“A Checklist to Stop Misuse of Psychiatric Medication in Kids”


Former DSM-IV task force chair Allen Frances takes aim at the “massive overuse of psychotropic medication in children” in an article for the Psychiatric Times. He shares a checklist of questions for doctors to consider before prescribing medication to children.  Frances warns: “We simply don’t know what will be the long-term impact of bathing a child’s immature brain with powerful chemicals.”

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  1. Frances warns: “We simply don’t know what will be the long-term impact of bathing a child’s immature brain with powerful chemicals.”

    Was this before or after Frances and his pals took all that money from J&J?

    Here are some quotes from Dr. Caplan’s article:

    “Allen Frances, arguably the world’s most powerful psychiatrist, spearheaded a massive, million-dollar project using psychiatric diagnosis to propel sales of a potent and dangerous drug by pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson (J & J). Frances began the initiative in 1995, but his involvement has been little known, despite a court document written in 2010 that revealed what its author [David Rothman, PhD], an ethics specialist, called serious deception and corruption in that project.”

    “According to the court document, Frances led the J & J enterprise that involved distortion of scientific evidence, conflicts of interest, and other illegal and unethical practices.”

    “Rothman reported that, in 1995, the very year after DSM-IV appeared, Johnson & Johnson had paid more than half a million dollars (USD) to Frances and two of his psychiatrist colleagues to create an official-seeming document as the basis for promotion of one of their drugs. The following year, the drug company paid them almost another half million dollars to continue and expand the marketing campaign.”

    “According to the Rothman report, Frances and his colleagues wrote guidelines that were designed specifically to persuade physicians to prescribe J & J’s drug Risperdal as the first line of treatment for schizophrenia.”

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  2. A shameful article. To echo B’s comments, such a checklist, rather than ostensibly creating “safeguards,” falsely implies that there can sometimes be “proper” reasons for “bathing the brain in chemicals.”

    All use is misuse. Is Frances opposed only the “massive” misuse?

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  3. Frances should just retire and enjoy the millions he already earned from consulting for Big Pharma. No well-informed person believes his change of heart now.

    As for Frances’ recommendation that psychiatrists ask the following, “Are there stresses in the child’s relationships, social context, and recent history which might explain this pattern of behaviors?”…

    What a blindingly obvious question to ask. Any psychiatrist who can’t remember this for themselves should be fired. On the other hand, that might leave only a minority of psychiatrists in practice.

    Every article about establishment psychiatry on MIA continues to evoke revulsion…

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  4. I agree the psychotropic drugs should never be used in children at all. But currently they’re being massively overprescribed to children, and this does needs to be stopped. The checklist may help reduce this appalling societal atrocity.

    Although, Frances’ claims the “long-term impacts” are unknown is quite the bold faced lie, unless Frances is much less informed than those of us here. The long run benefits for all the psychotropic drug classes are looking quite dismal.

    And I know I have yet to be able to finish Frances’ book due to all his double talk. And falsely showing concern or empathy, without confessing or accepting responciblity for one’s own deplorable actions, is the behavior of a psychopath.

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