A few questions for consideration by the FDA (and others) that I mentioned a few months ago:
1. Does child bipolar really exist in substantial quantity?
2. Does treatment help kids with this "disorder"?
3. Why would a leading "expert" in child "bipolar disorder" say that up to 75% of children who are "bipolar" become suicidal without citing any supporting evidence?
Joe Biederman must be proud -- the FDA will now help him and his posse save countless lives through the administration of treatments (like, say, Seroquel) for "child bipolar" that lack any sort of substantive evidence base. But who cares -- even without professional consensus or any sort of official word from the FDA, the treatment of child bipolar has already flown the coop in a big way. Realistically, I suppose that the FDA's view is irrelevant -- drug marketers and key opinion leaders wield more influence than anyone at FDA when it comes to how physicians view psychiatric diagnoses.
KOL Syndrome: On a related note, perhaps the FDA (or the DSM-V committee) can approve KOL Syndrome as a disorder. That would be Key Opinion Leader Syndrome. For case examples, please see here, here, here, here, here, and here. The prevalence of KOL Syndrome seems to be increasing and seems related to the widespread adoption of irrational prescribing as well as information laundering. Symptoms include:
- Providing false "education" to physicians as a service to your corporate clients
- Calling one or more of one's own articles "commercial pieces of crap," then recanting
- Hiding blatant conflicts of interest
- Writing misleading review articles that falsely tout the efficacy of one or more drugs,
- Magically converting results that show a product is a dud into results showing that a product is safe and effective
- Making a boatload of money through ties to various drug or medical device companies, then claiming that such corporate ties have absolutely no influence on your professional judgment
- As an author, calling a study's results positive, then calling these same results negative a few years later without noticing the contradiction.
- Giving tasty sound bites in press releases about the wonders of various medications in one's capacity as an "independent" scientist
Also see an excellent post from John Grohol at Psych Central on youth bipolar and some of the logical problems regarding how its treatment is advocated. And Furious Seasons also notes that the FDA database raises questions about two of the drugs touted as safe and effective for kiddie bipolar.