WASHINGTON, Aug 23 (Reuters) – The U.S. National Institutes of Health revised on Tuesday its 16-year-old conflict of interest rules for medical researchers, lowering the amount of money that constitutes a financial conflict and expanding the required disclosures….Concern about the integrity of research in the United States has grown since 2008, when Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley criticized prominent Harvard University psychiatrist Dr. Joseph Biederman and others for failing to fully disclose payments from drug companies.
The American Psychiatric Association, in its 240 page guide to its May annual meeting, “forgot” to mention the conflicts of interest of its own president Alan Schatzberg, MD. It had to print them on the newsletter circulated the third day of the meeting. Nor were names even alphabetized for easy information retrieval. (Schatzberg is financially linked to Eli Lilly, GSK, Merck, Pfizer, Forest, Takeda, Sanofi-Aventis and eight other companies.)
Despite promises to cut back on Pharma funds, 56% of DSM V panel members have reported industry ties— Zero improvement over the percent of DSM-IV members.
Stephen Hinshaw, professor of psychology at the University of California at Berkeley, said marijuana is a “cognitive disorganizer” that produces roughly the same effect in users as those associated with ADHD. “The active ingredient in pot, THC, causes short-term memory problems and inattention,” Hinshaw said, “the very same things you want a medicine for ADHD to help alleviate.” However, Lester Grinspoon, emeritus professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, states,
“I’d have no hesitation of giving a youngster with ADHD a trial of oral marijuana.”