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Exploiting images of youth to promote drug use by children – even though not approved for them – compares to replacing the Marlboro man with a junior high school student. The practice has been soundly criticized by Professor John Sommers-Flanagan (above), among others.


      Drug company money is the lifeblood of the American Psychiatric Association. When the APA held a conference in 1987 on how it could procure more cash, patients and influence, the gathering was financed by several drug companies. One drug maker produced an elaborate slide show on how psychiatrists could gain referrals from medical doctors.

      The APA’s Public Affairs Division designed a calendar with the theme, “Psychiatry in medicine/Medicine in psychiatry.” Also aimed at gaining referrals from medical doctors, the calendar was produced and distributed by Upjohn.

      The APA showed its appreciation for this financial support by promoting Xanax in the January 4, 1991, issue of its house organ, Psychiatric News. Its endorsement failed to mention that the “successful” four-week study actually lasted eight weeks — and was hardly a success.

      The APA receives funding from virtually all pharmaceutical companies. Its own Task Force to Study the Impact of the Potential Loss of Pharmaceutical Support concluded in the 1970s that the APA would perish without these funds. This is because, despite the highly inflated claims regarding the “mentally ill” population in America, psychiatrists have a great deal of trouble keeping their couches filled.

      Likewise, pharmaceutical companies need someone to push their drugs. Thus, the two industries melded — a relationship that proved to be so lucrative the APA voted to encourage even more support from drug companies in 1980.


      Drug company money funds the APA’s Political Action Committee, an entity with special departments that cajole Congress, state legislators, the media and the public to support the mental health industry. Their Federal Legislative Institute has seen to it that new legislation is introduced each year to obtain increased government spending on psychiatric programs or to require insurance companies to provide increased or unlimited reimbursement for drug-based psychiatric treatments.


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