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Ritalin Class Action Suits, chages of fraud and conspiracy (english)
by web 3:02am Sun Apr 29 '01

Major Plaintiff’s Attorneys in Tobacco and Asbestos Suits
Charge Ritalin Manufacturer [Novartis], the American Psychiatric
Association, and CHADD with Fraud and Conspiracy

Ritalin Class Action Suits--

Major Plaintiff’s Attorneys in Tobacco and Asbestos Suits
Charge Ritalin Manufacturer, the American Psychiatric
Association, and CHADD with Fraud and Conspiracy

Class action suits for fraud and conspiracy in over-promoting the stimulant medication
Ritalin (methylphenidate) have been filed in three states by leading tobacco and asbestos trial
attorneys. The first suit was brought in a Texas court by the Dallas law firm, Waters and
Kraus, and will be nationwide in scope. Waters and Kraus are leaders in major asbestos cases.
Two additional suits have now been filed in federal court in California and New Jersey.
Plaintiffs’ attorney Richard Scruggs of Pascagoula, Miss., is leading the attorneys bringing the
new suits. Mr. Scruggs is best known for his work in the tobacco litigation and helped negotiate
the landmark settlements. Additional attorneys active in the new Ritalin cases include
members of the “Castano” group, described by the Wall Street Journal as “a network of
plaintiffs’ lawyers that have filed suits against the tobacco industry on behalf of smokers.”

The work of Peter R. Breggin, M.D., including his book Talking Back to Ritalin (Common
Courage Press, 1998) inspired these legal suits. His two more recent books are Your Drug
May Be Your Problem: How and Why to Stop Taking Psychiatric Medications (co-authored by
David Cohen, PhD, Perseus Books, 1999) and Reclaiming Our Children (Perseus Books,
2000). Dr. Breggin is the founder and director of the International Center for the Study of
Psychiatry and Psychology in Bethesda, Maryland.

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 law suits charge 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 Ritalin manufacturer 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.”

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 attorneys C. Andrew Waters and Peter Kraus (phone: 214 357
6244). The website for the suits is http://www.ritalinfraud.com.

Peter R. Breggin, M.D. may be contacted about background issues concerning Ritalin,
ADHD, Novartis, CHADD and the American Psychiatric Association. Further information is
available from his website at: http://www.breggin.com or by telephoning Dr. Breggin (301)
652-5580.

Peter Breggin’s courageous, compassionate writings
serve as a much-needed antidote to the genetic determinism
and pro-drug bias of modern psychiatry and psychology.”
- JOHN HORGAN, author of The End of Science and The Undiscovered Mind

Talking Back to Ritalin : What Doctors Aren't Telling You About Stimulants for Children
by Peter R. Breggin, M.D.
Published by Common Courage Press, 1998
Dr. Breggin's new book: Talking Back to Ritalin, details the side effects and potential problems with Ritalin and other stimulants. It also thoroughly
and critically examines the condition and diagnosis of ADHD and ADD, explores the economics and who profits from the diagnosis and the
prescribing of stimulants for children, and offers six chapters for parents and other adults on how to help children in their care without resorting to
Ritalin or other psychiatric drugs.

The material in Talking Back to Ritalin is documented with citations to scientific literature. The book also describes non-drug approaches to helping
children diagnosed ADHD through identifying and meeting the basic needs of children, and through improvements in school and family life.
http://www.breggin.com/prbbooks.html

www.breggin.com/classaction.html

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