Ethics Controversy Surrounds DSM Update
Experts are busy compiling a new edition of the leading guide to psychiatric disorders. But some in the field are raising red flags because many of the experts tasked with revising the manual receive money from drug companies, which could stand to profit from how the guide is written.
The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is expected in 2012. The book serves as a bible for mental health professionals and is often relied on to determine if a condition is worthy of insurance coverage or not. Already, 160 of the country’s leading psychiatrists are busy determining what should be included.
This is the first time that the American Psychiatric Association, which publishes the manual, has required those working on it to disclose their financial ties to drug companies. And 68 percent of them have some financial link.
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Representatives of the association insist that professionals can remain unbiased despite ties to pharmaceutical companies, which often pay for psychiatrists’ research.
Critics argue that even slight changes to the definition of a condition can prove beneficial to those who profit from treatment methods. And with many of those working on the DSM revision also serving on corporate boards or holding stock in drug companies, critics say it’s unreasonable to suggest that they could be unbiased, reports USA Today. To read more click here.