National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) continues it’s relationship with PHARMA

From ProPublica: Health Advocacy Groups Take Drug Company Cash—Often Without Full Disclosures, Report Says

We need to remember that while they call themselves a “grassroots” organization, their funding speaks otherwise. NAMI promotes and encourages the use of dangerous neurotoxic drugs without giving other safer options a fair shake. People like me are also marginalized and silenced if we try to share our experience of having been seriously harmed. I’ve tried to be active among such groups so I know. They do not want to hear of the serious harm these drugs cause most of the time. Like most large organizations there are people who are well-intentioned involved in NAMI, but they generally don’t understand what is going on at the national level.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI, came under similar scrutiny back in 2009 when Sen. Charles Grassley, a top Republican, began making inquiries.

From 2006 to 2008, the group took in nearly $23 million [4] in drug company donations—about three-quarters of its fund-raising. At the time, NAMI’s executive director told The New York Times that “the percentage of money from pharma has been higher than we have wanted it to be” and promised greater disclosures.

Following the revelations about NAMI, Sen. Charles Grassley sent letters [5] to 33 health advocacy groups asking them to disclose details about their financial ties to drug and device makers. He has not released the responses he received from the groups.

Today’s report, however, highlighted continued concerns about the degree to which a group’s funding influences its advocacy and helps boost sales for drug companies making donations. Here’s an example from the report, involving NAMI:

This lack of transparency is disappointing because, either by design or through a convergence of interests, the HAOs in the current study pursued activities that promoted the sale of Lilly products.

In the area of neurosciences, Lilly gave NAMI $450,000 for its Campaign for the Mind of America. NAMI has advocated that cost should not be a consideration when prescribing for patients. ‘‘For the most severely disabled,’’ insisted NAMI, ‘‘effective treatment often means access to the newest medications such as atypical anti- psychotic and anti-depressive agents. . . . Doctors must be allowed to utilize the latest breakthrough in medical science . . . without bureaucratic restrictions to the access for life-saving medications.’’To the degree that NAMI’s campaign succeeded, the market for Lilly’s neuroscience drugs expanded. rest of article here

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