- News Home
24 April 2014 11:45 am ,
Vol. 344 ,
Major climate data sets have underestimated the rate of global warming in the last 15 years owing largely to poor data...
The tsetse fly is best known as the vector for the trypanosome parasites that cause sleeping sickness and a disease in...
The National Institutes of Health is revising its "two strikes" rule, which allowed researchers only one chance to...
By stabilizing the components of retromers, molecular complexes that act like recycling bins in cells, a recently...
Fossil fuels power modern society by generating heat, but much of that heat is wasted. Semiconductor devices called...
Researchers are gaining insights into what made Supertyphoon Haiyan so powerful and devastating through post-storm...
Millions around the world got a first-hand look at what it was like to be in Tacloban while it was pummeled by...
- 24 April 2014 11:45 am , Vol. 344 , #6182
- About Us
NIH's Mental Health Chief Speaks Out on Drug Money in Psychiatry
24 March 2010 2:25 pm
Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, weighs in this week on financial conflicts in psychiatry, decrying a "culture of influence" from drug companies. In a commentary in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Insel points to allegations since 2007 by Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) that seven academic psychiatrists--some with NIMH research funding—failed to disclose income from industry.
Insel first wonders if Grassley is unfairly picking on psychiatrists. Is the conflicts problem "worse for psychiatrists or are psychiatrists just an easy target?" he asks. Reviewing disclosures data and surveys, he finds that it's not clear whether "academicpsychiatrists receive more or disclose less" than other medical colleagues.
But it is clear that ties to companies are "prevalent," he finds. For example, 90% of psychiatrists writing treatment guidelines had undisclosed industry ties. Moreover, psychiatrists tend to favor brand-name drugs over cheaper generics and shun non-drug treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy, Insel says. That, too, is "not unique to psychiatry" but "in no way diminishes the severity of the problem."
What should be done? NIH is tightening its financial disclosure rules, Insel notes. But he also calls for the field to "take the lead" and "turn the tables of public trust by developinga culture of transparency for psychiatry's collaborations withindustry." The health bill signed into law this week will aid Insel's cause by requiring drug companies to report their payments to physicians for posting in a public database.