The Treasurer of the Royal College of Psychiatrists recently informed me that the College are in the process of revising CR148 Good Psychiatric Practice: Relationships with pharmaceutical and other commercial relationships, and that “this report has been reviewed initially by the Committee on Professional Practice and Ethics. Their draft has been sent for comment to the Psychopharmacology Committee and to representatives from the Academic Faculty including myself. The document will then be further revised in the light of comments received before being finally approved by the Policy and Public Affairs Committee.”The Treasurer kindly asked if I had any comments. In this post I wish to look specifically at the current Royal College of Psychiatrists Declaration of Interest form.
- I am assuming that a paper form is a temporary solution: the declarations should be submitted routinely as part of the biography
- I would suggest that the Royal College of Psychiatrists use a template similar to this voluntary register: Who Pays this Doctor?
- “Yes” or “No” answers lack in necessary transparency (see again Who Pays this Doctor? )
- It should not be down to the declarant to decide if he or she “perceives” if they have a conflict of interest, or if it is specifically relevant. The General Medical Council advise “If you are in doubt about whether there is a conflict of interest, act as though there is.”
- All declarations should be openly available, on-line, ahead of any Conference with a direct link from the Conference homepage
- All Conference programmes should be openly available and each “bio” should include full declaration of interest