Health Canada and FDA order warnings on ADHD-prescribed drugs
by Brian Beaumont
October 8, 2005
VANCOUVER, B.C. -- (OfficialWire) -- 10/08/05 -- In a landmark report, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, the world's premier children's rights body, has issued a strong warning against falsely labeling youth with the psychiatric diagnosis of "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)" and administering powerful ADHD-drugs.
In its Concluding Observations on reports by Australia, Finland and Denmark regarding their compliance to the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Committee expressed concern that "[ADHD] and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) are being misdiagnosed and therefore psycho-stimulant drugs are being over prescribed, despite growing evidence of the harmful effects of these drugs."
Jan Eastgate, international president of the psychiatric watchdog group, Citizens Commission on Human Rights, applauded the report. "The misdiagnosing and psychiatric drugging of children are violations of human rights and we commend the Committee for taking action," she said.
The Committee urges that "other forms of management and treatment" be used to address difficult behavior in children.
With an estimated 17 million children prescribed mind-altering drugs, the United Nations is the latest in a series of government bodies to alert the public to the damage they can do to young people. Prompted by reports of harm -- including deaths -- attributed to the drugs, agencies have been reviewing clinical reports that confirm the side effects to include hallucinations, hostility, agitation, aggression, suicidal tendencies and violent behavior.
On September 29, Health Canada asked all the makers of drugs used for ADHD to submit data from all clinical trials and post-marketing reports by the end of 2005. The data will be examined following it's submission in the new year. The drugs that will be reviewed are Concerta, Adderall XR, Dexadrine, Ritalin and Attenade; drugs which are given to children for ADHD.
Also on September 29, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ordered that "black box" warnings be placed on a commonly prescribed ADHD drug, after clinical trials linked the drug to suicidal thoughts and behavior. The FDA indicated that the new warning stems from an ongoing review of all ADHD drugs and their possible association with suicide.
A day before the FDA's ruling, the British National Health Service's Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued guidelines for doctors on non-psychiatric remedies for children, including regular sleep, exercise and nutrition. NICE issued the guidelines following a June 2003 British Medical advisory warning doctors that anti-depressants can pose suicidal risks for young people.
On August 19th, the Commission of the European Communities, representing 25 countries, issued the strongest warnings to date by any medical agency against child antidepressant use, based on findings by the European Medicines Agency. Clinical trials again confirmed that the drugs caused suicidal behavior as well as aggression and hostility in children and adolescents. The Commission recommended against the prescription of these drugs for anyone under 18.
Brian Beaumont, spokesperson for the Vancouver Chapter of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights said, "The UN, the FDA, Health Canada and the European Commission should be encouraged to seek out and eradicate the source of the problem˜psychiatrists who have misled governments, medical agencies and the public into believing ADHD actually exists. There is no brain scan, blood test, X-Ray or `chemical imbalance' test to verify the existence of so-called ADHD. Psychiatry's false marketing campaign is destroying children's lives."
CCHR has documented that psychiatrists and mental health interests have promoted their false diagnoses to maintain a more than $20 billion dollar-a-year industry. The Citizens Commission on Human Rights was established in 1969 by the Church of Scientology to investigate and expose psychiatric violations of human rights. For more information go to www.cchr.org.
If you or a loved one has been harmed by any psychiatric practice, please call the Citizens Commission on Human Rights at 1 (800) 670-2247.