Many Authors of Upcoming DSM-V Have Links to Drug Makers?
Drafters of the upcoming fifth version of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) noted that many authors have ties to pharmaceutical players, a trend that had happened in before in the drafting of DSM 4.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is a publication by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) which aims to provide a common language and standard criteria for classification of mental disorders. The current version, DSM-IV Text Revision, is widely used in the United States and in varying degrees around the world.
The drafting and release of DSM is always anticipated because it is important not only for clinicians and researchers but also for psychiatric drug regulation agencies, pharmaceutical corporations and policy makers.
Transparency alone can’t mitigate bias
For the upcoming DSM-V, a new rule required authors to disclose any financial links to pharmaceutical industry. It also limited the amount authors could receive from drug companies, amounting to $10,000 a year and stock holdings up to $50,000 only.
Analysis shows that more than half (57%) of contributors and authors had links to drug makers. And those work groups that had the most members with ties to drug industry were pushing for new illnesses for which drugs are the front-line treatment.
However, the $10,000-per-year limit is not enough because authors are not required to disclose research grants they receive from drug companies.
In addition, many authors of the DSM serve in “speakers’ bureaus” – experts who are paid to lecture on drug company’s products.
But this strong rule of transparency is not enough to reduce bias in the upcoming DSM-V, which is considered a reference book in the annals of psychiatric medicine.
DSM-V still in hot water
The drafting of DSM-V is very controversial because of many proposed changes to diagnostic categories. Controversial moves include the expansion of mood disorders, which will include bereavement in major depression, while in psychotic disorders group will be expanded to include attenuated psychosis syndrome, yet another controversial diagnosis which identifies young people at risk for developing schizophrenia.
These expansions of psychiatric illnesses were criticized as result of pressure from pharmaceutical companies.
Many psychologists unhappy with DSM-V
Several psychologist groups also criticize the DSM-V for favoring drug treatments over counseling and psychotherapy.
Investigators of the study want the American Psychological Association to remove authors who serve pharmaceutical companies before the DSM-V is finalized. They also recommended to change memberships of work groups none has a majority of members with links to drug companies.
The DSM Fifth Edition is scheduled to be released in May 2013.