Despite updated standards requiring preregistration of clinical trials aimed at improving transparency, most studies published in the top-5 psychiatry journals from 2009 to 2013 do not meet the new guidelines, according to an analysis published in PloS one. More →
Paul Thacker and Charles Seife provide an update on the ongoing battles over transparency in science, writing for the PLOS Biologue blog. While transparency is important for accountability and the public trust, some have begun to argue that requests for personal communications between companies and researchers have gone too far.
A study in PLoS One shows that the number of National Heart Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) funded drug trials reporting positive results declined precipitously after the implementation of the clinicaltrials.gov registry, which requires researchers to record their trial methods and outcome measures before collecting data. Of the 55 studies examined, 57% percent of those published before the implementation of clinicaltrials.gov in 2000 yielded a positive result. After 2000, only eight percent of trials claimed a significant benefit to the intervention examined.
Robert Whitaker and Lisa Cosgrove discuss their new book Psychiatry Under the Influence in an interview with psychologist and social critic Bruce Levine for Truthout. In the book, Whitaker and Cosgrove apply the institutional corruption framework, developed by Larry Lessig, to psychiatry and determine that “just as elected officials develop dependency on special interests and become beholden to these funders instead of the citizenry,” psychiatry has “had its social mission subverted by drug companies as well as by the psychiatry guild's self-preservation and expansionism needs.”
Bloomberg reports that, "Adults in the U.S. have overtaken children in taking medication for the condition and accounted for 53 percent of the industrywide 63 million prescriptions for ADHD drugs last year, according to data compiled by Shire Plc, which makes the top-selling Vyvanse treatment. That compared with 39 percent in 2007, the Dublin-based drugmaker said." More →
1 Boring Old Man links to a recent US Congressional Research Service report, "The Mental Health Workforce: A Primer." It reviews various sources of information on how many different types of mental health workers there are and how much money they earn. More →
A study of randomized controlled trials that have been published in four leading behavioral health journals found that new requirements for registering of trials does not seem to be improving trial design or transparency. The study appeared in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research. More →
In the British Medical Journal, three former editors of the New England Journal of Medicine criticize the NEJM for its recent publication of a series of articles downplaying conflicts of interest in medicine and psychiatry. The former editors describe the articles as a "seriously flawed and inflammatory attack on conflict of interest policies and regulations." More →
The Lown Institute's RightCare Weekly newsletter has gathered a variety of articles and posts -- both supportive and critical -- in response to four New England Journal of Medicine articles suggesting that concerns about conflict of interest are overblown. "Rarely does a medical journal series... incite such astonishment from us..." the special edition of the newsletter begins. "For the most prominent journal of American medicine to offer so much precious real estate for arguments that are half-baked and tendentious is amazing." More →
Richmond Pharmacology, a company that conducts clinical drug trials for pharmaceutical companies, is taking legal action against the UK Health Research Authority to try to halt government efforts to bring greater public transparency to drug trials, reported The Guardian. More →
1 Boring Old Man reflects on his frequent use of expletives in response to a series of New England Journal of Medicine articles downplaying conflicts of interest in medicine and psychiatry. And an NEJM "Reader Poll" on the topic describes physicians in different potential conflict-of-interest scenarios, and asks which of the physicians should be allowed to publish scientific reviews. The ongoing poll results are publicly displayed. More →
International Baby Food Action Network and Baby Milk Action have posted an update on the World Health Organization's moves towards developing tighter ties with corporations through its new Framework of Engagement with non-State Actors. The News Minute also covers the developing story. More →
The US government's Centers for Disease Control have been taking millions of dollars in drug company money in recent years, according to a news report in The British Medical Journal. Researchers in America and around the world expressed shock, and asked how the funding has been influencing CDC actions and decisions. More →
The American Psychiatric Foundation has announced the launch of a national collaborative initiative to move people from jails into psychiatric care. The Foundation is the philanthropic and educational arm of the American Psychiatric Association. It's "Corporate Advisory Council" and major contributors are all pharmaceutical companies. More →
The New York Times reported on a lawsuit against the FDA by Amarin, the manufacturer of a prescription omega-3 fatty acid derivative. The company wants the right to tell physicians about benefits of its drug which the FDA has not approved. More →
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has announced that drug companies must start publicly releasing information about different types of payments to Australia's physicians, reported The Saturday Paper. More →
The editor of the Australian Medical Association's main medical journal was fired after he voiced concerns about governance changes that he felt endangered the journal's scientific and editorial independence. Others involved with the publication then resigned. More →
The US Food and Drug Administration has requested that the drug manufacturer Otsuka "immediately cease" distributing some of its educational materials for its top-selling antipsychotic Abilify. Otsuka's "pharmacology aid" documents suggest that Abilify helps modulate serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain, which the FDA called "misleading." More →
WSJ Pharmalot reported on the case of two psychiatrists who took money from a pharmaceutical company, and then did not disclose it when they were trying to convince state legislators to put the company's antipsychotic drug Seroquel XR on the state formulary. More →
There is a global pandemic of counterfeit medications occurring, and the worst part is that no one knows the true scale or level of risk of the problem, according to 17 articles published in a special edition of The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Collectively, teams of researchers from around the world, including from the US government, tested 17,000 drug samples and found that up to 41% failed to meet quality standards. More →
On Canada's popular national CBC radio program The Sunday Edition, psychiatrist Jeffrey Lieberman today described Robert Whitaker as "a menace to society." Lieberman is the Chairman of Psychiatry at Columbia University, a former head of the American Psychiatric Association and author of the new book Shrinks: The Untold Story of Psychiatry. Whitaker is the publisher of this website, whose 2010 book Anatomy of an Epidemic focused on what science is showing about the long-term effects of psychiatric medications. More →
Copyright © 2015 Mad In America Inc.