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Victims and Advocates who plan on testifying before the February 9th FDA Risk Management Advisory Review Panel on ADD Drugs’ Link to Deaths, Heart Attacks are asking for one of it’s panel members to step down due to a concern over a conflict of interest. Stephanie Crawford, an associate professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy has been selected to sit on the advisory panel to weigh-in on ADD Drug Risks.
Parent and child advocates question Ms. Crawford’s longstanding affiliation with the University of Illinois and its long history with ADHD Research. The University of Illinois receives millions of dollars in Attention Deficit Drug Research. Both ADD and ADHD known as Attention Deficit Disorder with or without hyperactivity are subjective psychiatric labels for which there are no demonstrable objective tests. Without legitimate scientific testing to verify the existence of these labels, researchers have resorted to using highly subjective questionnaires, surveys, or rating scales in determining a diagnosis. A widely used and controversial rating scale, the “Acter’s profile for boys (or girls)” comes from the University of Illinois and its research department. This one screening method or random survey is being unlawfully used within the public education system without the approval of any Local, State, or Federal Government to diagnose school children throughout the United States . These research screenings are being casually passed off to parents and school personnel without full informed consent and are currently being legally challenged within Federal Courts. “Parents are simply not being told that their children are participating in research,” says Sheila Matthews Founder of Ablechild a non-profit organization.
Ms. Crawford’s own participation in ADHD Research under grant application PA-98004 Drug Abuse and ADHD in Adults and Their High Risk Offspring further demonstrates the just cause for her removal from the panel. Though the FDA has a conflict of interest screening process and waiver criteria, there are still some conflicts of interest that are simply not manageable and should be challenged.
To have a panel member that works for this particular University that receives a tremendous amount of pharmaceutical and psychiatric financial support to conduct research on this very same label defeats the purpose, authority, and function of the panel itself.