Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Rosenberg Covers the APA Meeting

I enjoyed Chicago journalist Martha Rosenberg's take on the APA meeting in New Orleans, which you can read at Scoop Independent News. Although Rosenberg is obviously a partisan, her coverage is entertaining and brimming with telling little details.

For example, she found it ironic that after all of the damning press on Charles Nemeroff's undisclosed conflicts of interests with pharmaceutical companies (which led him to resign his chairmanship at Emory), where should he show up? In the same hallowed location where Mina Dulcan became apoplectic toward me--namely, the book-signing dias at the American Psychiatric Press.

To quote Rosenberg: "Nemeroff was signing the Textbook of Psychopharmacology which he co-edited with Schatzberg, also investigated by Congress. Schatzberg, psychiatry chairman at Stanford, consults to seven drug companies, owns stock and patents with others and is on Sanofi-Aventis' Speakers Bureau according to the meeting's Daily Bulletin."

By the way, there is an interesting back story on Dr. Schatzberg. The official meeting's program book begins with a fat disclosure section, listing all of the speakers who have financial relationships with industry. The next, far thinner section, lists speakers who have no such relationships. Inexplicably, Dr. Schatzberg's name is listed in the weight watcher's section. An anonymous tipster emailed me this glaring error, and I immediately called the press office for an explanation. The friendly staff member only had to hear me introduce myself before she interjected, "Hi Dr. Carlat. Are you calling about Dr. Schatzberg?" "Uhh, yes I am." "The correction is printed in today's meeting bulletin."
Apparently several other Schatzberg-watchers beat me to the punch. Or maybe the doctor himself noted the error and corrected it?

I'm going out on a limb and saying that I imagine that the APA's beleaguered press staff is not unhappy that Dr. Schatzberg is the OUTgoing APA president. But that's just a guess.


pacificpsych said...

Speaking of books...here's a list I made of (intelligent) critiques of pharma-psychiatry. I'm sure I've missed some good ones. Suggestions welcome. I haven't read all of them but hope to...


Anonymous said...

Rosenberg's account of the APA meetings was absolutely hilarious! Thanks for the link. She captured the lunacy that has overrun our field in a brilliant and satirical manner. Kudos Ms. Rosenberg!

altostrata said...

I'm glad to see Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America by Robert Whitaker on that list!

The corruption of research and clinical psychiatry by big pharma is only part of the story. [b]The bigger, and more important part, is that patients are being harmed as a result.[/b]

Psychiatry's conflict of interest is not just shameful, it is harmful. Dr. Carlat, I wish you would address this.

Advocate said...

I also recommend Manufacturing Depression and The Emperor's New Drugs; I agree with altostrata, I'd like to see the harm caused addressed, especially with the potent drug cocktails...if Whitaker is right, the drugs are CAUSING long term chronicity.

pacificpsych said...

Thnx for the recs. Added 'Manufacturing Depression'. Anyone want to recommend more, you can contact me directly.