18 of 20 psychiatrists writing treatment guidelines have financial ties to pharmaceutical industry
Bostom.com reported last week that ethics researchers investigating physician-pharmaceutical ties found that treatment guidelines for depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia were written by doctors with significant financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry. These three common diagnoses generate some $25 billion dollars in drug sales, annually, and the 20 authors of the treatment guidelines had significant entanglements with the industry. 12 of the authors had ties in at least three categories, including consulting, research grants, speaking fees or stock ownership.
18 of the 20 authors had financial ties in at least one area. Dr. Roy Perlis, a consultant who helped author bipolar guidelines, received consulting or speaker's fees from AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmith Kline and Pfizer. Editors at the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association have made repeated calls for reform to eliminate these direct conflicts of interest. In particular guidelines, the new study found that all of the bipolar and schizophrenia authors had financial ties to the drug industries, while 60 percent of the depression authors had such ties. Three-quarters of authors received research money, while one-third of authors served on drug company "speakers' bureaus."