Welcome! We regret to inform you that the Injury Board National News Desk has been discontinued. Feel free to browse around and enjoy our previously published articles, or visit The Injury Blog Network for the latest in personal injury news.

Harvard Psychiatrist Promised Clinical Trial Results To Drugmakers

Posted by Jane Akre
Friday, March 20, 2009 5:01 PM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: Antipsychotics, Biederman, Harvard, Johnson & Johnson, FDA and Prescription Drugs

Dr. Joseph Biederman deposition revealed.  



IMAGE SOURCE:  Harvard University Bio on Dr. Biederman


No wonder he wants the court documents sealed away from the public eye.

Dr. Joseph Biederman, a well-known Harvard psychiatrist became the poster-child for conflicting interests when Sen. Charles Grassley uncovered that he underreported to the university most of the $1.6 million he was paid by drug companies, while promoting their antipsychotics to children.

Now as a key witness in litigation by state attorneys general seeking Medicaid reimbursements from those drugmakers – documents show Biederman went so far as to make promises about the outcome of clinical trials to the drug companies before he conducted them.

That information comes from his deposition The New York Times has received and published portions.  

  • Court documents show Dr. Biederman outlined plans to Johnson & Johnson company executives about a proposed trial of the antipsychotic drug risperidone (Risperdal).  The trial “will support the safety and effectiveness of risperidone in this age group,” he promised before even conducting the drug trial.
  • In “Key Projects for 2004” (a set of slides the doctor presented to company executives) included a proposed trial comparing risperidone to its nearest competitor in managing pediatric bipolar disease. Dr. Biederman promises the trial “Will clarify the competitive advantages of risperidone vs. other neuroleptics.”

In 2005, a study authored by Dr. Biederman compared Risperdal (Johnson & Johnson) and Zyprexa concluding the former improved depressive symptoms. Zyprexa did not.

  • Among the “Key Projects for 2005” a slide shows another proposed study of adolescents making Concerta, a Johnson & Johnson stimulant.  Again Dr. Biederman promises a “positive findings with Concerta in A.D.H.D” in unusual cases of hyperactivity.

Dr. Biederman was the director of the Johnson & Johnson Center for Pediatric Psychopathology Research at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

He is a national leader in diagnosing bipolar disorder and well-known advocate for treating children with the disorder with antipsychotics.

The New York Times reports, “Dr. Biederman’s work helped to fuel a 40-fold increase from 1994 to 2003 in the diagnosis of pediatric bipolar disorder and a rapid rise in the use of powerful, risky and expensive antipsychotic medicines in children.”

Dr. Biederman is under investigation by the National Institutes of Health and Harvard for violation of university and federal rules.  He has lost his and he has suspended his work with the drug industry while the investigation is underway.  He says the revelations have publicly embarrassed him. 

In the February 26 deposition, Dr. Biederman was asked his rank or title at Harvard.

“Full professor” he says.  What comes after that, a lawyer asks.

“God” says Dr. Biederman.    #

1 Comment

Posted by Daniel Haszard
Saturday, March 21, 2009 4:43 AM EST


Eli Lilly is making positive PR over their $4 billion Zyprexa damages settlement while dragging their feet paying victims,many who are mentally challenged and less capable of advocating for themselves.
Daniel Haszard used Zyprexa for 4 years and got diabetes from it.

Comments for this article are closed.

About the National News Desk

Our mission is to seek the complete truth and provide a full and fair account of the events and issues that surround personal safety, accident prevention, and injury recovery.  We are committed to serving the public with honesty and integrity in these efforts.

Hurt in an accident? Contact an Injury Board member

Subscribe to Blog Updates

Enter your email address if you would like to receive email notifications when comments are made on this post.

Email address


RSS Feed

Add the National News Desk to your favorite RSS reader

Add to Google Reader Add to myYahoo Add to myMSN Add to Bloglines Add to Newsgator Add to Netvibes Add to Pageflakes