Current Psychiatry is a controlled circulation "throwaway" journal that comes to all psychiatrists free of charge. It's well-written, often useful, but editorially it has unfortunately become a mouthpiece for the promotional aims of its advertisers. Recently a few examples attracted my attention.
1. This CME Supplement was packaged with the November 2010 issue. It is called “Effective Strategies for Patients With Complex Depression in Psychiatric Practice." It's supported by AstraZeneca, maker of Seroquel, and the supplement's three articles are well-masked ads for the use of Seroquel in treatment-resistant depression. There are lots of subtle promotional strategies here, but check out especially pages 10 and 11. Here, you find a paragraph on atypicals pretending that they all have the same side effects (the crucially hidden point is that Seroquel causes more weight gain and sedation than most other atypicals). On the next page, they are no longer shy about delineating side effects of specific drugs--each of which is a competitor of Seroquel. File under: "Sin of Omission".
2. Another promotional CME Supplement was published in October 2010, and is entitled "Differential Diagnosis and Therapeutic Management of Schizoaffective Disorder." It is supported by Janssen, the maker of Invega, which was recently the first medication FDA approved for--you guessed it--schizoaffective disorder. I haven't read it yet, but this is a de facto advertisement simply by virtue of the choice of topic. Janssen makes the only approved product for schizoaffective disorder, and in order to advertise it, they paid off Current Psychiatry to write a huge article about the disorder. It doesn't need to be "biased;" it just needs to be focused on a topic that is of inherent commercial benefit to the supporter. In my opinion, this violates the ACCME Standards of Commercial Support.
3. Finally, in the current issue, there is this article (not a CME article) introducing Lurasidone (Latuda), the latest FDA approved antipsychotic. The authors have no disclosures, which is surprising, because the article is a glowing endorsement of Latuda. The relentlessly advertorial flavor begins with the opening tag-line ("A new atypical antipsychotic offers once-daily dosing and is well tolerated and considered weight neutral") and reaches a fever pitch at "Table 2", which claims that Latuda stimulates certain brain receptors (true) and therefore improves cognition (false).
I don't know what's going on with Current Psychiatry lately. Each of its CME supplements (and even some of its non-CME articles) are so commercially biased that it would take an army of Carlat clones to keep up with lodging formal complaints with ACCME. Anyone up to the task?