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ADHD… Perspectives by Penny
I hope I can accomplish through the privilege of writing this blog helping someone gain more insight into understanding the challenges of living with ADHD every day.
And I have to put this disclaimer in: these are all my opinions, not those of Dr. Jones.
“Our future lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted” Martin Luther King Jr.
Blog Entry 1 Introduction
I have worked with Dr. Jones for 17 years, gone to most of the CME courses he attends (continuing medical education), which has been literally hundreds of hours, and have a bachelors degree in Psychology and Marketing. I have developed slides for his presentations, as well as edited and help write his newsletters and website. I have also been on the board of directors of the Dallas chapter of CHADD which is a national ADHD organization. Their website is: http://www.chadd.org/
I think I have an extremely unique, multi-faceted slant on ADHD and stress related mental health issues. (I have also seen the pharmaceutical company industry very up close and personal concerning neuropsychiatric drugs.) So, I am starting my first blog with that subject specifically.
I have known and interacted with many physicians that treat ADHD. I have also had direct contact with the pharmaceutical companies all the way down the chain of hierarchy from their ivory tower corporate executives (they get the really big money), the specialists with “big credentials that answer questions for the few doctors that inquire”, the regional managers, and then the pharmaceutical reps that really work in the trenches with doctors and see the real world that clinical physicians deal with everyday.
I have attended countless meetings and conferences, including: data and research updates on new drug studies, pharmaceutical company “launches” of new products, physician speaker training meetings, and reviewed endless studies of medications relevant to treating psychiatrically related issues.
Because of negative press, the pharmaceutical industry has made an attempt to “self police” by creating PhRMA (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America). This self-regulatory group was created by the pharmaceutical industry as an attempt to try to avoid complete control by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration)… (They would probably deny that observation, however).
The fact of the matter is, the reason pharmaceutical companies exist in the first place is capitalism, (which translates ultimately into profits made for the shareholders). This industry is unique because the “products” they produce effect real people in a very personal, crucial, and sometimes “life or death” way. This makes them extremely vulnerable to regulation, and public criticism and scrutiny. It also causes dissonance, and conflicts of interest between the industry, the consumers that use their products, and their shareholders. And, of course, there is a strong, hungry, greedy segment of the legal industry that is just salivating at the chance to sue them for some drug that proves to have a negative outcome because of unforeseen adverse side effects, (or, god forbid, deception through hiding adverse data in studies of bad or life-threatening findings.)
However, I am still NOT against capitalism, and that includes the pharmaceutical industry. One of the great freedoms we have living in America is that anybody can go from complete poverty to billionaire, and the only thing stopping any of us is our own drives and talents (in a perfect world we could also add “integrity” to drives and talent) .
I want to challenge anyone to tell me who else would bother to spend millions and millions of dollars trying to develop new medications that might end up proving through complex research and studies to be a wash, or, could possibly help people function and contribute to society, find cures for disease and illnesses, and even give someone more years to live than they would have had otherwise. The answer to that question is NO ONE I can think of. So without them, even with all the good and bad, they play an extremely important role in our lives because they research and study new and novel ways to, yes, make a profit, but also to literally save lives, and make life bearable/and or functional for those that often desperately need help.
As an aside, they also have many patient assistance programs that they should be recognized for. Most of them will supply free medications to patients in low income categories. A good source to find out if you are eligible for these programs is: http://www.needymeds.org/. This industry is in no way perfect, but they do not deserve to be “thrown under the bus completely” in my opinion.
My hope is that we can all put biases and blame aside and just at least listen to each other’s opinions and experiences. I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I do have insights into my own unique world that I hope you can at least consider. I want to always be open to new knowledge that will allow me to have a “shift of paradigm” if another point of view can sway my stigmas and biases. I think the rigidity and prejudices that continually cause us all pain and injustice need to be challenged. I don’t think any of us have all the answers to everything (to think otherwise is delusion and/or arrogance), and my personal goal is to grow and learn and be open to new ideas…and I hope that is your goal.
All of my blogs are dedicated to Jeff, Melissa, and Wayne, and ….Madison and Brooklyn, and of course Unkie, Kirsten and Will!
I love you all dearly!