Article analyses five cases exposed by Senator Chuck Grassley of eight psychiatrists under-reporting pharmaceutical company earnings to their academic medical centers and the National Institute of Health. The concern is that these conflicts of interest affect promotion of a drug and are not taken into account when research funding is allocated.
It is difficult to know how generalisable these cases are or whether psychiatry is more problematic than other specialities. The article questions whether transparency in physician-industry exchanges is sufficient. Apart from the emotional consequences, the psychiatrists in these cases escaped largely unscathed. Only one academic medical center had its research funding affected. The NIH seems reluctant to intervene and the head of NIMH helped one of the worst violators avoid serious consequences, for which he later apologised (see The Chronicle of Higher Education article). The problem is endemic in the system.