Friday, September 08, 2006

A Step in the Right Direction or Just Window Dressing?

The American Journal of Psychiatry just chimed in on the reporting of author conflicts of interest and they seem to be moving toward taking a harder line.

"Many people do not believe that they are influenced by pharmaceutical industry funding and therefore do not see a need for self-disclosure of other funding. However, as the reaction to the JAMA article illustrates, our credibility as a field requires complete disclosure of authors'’ sources of income from the pharmaceutical and biomedical industry."

"Given the absence of a standard for the influence of pharmaceutical companies in our practice, it is not surprising that we do not have one for our journals. Indeed, the journals would seem to be ahead of medical practice, since most of us do not disclose to our patients the extent to which we have had interactions with the companies from whom we ask them to buy their medications"

BUT...

"Consultation with the pharmaceutical industry for meaningful research and clinical purposes, not just for marketing goals, needs to continue to ensure that the enormous investment of the pharmaceutical companies in the development of new drugs is spent for the best purposes. "

My View: The track record of academic psychiatrists in steering the drug companies toward spending their R & D on the "best purposes" isn't too impressive. We'll see if this latest move toward openness in journals is anything more than PR.

Full text available here:

2 comments:

J Christiansen said...

Your blog is going great so far - and you have readers! It is not only the professors who are helping to send psychiatry into the gutter - it's the universities that employ them. I hope you are going to discuss why academic psychiatrists are doing what they are doing. Your sidebar link
www.scientific-misconduct.blogspot.com

is a phenomenal (but frighteningly normal) case study of deviance in the academy.

CL Psych said...

I will continue to try to shine some light in similar directions. As universities receive less public funding, they turn toward sometimes more nefarious sources...