Back on November 17 we wrote a short item on the current battle over how much transparency there would be in the process by which the forthcoming 5th edition of the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-V) is assembled. What is at stake is the level of influence that pharmaceutical companies will have on the people who decide which the psychiatric conditions (and their pharmacological treatments) will be insurable. In short, billions and billions of dollars are at stake. Today the New York Times published an article on the same topic.
(UPDATE – 19 Nov 11:50EST): On the issue of pharmaceutical industry influence, the article says:
Scientists who accepted the invitation to work on the new manual — a prestigious assignment — agreed to limit their income from drug makers and other sources to $10,000 a year for the duration of the job. “That’s more conservative” than the rules at many agencies and universities, [APA research director and DSM task force co-chair] Dr. [ Darrel A.] Regier said. This being the diagnostic manual, where virtually every sentence is likely to be scrutinized, critics have said that the policy is not strict enough. They have long suspected that pharmaceutical money subtly influences authors’ decisions. Industry influence was questioned after a surge in diagnoses of bipolar disorder in young children. Once thought to affect only adults and adolescents, the disorder in children was recently promoted by psychiatrists on drug makers’ payrolls.