Pharmaceuticals Anonymous

Friday, August 21, 2009

How Pharma Giants are Getting Rich by Calling Our Life Problems Medical Disorders

Voodoo diagnostics are major mojo for pharmaceutical corporations - and the pshrinks who prescribe.

In 1994, the DSM-IV was published to considerable acclaim, with a text revision released in 2000. A quick glance through its list of contributors is revealing. As was reported in a 2006 study, lead-authored by Lisa Cosgrove of the University of Massachusetts, 56 per cent (95 of 170) of the researchers who worked on the manual had at least one monetary relationship with a drug manufacturer between 1989 and 2004. Twenty-two per cent of these researchers received consulting income during that period, and 16 per cent were paid spokespersons for a drug company. The percentages are even higher – 100 per cent in some instances – for researchers who contributed to the manual’s subsections on psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. While Cosgrove and her coauthors were not able to determine the percentage of researchers who received funds from the drug industry during the actual production of the DSM-IV, the chorus of protest that arose following their paper’s publication was telling. “I can categorically say,” roared the DSM-IV’s text and criteria editor, Michael First, “that drug-company influence never entered into any of the discussions, whatsoever.”

Images: Dr. John Dee, Elizabethan alchemist and magician, above; and cartoon, The Money Demon, below