Two essays published in separate periodicals this week raise troubling questions about the extent to which psychiatrists may be unduly influenced by the pharmaceutical industry, and how this relationship may effect public trust in psychiatry. The upshot? The concern about corruption, or at least the appearance of corruption is palpable. Sigmund Freud (see photo) would not be pleased. Interestingly, one of the authors is Tom Insel, the director of the National Institute of Mental Health.
Critics say there’s a damaging conflict of interest with the financial ties between drug companies and experts who are revising the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), as well as guidelines on the best treatments. This question has been a big topic of debate not just in scientific and academic journals it also concerns the public welfare.