Tag Archives: National Alliance on Mental Illness

NAMI – the ‘patients rights’ group which is really funded by & a major lobbying arm of Psycho/Pharma – is on the defensive

After reports that most donations made to the big advocacy group came from drug makers in recent years, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) agreed to disclose its funding sources. The disclosure, however, came after protracted criticism of NAMI for coordinating lobbying efforts with drug makers and pushing legislation that also benefits the pharma industry.

Senator Grassley tells TeenScreen Executive Director (& former head of NAMI) to disclose all TeenScreen pharma funding

Senator Grassley’s letter states, “Operating with transparency sends a message that there is nothing to hide. Accordingly, I would appreciate an accounting of industry funding that pharmaceutical, medical device companies, foundations established by these companies or the insurance industry have provided to the TeenScreen National Center for Mental Health Checkups at Columbia University (TeenScreen) (The term ‘industry funding’ means any transfer of value, including but not limited to grants, donations, and sponsorship for meetings or programs, etc.) This request covers the period of January 2006 to the present.”

How Vested Interests Created the Perfect Marketing/Lobbying Machine: Mental Health “Advocacy” Groups—Funded by Pharma

An ongoing U.S. Senate investigation headed by Senator Charles Grassly has sought disclosure of pharmaceutical funding paid to researchers, physicians, medical schools, medical journals and the patient advocacy community. Some of the nation’s most prominent psychiatrists have now been exposed for extensive conflicts of interest amounting to millions in undisclosed pharmaceutical funding, including Dr. Charles Nemeroff, Dr. Joseph Biederman, Dr. Melissa DelBello, Dr. Timothy Wilens, Dr. Thomas Spencer, Dr. Alan Schatzberg, Dr. Martin Keller, Dr. A. John Rush, Dr. Karen Wagner, Dr. Jeffrey Bostic and Dr. Frederick Goodwin — many of which serve as advisory board members to mental illness “advocacy groups” which are now also the subject of the Senate investigation for their undisclosed pharmaceutical funding.

The majority of the public may or may not be familiar with these so-called mental health advocacy organizations, such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) or the myriad of bipolar, depression or ADHD “support groups” that are inundating the internet. But they need to be.

Believe it or not, NAMI says ‘safest way to treat severe depression in a pregnant woman is probably electroconvulsive (ECT) therapy’

NAMI website: “The safest way to treat severe depression in a pregnant woman is probably electroconvulsive (ECT) therapy. Patients and families are sometimes frightened by the idea of ‘shock treatment,’ but in fact ECT is safer than antidepressant medication for a depressed pregnant woman. It can be used during any state of pregnancy, but is less risky after the first trimester.”

$28 million Pharma gave NAMI doesn’t include payments to NAMI’s 50 state chapters. Senator now demanding this data.

Grassley’s investigation shows the National Alliance on Mental Illness has received more than $28 million from pharmaceutical companies in the last four years. However, that number doesn’t include pharmaceutical contributions given to NAMI’s 50 state chapters or related foundations. Grassley is now demanding that information, according to documents obtained by Dow Jones Newswires. But more than conflict of interests are at stake.