I suppose I should not be surprised that Vermont is doing so much to combat inappropriate drug company influence. After all, the state is famous for liberal physicians, including, most prominently, the current chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Howard Dean.
I recently gave a talk (as part of my “Dirty Thirty” tour) to the Vermont Psychiatric Association. What an impressive group. These are psychiatrists who are in the profession to help their patients, no matter what it takes, and are refreshingly unwedded to the medication solution. For example, Alice Silverman, one of the association's representatives to the APA, no longer starts with antidepressants when treating mild depression, because she has found therapy to be just as helpful. Her patients are happy because they don't have to deal with either sexual dysfunction or a higher risk of osteoporosis.
Also present was David Fassler, the incoming secretary-treasurer of the APA. I look forward to working with him on the newly formed APA Work Group to figure out who to wean ourselves off of industry money.
Vermont is absolutely at the forefront of the growing movement to wrest control of medicine away from the pharmaceutical industry. The legislature has passed a law restricting prescription data-mining; the University of Vermont Medical School has banned drug company gifts or meals; and the Vermont Association of Mental Health has just said "no" to industry support. To read more about what Vermont is doing, read this excellent overview article in the Barre Montpellier Times Argus.