(Peter Breggin is a psychiatrist who is anti-psychoactive medications. I
came across this "press release" on his website (breggin.com); no news
media has picked this up yet. On the surface, this seems really silly, but
with the state of our justice system, I guess this could actually go to
court. So could Ritalin go the way of breast implants?
--Len Leshin, MD)
RITALIN CLASS ACTION SUIT FILED
May 1, 2000
A class action suit for "fraud" and "conspiracy" in over-promoting the
stimulant medication Ritalin (methylphenidate) was filed today in a Texas
court. The suit was brought by the Dallas law firm, Waters and Kraus, and
will be nationwide in scope. Peter R. Breggin, M.D., is the medical
Three national organizations are named as defendants: (1) Novartis
(formerly Ciba Geigy), the manufacturer of Ritalin, (2) CHADD (Children and
Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder), a parents'
organization that is partially funded by drug companies, and (3) the
American Psychiatric Association.
The suit charges that Novartis, CHADD, and the American Psychiatric
Association committed fraud in conspiring to over-promote the diagnosis
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and its treatment with the
stimulant drug, Ritalin.
The allegations state that the drug company "deliberately, intentionally,
and negligently promoted the diagnosis of ADD/ADHD and sales of Ritalin
through its promotional literature and through its training of sales
representatives. In so doing, despite knowledge of such problems and/or
adverse reactions, Defendants willfully failed to address or provide
adequate information to consumers, doctors, and/or schools concerning many
significant hazards of methylphenidate " The suit also charges the drug
company with "Actively supporting groups such as Defendant CHADD, both
financially and with other means, so that such organizations would promote
and support (as a supposed neutral party) the ever-increasing
implementation of the ADD/ADHD diagnosis as well as directly increasing
Ritalin sales." It further claims that "Defendant American Psychiatric
Association (APA) conspired, colluded and cooperated with the other
Defendants" while taking "financial contributions from Ciba as well as
other members of the pharmaceutical industry "
Although the suit was motivated by concern about the over-medicating of
America's children, the class action is not restricted to children. Adults
who have purchased Ritalin for children or for themselves in the last four
years are potentially eligible to participate in the suit. The suit seeks
compensation for those who paid for Ritalin, regardless of whether or not
the medication caused any harm or damage.
Anyone interested in joining the class action suit, or in obtaining more
information about its legal basis, should contact the attorneys, C. Andrew
Waters and Peter Kraus (phone: 214 357 6244).
Peter R. Breggin, M.D. (phone 301 652 5580), medical consultant to the
suit, may be contacted about background issues concerning Ritalin, ADHD,
Novartis, CHADD and the American Psychiatric Association. Dr. Breggin is
the director of the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and
Psychology (ICSPP). However, ICSPP has no role in, and is not a party to,
the class action suit.
Attorneys Waters and Kraus, and Dr. Breggin, are planning a press
conference for late in May after the charges have been reviewed by the