The Overselling And Overuse Of Adhd Drugs

2122 words - 9 pages

Psychiatrists and pharmaceutical relationship has come under scrutiny in recent years over the selling of ADHD drugs. Psychiatrists, and medical schools primary focus while researching and treating patients with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) should be the care of the patient. However, when interactions exist between physicians and pharmaceuticals, a conflict of interest is present and must be recognized and managed to avoid any harm to patient care. The rise in ADHD diagnosis and its treatment with psychotropic shows that there are conflicts of interest between physicians' commitment to patient care and the desire of pharmaceutical companies to sell their products. The aim of this paper is to examine the conflicts of interest between drug companies, psychiatrists and medical researchers in the diagnosis, advertising and prescription of ADHD and other psychotropic drugs.
ADHD became a popular diagnosis ADHD in the 1980s when pharmaceutical companies began to publicize the syndrome and promote the medicine to doctors, educators and parents. Presently The American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders characterizes people with ADHD by “persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that is more frequent and severe than is typically observed”(DSM-IV 2013). Symptoms include excessive talking, fidgeting, or squirming, often losing things, difficulty remaining seated, playing quietly, or sustaining attention. (American Psychiatric Association, 2013) In recent years, the diagnosis of ADHD has become common and about half the children diagnosed with ADHD will continue to show symptoms as adults. Although there is not a single test that can diagnose an adult or child as having ADHD, about 4 percent or 8 million of the U.S adult population and 9.5 percent or 5.9 million of children between the ages of 3-17 have been diagnosed with ADHD (Journal of Psychiatry 2006). Moreover, Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discovered that an estimated two million more children have been diagnosed with ADHD over the past 7 years, a 42 percent increase (2013). This increase of people diagnosed with ADHD demands more evaluation to find out if doctors and researchers’ practices are driven by conflicts of interest between the large pharmaceutical companies and their desires to maintain scientific neutrality and objectivity.
The principles of medical professionalism are challenged in situations where physicians are too closely tied with a specific treatment of ADHD drugs. For instance, the growing use of ADHD drugs had coincided with the increasing payments to doctors. In recent years, pharmaceuticals have targeted doctors by giving them gifts and drug samples as ways of getting them to prescribe their drugs(Bloomberg Business Week, 2008). For decades, companies have paid for doctors’ meetings at expensive restaurants,...

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