Chairman of DSM-5 Task Force & Others Belatedly Admit Conflict of Interest Related to JAMA Paper


The authors of a paper that endorses a computerized test for depression have acknowledged failure to disclose joint ownership of a company formed to bring the test to market.  Lead author Robert Gibbons had incorporated the company, registered to do business as Adaptive Testing Technologies, and issued shares in the company to David Kupfer (chairman of the DSM-5 task force) and three other co-authors prior to acceptance of the paper by JAMA Psychiatry.  The authors failed to acknowledge the conflict either in the paper or in a reply to criticism printed in JAMA.

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When is Disclosure not Disclosure? (Health Care Renewal)

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. Gee, I guess everybody suffers from memory lapses once in a while. In fact, there is probably a DSM 5 diagnosis for such memory lapses along with failure to acknowledge conflicts of interest. Why don’t we just ask the Chair of the DSM 5 Task Force David Kupfer if the new DSM 5 has a way to determine whether this kind of memory lapse is associated with serious psychiatric pathology or merely a sign of anti-social but non-pathological capitalist greed.

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  2. This kind of thing is expected from Dr. Gibbons who has made a career out of testifying and statistic-ifying that SSRIs , Neurontin, Chantix etc. do not have dangerous side effects. And Dr. Kupfer was involved in this NIMH financed commercial project during the DSM-5 Task Forces’ deliberations. In fact, he pushed the agenda to add “cross cutting” dimensions – things like anxiety and depression to the manual, things measured by these peculiar instruments they’re pushing with this product. It’s a case of Dr. Kupfer capitalizing on his role as Task Force Czar. Fortunately, the APA Trustees said “no thanks” to the “cross cutting” dimensions.

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