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Boom-de-yadda
There were never any "good old days" — they are today, they are tomorrow
Care for a little conflict of interest with that antidepressant? 
20th-Apr-2006 08:46 am
depression
From an article in today's SF Chronicle:
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.

Of the 170 experts who contributed to the manual that defines disorders ranging from personality problems to drug addiction, more than half had such ties, including 100 percent of the experts who served on work groups on mood disorders such as depression and psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. The analysis did not reveal the extent of their relationships with industry ties or whether they preceded or followed their work on the manual.
Comments 
20th-Apr-2006 06:10 pm (UTC)
Well, who else would pay for the studies?

It's much like the way a lot of tobacco studies were funded by the tobacco industry...

(and, yes, it's horribly wrong, because it takes a really strong personality to come up with results they don't want, and the companies can easily just bury those reports...)
20th-Apr-2006 06:35 pm (UTC)
My criticism is not so much for the funding of the research (although that is a problem that really needs to be addressed) as with the lack of disclosure. Having worked in medical research and having done grant preparation, there's no excuse for not disclosing something that even appears like a possible conflict of interest. Caesar's wife and all, you know.

There was talk some time ago of passing some sort of law or regulation of research or something that would allow pharmaceutical companies to continue to fund research, but would mandate that study results be published REGARDLESS of whether they were favorable or unfavorable to the funder. I don't know what if anything happened with that.
21st-Apr-2006 02:38 am (UTC)
Oh, there are probably disclaimers in the grant applications that say "you cannot tell anyone who paid you to do this". But you are right, it should be public knowledge.

I had not heard of that legislation before, but I would offer ten to one odds it was blocked and never made it anywhere. It would be tricky to enforce as well, unless the researcher was stern of soul and financially stable.
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