Psychiatry’s Harmful Conflicts of Interest

Subtitled “Sunshine” legislation is ineffective against widespread financial entanglement, this article from Dr. Christopher Lane is written within an American context and has been published in Psychology Today. It begins:

“When Congress passed the Physician Payments Sunshine Act in 2010, the new law was meant to ‘provide for transparency‘ in the relationship between healthcare providers and pharmaceutical manufacturers. It required drug makers to disclose direct payments to physicians and to help uncover conflicts of interest. At stake was a principle of self-correction in medicine free from the taint and bias of commercial interests.

A recent report on the latest seven years of data (2014-20) submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) joins mounting evidence that the legislation has not been successful. Instead, the report concludes, ‘the most remarkable result of the Open Payments legislation is that the pharmaceutical companies are no longer attempting to hide this financial influence.’

In Anatomy of an Industry, a 39-page report published earlier this week by Mad in America, lead author Robert Whitaker, co-author of the 2015 study Psychiatry Under the Influence, singles out the legislation as a false panacea. The legislation gives an illusion of transparency and accountability in fields where conflicts of interest (COIs) are, in fact, endemic, and drug studies are routinely conducted by company authors with direct financial incentives in the drug’s approval …”

You can read more from here.

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