Saturday, September 22, 2018

Institutional corruption within the Royal College of Psychiatrists

I’ve commented before on institutional corruption within psychiatry (eg. see previous post). I’ve also pointed out how the Royal College of Psychiatrists can’t be relied on for its information about psychiatry (eg. see another previous post).

The College does need to do more to deal with institutional corruption within its own ranks. The American Psychiatric Association may be more blatantly corrupt (eg. see previous post), in that there doesn’t seem to be much attempt to hide commercial influence. However, this doesn’t mean there aren’t problems within the Royal College as well.

The College does prevent pharmaceutical company influence within College meetings. But many of the speakers have a conflict of interest. Declaring conflict of interests, even if it does make matters more transparent and honest, is insufficient to deal with the issue of conflict of interests (see previous post). If one thinks about it, declaring conflict of interests doesn’t purify the content of College meetings. In fact it does the reverse.

Peter Gordon’s campaign to make disclosing of payments from drug companies mandatory may help (see BMJ news item), but ultimately it’s up to the Royal College of Psychiatrists to deal with institutional corruption within its own organisation. The problem is that I don’t think the College agrees that conflict of interests compromises the work of its representatives.


Peter Gordon said...

Dear Duncan,
I have corresponded with the Royal College of Psychiatrists over many years about this. Over this time I have also communicated (generally one-way) with the British Association of Psychopharmacology (BA) about their governance of competing financial interests.

It is my view that both RCPsych and BAP introduced changes as a result of my “activism”.

However, I was completely excluded in the development of the systems that they introduced: systems that and my view, significantly fall short of necessary transparency.

Not one Royal College has yet supported Sunshine legislation.

aye Peter

cobweb said...

The BMJ is also culpable - eg the pathetic responses to the Cochrane scandal by Trish Greenhaugh and others. 'cut them some slack' - change that to let them off the hook would be more honest. That despite pompous statements re
conflicts of interest massive funding is gained from adverts by drug companies on thebmj site. susanne

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