“Minerva” is the name of a project announced earlier this year by the once and future US Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, to have the Pentagon fund social science research in support of the American “War on Terror.” (Minerva was the ancient Roman goddess of wisdom. Hegel once pessimistically declared that “The owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of the dusk.” That is, we only achieve wisdom once it is too late.) Continue reading US Military Funds Social Science (again)
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. Continue reading Psychiatrist Radio-Host Under Investigation
American psychiatry and government drug oversight bodies came under attack again this week when a panel of federal drug experts concluded that “powerful antipsychotic medicines are being used far too cavalierly in children, and federal drug regulators must do more to warn doctors of their substantial risks.”
The New York Times article about the panel’s report noted that:
More than 389,000 children and teenagers were treated last year with Risperdal, one of five popular medicines known as atypical antipsychotics. Of those patients, 240,000 were 12 or younger, according to data presented to the committee. In many cases, the drug was prescribed to treat attention deficit disorders. Continue reading Anti-psychotic Drugs, Kids, Gov’t (and Money)
Mind Hacks has a good piece on the current negotiations over how much transparency there will be to the development of the forthcoming (May, 2012) 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-V) of the American Psychiatric Association. At stake is whether anyone apart from the DSM writing committee itself will know how much pressure is being brought to bear on the authors by pharmaceutical companies, which have a vested interest in diagnosable conditions being included in the Manual for which they claim to have specific treatments (i.e., billions of dollars are at stake). One of the major criticisms of the last edition of the DSM was that several of the authors had deep entanglements with major pharmaceutical companies, leading to questions about possible conflicts of interest.
Here is the official DSM-V website.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has published a detailed report on Dr. Charles Nemeroff, the prominent Emory University psychiatrist whose close connections to pharmaceutical companies have led the U.S. Senate to investigate his activities.
U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Finance Committee, recently released documents indicating that Nemeroff earned millions of dollars from drug companies but reported little of that money to Emory, a possible violation of federal and university disclosure rules. Much of the money came from speeches, consulting fees and positions on boards.
Nemeroff generates such divided opinions that he has become the subject of a number of polarized descriptions: Continue reading More on Psychiatrist’s Ties to Big Pharma