Diagnosisgate: Conflict of Interest at the Top of the Psychiatric Apparatus
“Diagnosisgate” — It is probably the most stunning story of corruption in the history of the modern mental-health system. Mysteriously, it has been kept out of major media for two decades.
In recent years, the man who has been called the world’s most important psychiatrist has painted himself as the white knight who warns the public about the dangers of Big Pharma and psychiatric diagnosis. But Allen Frances, the longest-running head of psychiatry’s “bible,” the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders — which earned more than $100 million under his reign — actually worked hand-in-glove with a major drug company to misrepresent research on a massive scale in order to market misleadingly one of their most dangerous drugs, Risperdal.
Nearly a year ago, my attention was drawn to a blockbuster of a document that revealed these distortions of science and the whopping conflicts of interest. It was essential to inform the public, because it is the mental health system’s Watergate and has led to enormous harm. One editor after another of both general publications and scholarly journals fled from publishing the story. This surprised me, given how important the story is and the fact that it was almost completely unknown to the public and professionals.
The brave Dr. David Holmes, editor of the journal APORIA, based at the University of Ottawa, has just published the article, and I hope that you will read it at http://www.oa.uottawa.ca/journals/aporia/articles/2015_01/commentary.pdf and help spread the word.
This scandal affects vast numbers of people … two enormous groups are military servicemembers and veterans (though by no means only them). Have a look at this quotation from http://www.nextgov.com/defense/2012/04/broken-warriors-test/55389/:
“Veterans Affairs Department reported in August 2011 that Risperidone was no more effective in PTSD treatment than a placebo. VA spent $717 million on the drug over the past decade. The military has spent $74 million over the past 10 years on Risperidone, a spokeswoman for the Defense Logistics Agency said.”
Thank you for any assistance you can give in making sure this truth will be widely known — feel free to forward this email, post the URL on Facebook and Twitter, etc.
Paula J. Caplan, Ph.D.
Associate, DuBois Research Institute, Harvard University