Thursday, April 20, 2006

Putting their mouth where their money is

This is interesting, particularly at a time when psychiatric disorders are more and more being treated with drugs rather than traditional therapy and also when the diagnoses of mental disorders starts as early as kindergarten age children.
Every psychiatric expert involved in writing the standard diagnostic criteria for disorders such as depression and schizophrenia has had financial ties to drug companies that sell medications for those illnesses, a new analysis has found.
We're talking about the bible of disagnotic criteria here, that every professional shrink relies on in making their diagnosis. The experts of course claim their financial ties to big pharma have no influence on their recommended course of drug treatments.
"It shouldn't be assumed there is a true conflict of interest," said Kane, who said his panel's conclusions were driven only by science. "To me, a conflict of interest implies that someone's judgment is going to be influenced by this relationship, and that is not necessarily the case. . . ."
Right. It's just human nature to make decisions based on what won't benefit you and your benefactors that financed your research grant. I find it hard to believe they can't come up with experts who aren't making money on both sides of the fence. It seems more likely these experts get on these panels in the first place because of their connections, no despite of them.

Astounding there's no disclosure requirement so doctors relying on the information are likely to be unaware of the potential conflict of interest. I might suggest it's time to institute one.


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