuing to profit from the sale of these powerful and sometimes unnecessary drugs. The problem was that much of Biederman’s work was underwritten by drug makers for whom he was a private consultant. He was caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

The Congressional inquiry revealed last year that Biederman earned at least $1.6 million in consulting fees from drug makers from 2000 to 2007, but failed to report all but $200,000 to Harvard officials. This constituted a major conflict of interest.

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