Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Attacks on big pharma

There are many good reasons for the Treatment Advocacy Center’s policy of not accepting funding from pharmaceutical companies. There is also no doubt that the pharmaceutical companies have peddled their influence when it comes to psychiatric prescribing practices and research.

The most recent “expose” is that “[e]very psychiatric expert involved in writing the standard diagnostic criteria for disorders such as depression and schizophrenia has had financial ties to drug companies that sell medications for those illnesses.”

Believe us, TAC is not an apologist for the psychiatric community or the pharmaceutical industry.

But, the implication that schizophrenia is not a real diagnosis is factually wrong, not to mention dangerous. Schizophrenia was a diagnosis long before the first edition of the DSM in 1980. In fact, with respect to schizophrenia, the DSM didn’t broaden the diagnosis, it actually narrowed it. The term “schizophrenia” was used much more loosely and broadly in the United States until 1980 when the DSM established official diagnostic criteria for the illness (see Surviving Schizophrenia, pg. 63).

Schizophrenia is real – just ask someone who has been psychotic and remembers the experience. Or look at the science and judge for yourself.

Are mental health drugs overprescribed? This blogger takes the debate a step further …