When Judith Warner, a major columnist for the New York Times, writes a piece focusing on American psychiatrists, and entitles it "Diagnosis: Greed," you know the profession is in serious trouble.
Bringing a fresh perspective to an issue that readers of this blog may be seeing as a dead horse, Warner points out that the astonishing revelations of psychiatrists earning millions from drug companies is part and parcel of the broader financial ruination that we are witnessing daily. Just as lack of government regulation and oversight allowed our economy to collapse because of the rise of subprime mortgage-backed securities, the lack of regulation of the physician/pharmaceutical relationship has led to a medical culture of greed and the collapse of confidence in our profession.
To quote Warner:
Nemeroff didn’t bring down any banks, didn’t freeze the American credit markets, hasn’t plunged the world economy into recession. But his extensive, excessive and untransparent ties to the pharmaceutical industry are all too common, unfortunately, among his cohort of “thought leaders” in psychiatry and other medical specialties. And these relationships have led to a dangerous crisis of confidence in the basic integrity and validity of America’s medical research.
The APA and other medical organizations are beginning the process of reforming themselves. I think we need to speed things up. There isn't a moment to lose.