Saturday, November 25, 2006

NYT on polypharmacy in the young

I imagine Gardner Harris started this New York Times Health review thinking he'd expose a terrible practice of indiscriminant medication of the young. However he began, its obvious by the time he'd met with a few families and experts he'd been humbled. These families and children are suffering greatly; there are no good answers.

The one lesson we can all draw is humility. The title "proof is scant" is unusually well chosen and inarguable. We just don't know. Each of these children is an experiment of one.

If we funded psychiatric research in this country (the GOP appears to have an ideologic opposition to pyschiatry) we'd treat each child as an experiment, and gather every bit of data we could on risks and benefits in a national database with robust privacy protections (anonymized data). We definitely can't rely on the pharmaceutical companies; we've found negligence and possibly fraud in their research practices in the past few years.

Until we get a government that respects science in general, and psychiatry in particular, progress will be slow indeed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In view of developments 'across the border' we may need to 'up sticks' and emigrate to Canada!
Do you think they'd have us?
Best wishes