Tags: Psychiatry | Manual | May | Twisted

Psychiatry Manual May Be Twisted

Thursday, 20 April 2006 12:00 AM

The key textbook for modern psychiatry, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM), may be filled with biased and questionable information, according to a disturbing new study from the University of Massachusetts.

The manual, sponsored by the American Psychiatric Association's diagnosis manual, is relied on by most psychiatrists, and is used as the basis for insurance payments for psychiatric treatments, including drugs.

But the new study, published in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, found that a majority of the medical experts who created the DSM have hidden financial links to the makers of psychiatric drugs.

Overall, the study found, out of the 170 medical experts who created the most recent editions of the manual, the DSM-IV, 56% had one or more financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

"This is one of the most important medical documents we have in this country, yet the public doesn't have relevant information about the experts involved in developing and revising it," said Sheldon Krimsky, a Tufts University professor and co-author of the study.

Of particular concern, Krimsky said, is the finding that 100 percent of the experts on DSM-IV panels overseeing "mood disorders" and "schizophrenia/psychotic disorders" were financially involved with the drug industry. These are the largest categories of psychiatric drugs in the world with 2004 sales of $20.3 billion and $14.4 billion respectively.

Further, the study found that more than 80 percent of panel members for "anxiety disorders," "eating disorders," "medication-induced movement disorders" and "premenstrual dysphonic disorder" had financial ties.

"The more lucrative the drug market, the higher the percentage of experts with financial ties--that has to raise serious questions about these panels' objectivity," commented David Rothman, professor of social medicine at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons.

The American Psychiatric Associating (APA) defended the manual.

"Psychiatrists rely on the APA to police its activities, and we take that responsibility very seriously," association psychiatrist Darrel Regier said. The next edition, scheduled for release in 2011, will disclose all industry financial ties to panel members, he said.

The Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association responded, in a statement by spokesman Ken Johnson, that the health care professionals on these panels "have impeccable integrity and base their decisions on independent judgments and research."

However, critics are not satisfied.

"I don't think that's good enough -- people don't poke around in the latest issue looking for conflict-of-interest statements," said physician Peter Lurie of Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group based in Washington, D.C.

Lurie said the DSM should be created by experts without any financial links to drug manufacturers.

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The key textbook for modern psychiatry, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM), may be filled with biased and questionable information, according to a disturbing new study from the University of Massachusetts. The manual, sponsored by the...
Psychiatry,Manual,May,Twisted
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2006-00-20
Thursday, 20 April 2006 12:00 AM
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