Saturday, July 12, 2008


NY Times. After a series of stinging investigations of individual doctors' arrangements with drug makers, Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, is demanding that the American Psychiatric Association, the field's premier professional organization, give an accounting of its financing. . .

"I have come to understand that money from the pharmaceutical industry can shape the practices of nonprofit organizations that purport to be independent in their viewpoints and actions," Mr. Grassley said Thursday in a letter to the association.

In 2006, the latest year for which numbers are available, the drug industry accounted for about 30 percent of the association's $62.5 million in financing. About half of that money went to drug advertisements in psychiatric journals and exhibits at the annual meeting, and the other half to sponsor fellowships, conferences and industry symposiums at the annual meeting.

This weekend in Chicago, the psychiatry association's board will meet behind closed doors, in part to discuss how to respond to the increasingly intense scrutiny and questions about conflicts of interest


At July 12, 2008 9:55 AM, Anonymous m said...

Having pharmaceutical companies have exhibits at conventions and advertising in journals can be problematic in terms of influence, but it is not an unreasonable or indeed likely to be fetterable.

The practices of giving dinners, dinner chits, items of value, vacations, tickets, personal green dollars, indirect bribery, research and publishing support, as well as the continual inundation of endless advertising on pens, pads, novelties and other chotchkies are all much more serious concerns.

Advertising, where it is isolated and readily identified as such, is relatively easily dealt with. When it becomes an invasive part of the environment it works all too well. Narcissistic types might not believe it, but the empirical evidence is there. If MDs, JDs, et al, believe they are above such influences, they should hear what their stock brokers, car dealers and detail persons (pharmaceutical reps) say about them.


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