Nothing new for most of us who read this blog, but maybe it will catch the eye of someone who’s not heard of this crap before.
Most of the psychiatrists on the American Psychiatric Association panels who wrote the newest clinical guidelines for how to treat depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia had financial ties to drug companies, according to a study by Boston researchers scheduled to be published this month in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, the Boston Globe reports.
For the study, Lisa Cosgrove of the University of Massachusetts-Boston and colleagues, including Sheldon Krimsky of Tufts University and Harold Bursztajn of Harvard Medical School, searched publicly accessible databases such as Medline and the records of the federal patent office to identify financial ties. According to the study, 18 of the 20 authors of the guidelines had at least one financial tie to drug companies. Twelve authors had ties in at least three categories, such as consulting, research grants, speaking fees or stock ownership, the study found. In addition, the study found that all of the authors of schizophrenia and bipolar guidelines had relationships with the drug industry, while 60% of the authors of the depression guidelines had such connections. According to the study, more than 75% of the authors received funding for research from drug companies. In addition, one-third of the authors served on the speakers’ bureaus of drug companies, the study shows.
The study authors wrote that the guidelines focus heavily on medications and give little focus to nondrug treatments. The guidelines also do not focus on the time and process of removing mentally ill patients from prescription drugs, the study found. Three common diagnoses result in around $25 billion in drug sales annually, according to the study. (emphasis mine)
The psychiatric association now requires psychiatrists who write guidelines to publish their financial ties to drug companies, but the rule did not exist when the current guidelines for depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia were published in 2004 and 2005. (read the rest)
If this sort of stuff is news to you I highly recommend you read the comments at the end of this piece that is linked to above.