View Full Version : CHADD's publication, "Attention" and Conflict of Interest with Pharmaceutical Ads

11-15-09, 12:29 AM
As much as I appreciate the fact that there is a national group in the U.S. for people with ADD, known as CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder) and that they have a publication titled "Attention", I just can't take the magazine totally seriously. I think the fact that pharmaceutical companies advertise shows in its articles and stances on medication.

I will admit I am not all that informed on medication and the science behind it but I have some knowledge and have my own personal experiences and feelings and unerstandings of it.

I'm just curious, and this is my basic question here: Do you see the fact that CHADD accepts pharmaceutial advertisements as a conflict of interest in that it gives them a reason to present more favorably, medication vs. other forms of treatment and management such as diet, herbal, exercise, etc.? I have not read their magazine heavily recently (though I just was reading their 2006-2007 Info and Resource Guide to AD/HD), but oftentimes in an article, medication is often the primary or only treatment they speak of. They also seem to present medication as a turning point in someone's life which I've heard of. I will admit, my experiences with medication have not been successful--with all, the side effects outweighed the benefits.

This is without doing rigid recording and research into this, but that is my basic memory of reading "Attention" in regards to medication. I also would like to know if there is a group and/or weekly publication out there that has a more balanced approach to all things related to ADD.

11-15-09, 01:10 AM
Valid point. I see the benefit of ads in that it helps with the cost of publication and allows more people to subscribe to CHADD at a reasonable cost.

Sure, it's a slippery slope to appear as endorsing a certain drug, but that happens all the time. New drugs are marketed to physicians, and the lobbies of medical offices are flooded with pamphlets about medications.

I don't personally have an issue with medication being promoted as a first-line approach in treatment, because it is overwhelmingly effective for most people. Certainly, it's not profitable to promote lifestyle changes over medication...

There doesn't seem to be any definitive evidence that specific changes in diet, etc are beneficial in treating ADD. There is anectodal evidence, but nothing concrete. I do think that any publication should inform its audience that medication may not be the entire answer, and other forms of treatment can be considered in combination with medication or as an alternative for those who cannot tolerate the medication or have found it ineffective.