Financial conflicts of interest in psychiatry

World Psychiatry. 2007 Feb;6(1):19-24.


The issue of conflicts of interest has brought clinical medicine to an unprecedented crisis of credibility. The situation of psychiatry does not appear to be different from other areas of medicine. The problems caused by the increasing financial ties between the pharmaceutical industry and researchers and clinicians can be addressed only by a complex effort encompassing both the establishment of lines of support of independent researchers who are free of substantial conflicts of interest and better disclosure policies and conduct regulations as to financial ties. Such effort requires a bold shift from current, largely inadequate strategies. In the long run it may entail, however, substantial advantages to patients, clinicians, researchers, the health industry and the civil society at large. Psychiatry, in view of its humanistic and social roots, may lead this effort.