Matthias, a seven year old patient of mine, had his fifteen minutes of fame (though some may describe it as infamy) when he was featured in a front page New York Times article called “One Drug or Two: Parents See Risk and Hope” on November 14, 2015.


I had been working with the Times reporter, Alan Schwarz, for over a year on different articles he had published in the New York Times on ADHD and medication. I felt I knew Alan well when he approached me asking for deep background for another long article. He was contemplating a piece to highlight the lack of scientific data supporting the common practice of using more than one psychiatric drug in children. Because we have virtually no evidence pro or con, in essence we “experiment” with our children when doctors add a second drug. In the course of our discussion I mentioned to Alan that at that very moment I was reluctantly considering prescribing two drugs to two of my patients. Matthias was one of them.

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Witness to Corruption: The Merchants of Speed of the Modern-Day ADHD Medicine Show

(First Appeared in the Huffington Post in Four Parts, August 2014)

During my entire 30-plus-year career as a behavioral/developmental pediatrician in private practice, I have attended only one drug company-sponsored dinner where I was paid for just showing up. In 2003, I received a letter from Eli Lilly and Company, inviting me to hear a former Columbia Medical School classmate -- what an amazing coincidence -- talk about Strattera (atomoxetine), Lilly's new drug for the treatment of ADHD/ADD (attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and non-hyperactive inattention). The dinner would be at the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco, one of the city's fanciest venues. As an additional inducement, I was offered a $500 "consulting fee" and a continuing medical education (CME) credit in return for listening to this one-hour presentation

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My Uneasy Marriage to Ritalin

Posted first: 12/23/2013 12:44 pm on the Huffington Post (

I've been uncomfortably married to Ritalin for 35 years. That's how long as a behavioral pediatrician I've been prescribing stimulant drugs like Ritalin, Adderall and Concerta to children and adults in my suburban private practice outside of San Francisco.

Prescription stimulants, which are all a version of amphetamine, have been controversial since their introduction in 1929. They are front-page news again. This Sunday's New York Times offers a detailed report on the role of drug companies' influence through advertising, medical education and research on attention deficit disorder (ADD) and its treatment. Today one in seven American children have been told they "have" ADD.

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