PBS to air tonight: the Medication of Foster Children
- Alliance for Human Research Protection
A Catalyst for Debate
Tonight Public Broadcasting (PBS) airs an investigative report about the
drugging of children in foster care.
"On this week's episode of Need to Know, we go inside the foster care system
for an installment of The Watch List: We investigate the use and potential
overuse of powerful antipsychotic medication on foster children, with a
special look at Texas, which has worked to reform its practices...
Foster children are some of the most heavily medicated children in the
nation. Need to Know investigates the use and potential overuse of powerful
antipsychotics in our foster care system, which a special focus on Texas,
which has done much to reform its practices."
The program includes footage from the astounding videotaped deposition of
Dr. Joseph Biederman, the influential Harvard child psychiatrist whose
financial relations with Janssen Pharmaceutica prompted Congressional
investigation as they were deemed in violation of federal conflict of
interest disclosure regulations.
The deposition includes a slide presentation in which Dr. Biederman promises
Johnson & Johnson/ Janssen pharmaceuticals that his "planned studies of [the
company's] medicines in children would yield results benefiting the
company." The deposition also includes Dr. Biederman's assertion that his
Harvard status ranks just below GOD...
Neither conflict of interest violations--nor the breach of scientific
integrity in drug trials whose results were predetermined--resulted in any
meaningful sanctions--either by Harvard or the National Institute of Mental
Health--the federal agency that provided taxpayer support for Dr.
Biederman's commercially driven drug research.
Thus, Dr. Biederman's self assurance may reflect his certainty that his
privileged position is protected by the power structure.
One is reminded of the ruling class of pigs in George Orwell' Animal Farm,
"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others..."
In New York the program airs at 8:30 PM. check your local PBS stations
Contact: Vera Hassner Sharav
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