American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)

The AFSP was started in 1987. Columbia University psychiatrist David Shaffer, inventor of the disgraced TeenScreen program, is a past president of and currently sits on the board of directors of ASFP. GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Solvay Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson have members on AFSP’s board.[1]

Charles Nemeroff—under Senate investigation for his undisclosed $1.2 million earned from Pharma—has served on the AFSP’s national board of directors since 1999 and has “been a member of the Foundation’s Scientific Council for more than 10 years.” He was chair of the Council in 2007 and then elected president in January 2008.[2]

  • Eli Lilly’s first quarter grant report for 2009 shows it funds AFSP.[3]
  • The AFSP’s own 2008 Annual Report shows a grant of $100,000 from the Lilly Foundation. It also lists grants of between $50,000 and $99,999, from antidepressant makers, Lilly, Pfizer and Wyeth, between $25,000 and $49,999 from Forest Labs, and between $10,000 and $24,000 from Solvay.[4]
  • Solvay has provided at least $1.2 million in the AFSP’s effort to build up a $5 million research fund and Pfizer has contributed funding for surveys. Some of Shaffer’s suicide surveys are made financially possible through an educational grant from Pfizer.[5]
  • GSK and Janssen Pharmaceutical have all also funded different conferences held by AFSP.[6]


  • Charles F. Reynolds, M.D., President: Professor of Geriatric Psychiatry and professor of neurology and neuroscience; Senior Associate Dean University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine University of Pittsburgh. Recipient of a NIMH Research Scientist Award, an “Exemplary Psychiatrist Award” from NAMI, serves as director and principal investigator of the NIMH-sponsored “Advanced Center for Interventions and Services Research in Late Life Mood Disorders,” is the associate editor of the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and has previously served on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Psychiatry and of Neuropsychopharmacology.[7] He’s on the DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) Task Force, Chair of Sleep-Wake Disorders Work Group and disclosed significant financial interests with GSK, Forest, Pfizer, BMS, Eli Lilly, and Wyeth.[8]
  • David Norton, Vice Chair: Group Chairman of Johnson & Johnson since 2006. Prior to this, his 30-year career at J & J includes company group chairman for the pharmaceutical businesses in North America and Canada in 2001, and then company group chairman for Europe, Middle East, and Africa.[9]

Directors include:

  • J. Raymond DePaulo Jr., M.D., Executive Committee Member: Director Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Psychiatrist-in-Chief, The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Principal investigator in many research projects funded by NIMH. Also serves on advisory boards of NARSAD and is a founding director of the Depression and Related Affective Disorders Association (DRADA).[10] Member, DSM-V Review Task Force, member of the Mood Disorders Work Group. He disclosed significant interest in the Stanley Foundation for the DSM disclosures.[11]
  • Dwight L. Evans, M.D., Executive Committee Member: Professor of Psychiatry, Medicine, and Neuroscience University of Pennsylvania.[12] He has received grant/research support from NIMH and is a consultant for Abbott Labs, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Otsuka, Eli Lilly, Forest, Neuronetics, Pamlab, LLC, and Wyeth.[13]
  • Jan A. Fawcett, M.D.: Department of Psychiatry of the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. Chair of the Mood Disorders Work Group of the DSM-V Task Force, whose members were the subject of a study exposing the conflicts of interest with the pharmaceutical industry. He also sits on the Scientific Advisory Board for Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, and NARSAD. He discloses financial affiliations with Abbott Labs, Alphapharm, Eli Lilly, Merck and has been an expert witness in cases involving pharmaceutical companies.[14]
  • Kelly Posner, Ph.D.: Director of the Center for Suicide Risk Assessment, Columbia University and Principal Investigator, Columbia University/FDA Classification Project for Drug Safety Analyses.[15] She headed the FDA-organized Columbia University review of antidepressant studies to determine if they could cause children to commit suicide and was a non-voting member of the FDA panel that heard evidence of this in a September 2004 hearing.[16] While Posner claimed the Columbia team had conducted “the first analysis to show a relationship between suicide attempts and one of the antidepressants” she added, “It’s not clear that the drug caused the behavior.” Posner has received research support from GSK, Forest, Eisai, Z Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson, Abbott Labs, Wyeth-Ayerst Research, Organon USA, BMS, Sanofi-Aventis, Cephalon, Novartis, Shire and UCB Pharma.[17]
  • Philip Satow: Co-founder of The Jed Foundation, has more than 30 years of sales and marketing experience in pharmaceuticals at Forest Labs and Pfizer. He is both the former President of Forest Pharmaceuticals, inc. and Executive Vice President of Forest Laboratories, inc., its parent.[18]
  • Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D.: Professor of Psychiatry, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also on the Board of the Depressive and Bipolar Support Alliance and received the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Research Award (1996).[19] She has financial disclosures with Abbott Labs, Solvay, GSK, Eli Lilly, and AstraZeneca.[20]
  • Philip T. Ninan, M.D.: Vice President for Neuroscience, Global Medical Affairs at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and a mouthpiece for Wyeth’s antidepressant Pristiq.[21] He has received grants/research money from Cephalon, Cyberonics, Eli Lilly, Forest, GSK, Janssen, Solvay, UCB Pharma, and Wyeth. He’s a consultant for Cephalon, Eli Lilly, Forest, Solvay, UCB Pharma and Wyeth, and speaker/lecturer for Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cephalon, Forest, GSK, Janssen and Wyeth.[22]
  • Andrew Slaby, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H.: Clinical professor of psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine, and an adjunct professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, New York Medical College. He is also past president of the American Association of Suicidology.[23] He is a consultant to and on the speaker’s bureaus of AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Forest, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, and Wyeth.[24]