Martin Whitely MLA – Member for Bassendean
Press Release – Embargoed until Wednesday 17 February 2010
The world’s first long term data review revealed that ADHD diagnosed children who had used stimulants (amphetamine based drugs like dexamphetamine and Ritalin) were 10.5 times more likely to fail to reach an age appropriate educational standard than children diagnosed with ADHD but never medicated.
“This completely destroys the basis of ADHD child drugging. The ADHD industries claim that without medication ADHD children risk academic failure has been shown to be complete BS. It is not just that ADHD drugs don’t improve long term school performance, the evidence is they drag kids down.”
“Parents will be furious they have been conned into giving their children taxpayer subsidised amphetamines. No responsible parent would knowingly increase their child’s chances of academic failure.”
The finding that past stimulant use was associated with sigificantly and permanently increased diastolic blood pressure which increases the risks of future heart attacks and strokes is of even greater concern. “Failing school is bad enough but increasing the risk of an early death from a heart attack or a stroke is something else.”
“The short term behavior modifying effects of amphetamines can fool parents into believing they are helping their child particularly when a doctor is telling them the ‘medication’ is safe and effective. Now this information is available no responsible doctor will prescribe for ADHD. Even if some quack wants to, I doubt they will be able to get any malpractice liability insurance.”
Mr Whitely will write to every medical malpractice insurer to make sure they are aware of this groundbreaking world first long term research. “I will also be writing to Kevin Rudd to implore him to stop funding ADHD drugs via the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. The money saved subsidising school failure and cardiovascular damage must be diverted the into things that help kids like speech therapy, occupational therapy and extra in class support.”
Prior to this review hundreds of pharmaceutical industry funded studies, lasting weeks or months, were used to support the claim that stimulants are safe and effective. These studies provided the ‘scientific basis’ for ADHD child drugging. Pharmaceutical companies chose the researchers, designed the studies, interpreted the results and controlled what was published.
In contrast the original data used in this long term (9 year) review came from the internationally respected Raine Study conducted by the Telethon Institute. The Western Australian Ministerial Implementation Committee on ADHD, who commissioned the review of the Raine Study data, was comprised of members with very different views as to the safety and efficacy of stimulant medications. “Some of the people who designed and initiated this data review have had very different views to me. But they can’t ignore this evidence, can they?”
Full report available here.