“Shire, Maker of Binge-Eating Drug Vyvanse, First Marketed the Disease”


The New York Times looks at the rising campaign to “educate” the public and physicians about “binge eating disorder” and how to “treat” it with an amphetamine.

“As Shire introduces an ambitious campaign to promote Vyvanse but also to raise awareness about the disorder, some are saying the company is going too far to market a drug, a type of amphetamine, that is classified by the federal government as having a high potential for abuse,” reports the Times. “Shire’s track record is adding to the worry: The company helped put another once-stigmatized condition — attention deficit hyperactivity disorder — on the medical map and made billions of dollars from the sale of drugs, like Vyvanse and Adderall, to treat it. In recent years, federal officials have cited the company for inappropriately marketing Vyvanse and other A.D.H.D. drugs.”

Shire, Maker of Binge-Eating Drug Vyvanse, First Marketed the Disease (New York Times, February 24, 2015)


  1. Although they are not always consistent in this, the Times frequently runs stories that are critical of psychiatry and the drug companies. This is rare in the mainstream media. Another type of story they have run which is very helpful to our cause is first person accounts of various problems that people have with psychiatry, Recently there was one by a woman who is struggling to get off psych drugs. Another one, maybe a year ago, that really struck me was an account by a veteran returning from, I think, Afghanistan. He had made an actual suicide attempt, and signed himself into the local psych ward expecting to get help. After a week or so of “treatment,” consisting of a five-minute interview with a psychiatrist and a prescription for a bunch of drugs, plus sitting all day in a dayroom in front of the TV, he realized he was not going to get any help and signed himself out (lucky that he could). It is almost unheard of now that psych survivors are presented as human beings in the media.

    Of course, for the survivors reading MIA, this didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know. But for the regular readers of the Times, this must have been revelatory.

    For those readers of MIA who are activists, this suggests to me that focusing on the Times to try to get them to cover our actions might well be fruitful. Hopefully they will cover the upcoming May 16 demonstrations in many cities to protest shock treatment.

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  2. I recovered from a serious binge eating disorder with self help and therapy…Geneen Roth’s books were helpful to me…I am so glad that I never went the med. route to deal with my food and dieting obsessions, given what we now know about side effects…recovery was not easy, but it definitely happens!

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  3. I am stunned that people continue to fall for this crap. Any fool knows that taking amphetamines reduces your appetite. I suppose there is some tortured logic involved in someone taking it if they are desperate to overcome these urges, but from a scientific point of view, positing it as a “treatment” is ludicrous! They aren’t even bothering to identify the problem, but as usual, calling the “symptom” the problem and selling a drug to make it go away without bothering to find out what’s going on, and of course, creating some handy addicts along the way so they’ll always have a market for their product.

    Why don’t we just go back to selling Bennies as diet pills again? It is absolutely no different.

    — Steve

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    • I recently worked with someone who i helped get off vyvanse for binge eating. She said it was making her feel way too wired and anxious but she said she had lost a lot of weight and it curbed her appetite (big surprise). I gently explained that it was essentially a form of speed and she was quite surprised. Once she stopped it she gained aslo the weight back…which I suppose is one of the big disincentives to ever stop it. She says she feels way better, way more grounded now.

      How is this possibly legal? I’m surprised they don’t prescribe it for obesity…or would it be…extra overly large syndrome? No need to diet and exercise…just take this scientifically proven pill…

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