The news just keeps getting worse for the American psychiatric community, a period in time that will, no doubt, go down in history as one of the darkest for the profession (which is why I keep writing about it in this blog). This time, it is Frederick K. Goodwin, host of the NPR radio show, “The Infinite Mind,” who is under investigation by the relentless US senator, Charles Grassley. According to the New York Times, the intrepid Republican from Iowa, who perhaps most famously exposed Emory University psychiatrist Charles Nemeroff for failing to report millions of dollars in payments from pharmaceutical companies (as reported here and here), has found that Goodwin, a one-time director of the National Institute of Mental Health and noted specialist on manic-depressive illness (now known as bipolar disorder), earned over a million dollars from Big Pharma without mentioning that fact on the show. He is said to have advanced, on his radio program, controversial psychiatric views that favored the interests of the very drug companies who paid him.
The Times has also recently run pieces on the fact that 1/3 of the budget of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) comes directly from pharmaceutical companies (here) and that there is a tussle among members of the committee that is currently writing the 5th edition of the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of the APA (DSM-V) over whether their deliberations will be open or not (here). Such transparency is supported by those who believe that it would prevent members of the committee from openly supporting particular diagnostic categories that are in the commercial interests of pharmaceutical companies that support them financially.
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More bad news for psychiatry on this front. Yesterday (24 Nov) the New York Times reported that a congressional investigation has found that Harvard child psychiatrist Joesph Biederman “pushed the [drug maker Johnson & Johnson] to finance a research center at Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston, with a goal to “move forward the commercial goals of J.& J.” The documents also show that the company prepared a draft summary of a study that Dr. Biederman, of Harvard, was said to have written.” The same investigation had earlier found that Biederman “had earned far more money from drug makers than he had reported to his university.” He had replied that he was interested “solely in the advancement of medical treatment through rigorous and objective study.” For full article, see:
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