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Boston Globe
Firms Tied to some MDs who set Policy
Treatment Advice Focuses on Drugs, Researchers Find
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Boston Globe
Firms Tied to some MDs who set Policy
Treatment Advice Focuses on Drugs, Researchers Find

By Carey Goldberg
April 2, 2009

Virtually all the psychiatrists who wrote the latest clinical guidelines for how to treat depression, bipolar disorder, and
schizophrenia had financial ties to drug companies, according to preliminary findings by Boston-based researchers.

Their study is the first to examine potential conflicts of interest in the American Psychiatric Association panels that write
the treatment guidelines widely used by practitioners, the paper's authors said.

The guidelines focus heavily on medications and give relatively little attention to nondrug treatments and how and when
to phase out drugs prescribed for mentally ill patients, the authors wrote. They said three common diagnoses generate
some $25 billion in drug sales per year.

"Most patients assume that when they're prescribed a drug, the decision is made on the basis of an objective review of
the scientific evidence," said the paper's lead author, Lisa Cosgrove of the University of Massachusetts at Boston.
"However, our study raises the question: Is that decision based in science, or is there a financial incentive behind it?
This is an important question because the lack of biological tests for mental disorders renders psychiatry especially
vulnerable to industry influence." ...

The study, scheduled to be published online this month in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, found that
among 20 authors of the guidelines, 18 had at least one financial tie to drug companies. It did not name names or
specify sums, but found that 12 guideline authors had ties in at least three categories, such as consulting, research
grants, speaking fees, or stock ownership.

To find financial ties, Cosgrove and her colleagues, who included Sheldon Krimsky of Tufts University and Dr. Harold
Bursztajn of Harvard Medical School, searched publicly accessible databases such as Medline and the records of the
federal patent office.

Continued here: http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/04/02/firms_tied_to_some_mds_who_set_policy/?page=2

28,339  Signatures Against TeenScreen. Petition: www.petitiononline.com/TScreen/petition.html   
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See related issues
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  3. The "Business" of Drugs: Not to be outdone by Eli Lilly, Pfizer raises the Settlement Bar on Criminal Off Label Marketing of Drugs to
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  5. The "Business" of Drugs: Seroquel's Falsified Studies Exposed
  6. The "Business" of Drugs: Pharmaceutical "Cocktails" Found in Fish Near Major U.S. Cities
  7. The "Business" of Drugs: What it takes to spur the FDA into ACTION
  8. WINHS UPDATE: The European Court of Justice, Following EU Food Supplements Directive Mandates, Takes on Food  
    Supplement Health Claims
  9. CANADIAN FOOD SUPPLEMENTS ALERT: Canadian Consumer Product Safety Act  Bill C-6 Launched
  11. Conflicts for FDA committee set to weigh risks of Seroquel
  12. Firms Tied to some MDs who set Policy Treatment Advice Focuses on Drugs
  13. FDA Demands Pharma Stops 'Misleading' Ads on Google, Yahoo
  14. Grassley Probes Financing of Advocacy Group for Mental Health.
  15. Psychiatry's Prescription For Violence.

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