The editor in chief of Psychiatric Times, a leading psychiatric journal, has stepped forward to say the journal will disclose conflicts of interest that may exist within its editorial board to "help ensure fair and accurate reporting, as well as balanced and scientifically grounded opinion and commentary." Some board members have ties to universities and drugmakers. The Integrity in Science Watch program and The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors also weigh in on the disclosure topic.
There has been a lot of hand-wringing over inappropriate industry influence on psychiatrists, as psychiatry and pharma often work closely on clinical trials and drug education. Critics say docs need to disclose and cut down on these ties, while others say partnerships with drugmakers benefit patients, as long as researchers follow their institutions' conflict of interest rules. Few would argue, however, that it's become increasingly important to disclose what ties do exist--and many would recommend going above and beyond minimum conflict of interest rules to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. After all, once someone accuses you of, in essence, using children as guinea pigs to test a psych drug, your credibility is more than shot.
To learn more about this topic:
- read the Pharmalot report