ADHD - Making the invisible visible.
Quite a catchy title and one would expect anything that followed such a headline would be groundbreaking news.
In fact, the title should be ADHD - Making the backroom staff visible.
Alas, 'ADHD - Making the invisible visible.' is nothing more than an apparent "Expert" White Paper on the 'disease' that nobody can see or prove yet is diagnosable and treatable.
The paper, we are led to believe, was put together by Susan Young (King’s College London, Institute of Psychiatry, UK), Michael Fitzgerald (Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland) and Maarten J Postma (University of Groningen, the Netherlands). I say 'led to believe' because we really don't know anymore if anything published by key opinion leaders is actually their own work. I guess we just have to accept that Young, Fitzgerald and Postma are the original authors and these are their own findings.
The paper, we are told, was "initiated, facilitated and funded by Shire AG and supported by the European Brain Council and GAMIAN-Europe (Global Alliance of Mental Illness Advocacy Networks.)"
We are also told that "Medical writing support was provided by APCO Worldwide and Complete Medical Communications, and funded by Shire AG."
Ah, I see. So, it probably was ghostwritten, right?
What exactly is "Medical writing support" and who, exactly, are APCO Worldwide and Complete Medical Communications?
APCO are an independently-owned PR firm in the United States who have an impressive list of former and current clients including, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck Sharp & Dohme.
Complete Medical Communications [CMC] are, in essence, a retail by proxy outlet for the pharmaceutical industry. A 2012 snapshot of their webpage clearly shows the service they offer:
"CMC is a leading healthcare communications company, in business for over 20 years. Over that time we have helped global clients negotiate an array of challenges along the drug-development pathway, combining tried and trusted approaches with fresh and creative ideas."
So, it's really quite easy to see why the financial backers of this paper, Shire AG, wanted CMC on board. CMC have nothing to do with diseases [ADHD is supposedly a brain disease.] By CMC's own admission they "negotiate an array of challenges along the drug-development pathway" - in layman's terms, they think of ideas to promote a drug without it actually looking like promotion.
Furthermore, CMC offer the following services:
- Brand consultation at all phases of product life-cycle (pre-launch, launch, post-launch)
- KOL programs
- Journal submissions and supplements
- Slide kits
They also plan events for...
- Regional, national and international meetings
- Advisory boards
- Speaker tours
Do Shire AG have any interest in getting this ADHD information out there to the masses?
Shire, market and manufacture Adderall, one of the most popular ADHD drugs in the world. The patent for Adderall expired in 2009 but it was soon back in the hands of Shire when, in 2011, they released Adderall XR (extended release) - basically, they changed a molecule here and there, rebadged the original Adderall and came up with Adderall XR.
Not quite, we've seen this happen so many times with other drugs. Celexa patent runs out and Lexapro arrives [same drug] Wellbutrin patent runs out and Zyban arrives [same drug], Prozac patent expires and Sarafem appears to treat premenstrual dysphoric disorder, that's PMS to you and me. Prozac and Sarafem are the same drug. Eli Lilly saw sales of Prozac fall when the patent expired around 2001 so they, probably with the help of someone like CMC, re-evaluated the situation and overnight Prozac was changed from a neutral green and white capsule to a feminine Pink-and-purple capsule.It was then aggressively marketed with women being the target population.
In 2007 the FDA granted a licence for another Shire drug, namely Vyvanse. In 2008 it was approved for use in adults, in 2010 the FDA approved it to be used in adolescents.
So, what is Vyvanse indicated for?
In a nutshell, ADHD.
Back to the 'expert' paper "ADHD - Making the invisible visible"
Without looking into it's content we see that it is funded by Shire AG and supported by the European Brain Council.
I've wrote about the European Brain Council before.
In 2012 the European Brain Council launched "The Year of the Brain". It's something that the EBC have been promoting for the past few years now, so much so that they are pushing for 2014 to be made the European Year of the Brain.
Here's their goals:
1. Increased public profile of all brain diseases in every member state
2. Increased access to education and information for patients
3. A measurable reduction in stigma
4. Raising the profile of good brain health and how to optimise brain health /prevent deterioration
5. Draw political attention to the costs and impact of brain diseases now and into the future
6. Increased research funding through the framework programmes and in the member states
And who is the Executive Director at the European Brain Council?
Step forward Mr Alistair Benbow, former European medical director at GlaxoSmithKline. Benbow was also Glaxo's Seroxat spokesperson back in the early 2000's. Seroxat, if you didn't know, is the UK brand name for paroxetine, better known as Paxil in the US and Canada and Aropax in Australia and New Zealand.
So, do we really need to open this 'expert paper' to read it's content or does the financial backing, medical writing and conflict of interest already tell us that it is going to be nothing more than a push to use more drugs on a condition that was invented by the pharmaceutical industry?
The paper is split into three chapters:
Chapter 1 provides information on the burden of ADHD on the individual, families and society.
Chapter 2 reports data from recent studies of ADHD, which further highlight the need for timely diagnosis and effective management approaches.
Chapter 3 outlines a number of policy considerations and recommendations for action with regard to raising informed awareness of ADHD, improving access to early and accurate diagnosis, improving access to treatment and care, involving and supporting patient organisations and encouraging a patient-centred research agenda.
I don't know about you but it's hardly going to be a cliffhanger, is it?
None the less, it's probably a great work of fiction.
You can download it here, if you so desire.
ADHD is a huge cash cow for the pharmaceutical industry. They have, over many years, carefully structured a marketing plan of which the first rule is to get the public to fear ADHD. A disorder becomes a disease because the word 'disease' has negative connotations.
ADHD - Making the invisible visible is just part of a huge jigsaw. When the jigsaw is complete it will have a hidden message, one that reminds me of the movie 'Contact' with Jodie Foster. Basically, Dr. Eleanor Arroway [Jodie Foster] works with SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute).
One day Arroway unexpectedly hears a powerful signal: a prime number pattern emanating from the star Vega, confirmed by others the world over, undeniable and strong in its pulsing power.
However, a video feed of Hitler is found mixed into the prime number pulse pattern. It is from the 1936 Olympics.
Look carefully into the whole ADHD promotion and you will see pretty much the same, a hidden message so famous that we have all started to accept it without questioning it.
Slice ADHD in half and you will see something not to dissimilar to what Arroway witnessed in Contact.
You just have to join the dots until eventually it hits you in the face.
"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State." - Joseph Goebbels, Reich Minister of Propaganda
Question I'm asking here is quite simple, who is the modern day Goebbels, is it the medical writers, the key opinion leaders, Alistair Benbow or Shire?
Contrast all of the above with two recent news stories.
This one from the Irish Examiner, "Children prescribed ADHD medication unnecessarily, study claims", which highlights a 60% increase in the prescription of drugs for children with ADHD in the past six years.
...and this one that appeared on the CCHR website yesterday, With Nearly 5 Million U.S. Children on ADHD Drugs, Doctors Finally Express “Concern”, an article that states, "Recently published research in the British Medical Journal says doctors are concerned that children may be receiving an inappropriate diagnosis of ADHD."
So, you want to know who is telling the truth here?
Do what Dr. Eleanor Arroway [Jodie Foster] did.