Two lawsuits have been filed, in California and New Jersey, asserting that Novartis, the makers of Ritalin, and the American Psychiatric Association (APA) conspired to create a market for the compound. These follow a class action lawsuit launched in Texas last May by the Dallas law firm Waters and Kraus, which alleged:
"Ciba/Novartis planned, conspired and colluded to create, develop and promote the diagnoses of Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in a highly successful effort to increase the market for its product Ritalin."Furthermore: "The American Psychiatric Association (APA) conspired, colluded and cooperated with the other Defendants while taking financial contributions from Ciba as well as other members of the pharmaceutical industry. . ."
Mr Richard Scruggs, one of the lawyers in the class actions, said that the defendants "manufactured a disease. It has been grossly overprescribed. It is a huge risk" (BMJ, 2000; 321: 723).
The APA issued a statement in July saying: "Allegations that the (APA) conspired with others to create the diagnoses of [ADD and ADHD] as part of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual so that medication could be used to treat these disorders are ludicrous and totally false. The APA will defend itself vigorously by presenting a mountain of scientific evidence to refute these meritless allegations, and we are confident that we will prevail."
The US support group CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder/Hyperactivity Disorder), which strongly advocates the use of Ritalin and is partially funded by drug firms, is also cited in the class action. For further details, see www.ritalinfraud.com.