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> "Great Britain is among dissenters questioning soaring popularity of Ritalin"
> (10/5/00)
> BY SARA SOLOVITCH  Kids' Health, the Mercury News, 750 Ridder Park Drive, San
> Jose, Calif. 95190.(abstracts from) [Comments of F.A. Baughman Jr., MD,
> within, 10/5/00]

There is even speculation (in the UK) that it (Ritalin) may be banned
forchildren younger than 5. This backlash comes amid growing British concern
that Ritalin usage is spiraling out of control. Last year, the number of
prescriptions in that country jumped to 157,900 from 126,000 in 1998. That's
about a 25 percent increase, though usage there is small when compared to
the United States.

> Last year, 11 million prescriptions for methylphenidate, or Ritalin, were
> filled in the United States, the majority for children between 6 and 14. Ten
> percent to 12 percent of American children

[Dr. Baughman:
5.3-6.4 million

> have been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder or attention deficit
> hyperactivity disorder.
> ...But why is it that, as Ritalin production has continued to rise at a
> voracious rate, the United States should consume more than 80 percent of the
> world's supply?
> ...two class action lawsuits were filed...against the drug's manufacturer,
> Novartis. The
> lawsuits, lodged in California and New Jersey, follow a third class action
> suit filed in Texas in May, alleging that Novartis conspired with the
> American Psychiatric Association to promote the diagnosis of ADHD to fuel
> the market for Ritalin

[Dr. Baughman:
several other law firms have since joined the legal action.

> . Though the long-term effects of Ritalin have never been
> thoroughly tested, the short-term side effects -- poor appetite, insomnia,
> tics, stunted
> growth -- are well-documented.

[Dr. Baughman:
Psychiatric researchers regularly report that the brains of
children with ADHD, as seen on CT and MRI brain scans, are 10% smaller than
those of normal control subjects. What they have kept from the public is the
fact that the only physical difference between those with ADHD and the normal
controls, is that almost all of those with ADHD have been on Ritalin and other
amphetamines, and that these drugs are the only plausible cause of their brain
atrophy. ADHD has yet to be validated as a disease having a confirming
physical or chemical abnormality. Their first and only abnormality is the
drug that circulates through their brains and bodies.

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