Marcia Angell on Big Pharma

From the latest NYRB, here’s the start of Marcia Angell’s review of three recent books on medicine and money, with a focus on psychiatry, DSM, and Big Pharma:

Recently Senator Charles Grassley, ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, has been looking into financial ties between the pharmaceutical industry and the academic physicians who largely determine the market value of prescription drugs. He hasn’t had to look very hard.

Take the case of Dr. Joseph L. Biederman, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and chief of pediatric psychopharmacology at Harvard’s Massachusetts General Hospital. Thanks largely to him, children as young as two years old are now being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and treated with a cocktail of powerful drugs, many of which were not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for that purpose and none of which were approved for children below ten years of age. Continue reading

Review of Open Your Eyes: Deaf Studies Talking

Jackie Scully has written an interesting and provocative review of Open Your Eyes: Deaf Studies Talking , ed. H-Dirksen L. Bauman (University of Minnesota Press, 2008) for Metapsychology Online.  Here is an excerpt:

“Every now and again, something happens that creates a flurry of media interest in deafness. These days it’s often to do with biomedical technology and the response to it of the “culturally Deaf” — people with audiological deafness who consider themselves members of a cultural grouping rather than disabled. So we have the rejection (by some Deaf people but not all) of cochlear implants, or the use (by some Deaf people, but not all) of reproductive technologies to “select for” deafness. The resulting discussions might be described as dialogues of the deaf, if the pun were not so obvious and so bad, and in fact so wrong (most deaf people can dialogue with each other perfectly well. It’s dialogue between Deaf and hearing that can get problematic).”… 

Read the full review here: