March 13, 2012
“After the 1994 release of DSM-4, the APA instituted a policy requiring expert advisors to disclose drug industry ties. But the move toward transparency did little to cut down on conflicts, with nearly 70 percent of DSM-5 task force members reporting financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies—up from 57 percent for DSM-4.”
This was disclosed on ABC World News tonight (3/13/12) during the segment: “DSM-5 Criticized for Financial Conflict of Interest.” Surprised?
I’m not. As pharmaceuticals go, so goes psychiatry. (And as psychiatry goes, so does clinical psychology, mental health counseling and social work, which means millions of ordinary people are affected.)
Why would it cause problems for a DSM-5 Task Force member to disclose that he or she conducts research funded by the drug industry, or is a spokesperson for a specific drug or a paid advisor for a particular company? After all, they’re the experts! Who made them so? The APA and the pharmaceuticals, of course. It’s a self-legitimizing, self-congratulatory, pseudoscientific closed circle.
If you think this is a bit (or a lot) hyperbolic, the APA medical director and CEO James Scully said pretty much the same thing, no doubt without a trace of irony:
“We wanted to include a wide variety of scientists and researchers with a range of expertise and viewpoints in the DSM-5 process. Excluding everyone with direct or indirect funding from the industry would unreasonably limit the participation of leading mental health experts in the DSM-5 development process.”