Psychiatry Handbook Linked to Drug Industry
The D.S.M. is used to diagnose a wide range of mental disorders. (Cary Conover)
More than half of the task force members who will oversee the next edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s most important diagnostic handbook have ties to the drug industry, reports a consumer watchdog group.
The Web site for Integrity in Science, a project of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, highlights the link between the drug industry and the all-important psychiatric manual, called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The handbook is the most-used guide for diagnosing mental disorders in the United States. The guide has gone through several revisions since it was first published, and the next version will be the D.S.M.-V, to be published in 2012.
The American Psychiatric Association’s Web site has posted the financial disclosure of most of the the 28 task force members who will oversee the revision of the D.S.M.
It’s not the first time the D.S.M. has been linked to the drug industry. Tufts University researchers in 2006 reported that 95 — or 56 percent — of 170 experts who worked on the 1994 edition of the manual had at least one monetary relationship with a drug maker in the years from 1989 to 2004. The percentage was higher — 100 percent in some cases — for experts who worked on sections of the manual devoted to severe mental illnesses, like schizophrenia, the study found. (For a Times story on that report, click here.)
The American Psychiatric Association allows members who work on the upcoming fifth edition of the handbook to accept money from drug firms. However, from the time of their appointment until the completion of the work, their annual individual income from industry sources cannot exceed $10,000. “We have made every effort to ensure that D.S.M.-V will be based on the best and latest scientific research, and to eliminate conflicts of interest in its development,” said Dr. Carolyn B. Robinowitz, president of the organization, in a press release.
The Integrity in Science group described the financial conflicts of interest by the task force members as ranging from “small to extensive,” including one member who over the past five years worked as a consultant for 13 drug companies, including Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Wyeth, Merck, AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb.