Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Editor's Choice

Turning the tide on conflicts of interest

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 10 August 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d5147

Rapid Response:

The narrative of harm

In my time in psychiatry the drug industry has been the market driver
behind our continuing education. This is still the case.

It is surely a bogus argument to insist that research and
understanding can only properly progress through the support of the
pharmaceutical industry. I would contest that my understanding today,
through my own graft and wide reading, is in advance of most of my
colleagues who go to International pharma sponsered meetings.

It has been sad to witness 'biobabble' as ridiculous as the
'psychobabble' it replaced. Here the simplification of life has resulted
and our vulnerable elderly have been particularly susceptible e.g
widespread prescriptions of antipsychotics for 'challenging behaviour.' If
you remain in doubt look to America and see what is happening to children
and their 'challenging behaviour.'

The debate will go on. However I fully support our Editor that we
should not back-track on conflicts of interest.

Competing interests: No competing interests

09 September 2011
Peter J. Gordon
Old Age Psychiatrist