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Nation’s Top Shrink Calls Out Doctors For Ties To Drug Makers


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The nation’s top psychiatrist is calling on others in the profession to “transform what has become a culture of influence” surrounding financial relationships between physicians and drug companies.

In a commentary in this week’s Journal of the American Medical Association, the head of the National Institute of Mental Health, Dr. Thomas Insel, tackles head-on the perception that psychiatrists are tainted by their relationships with pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Insel says psychiatrists have a “bias in prescribing practices,” preferring brand name over generic drugs. Further, he says they too often tend to overlook treatment methods like cognitive-behavioral therapy that do not involve medication.

While not calling for an end to relationships between doctors and drug makers, Insel says psychiatrists have an opportunity to improve public trust through improved transparency.

In recent years, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, accused several psychiatrists of not disclosing potential conflicts of interest in their research, leading to questions about influence in the field.

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Comments (2 Responses)

  1. nicocoer says:

    I saw this in my local newspaper’s back pages yesterday. THANK GOODNESS someone is taking notice, this has been a real issue in the MH community for a while, to the point where this behavior is even pushed by orgs like NAMI. Not everything can just be medicated away, but from the literature that they distribute, it’s no wonder we have patient blaming behavior and the ubiquitous “Have you taken your meds/are you on meds?” BS when anyone demonstrates “irregular” behavior.

  2. sadnessaddicted says:

    Antidepressant advertising is directly targeted at manipulating normal healthy women to want to be medicated. Women must stand up to big pharma’s bullying them to over-medicate with antidepressants washing out their emotions & personalities and interfering being mothers, sisters, brothers, daughters, partners and lovers.. Women are targeted for antidepressants by big Pharma in the same way that tobacco companies targeted us 70 years ago. Drug companies are so effective at selling unhappiness to women that women take more than twice as many antidepressants as men. Like effexor Wyeth/Pfizer plans on using modern marketing techniques and direct payments to doctors to have Pristiq over prescribed instead of used based on evidence based diagnosis.

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