“All in the past”: well, no.

“All in the past” well, no.

To play this short film please click here or on the image above. British Psychiatrists continue to be “educated” by paid opinion leaders. Here are some of them: [I have used information available in the public domain to construct visual summaries of the competing interests of some key opinion leaders. I have done so in the spirit of the relevant guidance of the Royal College of Psychiatrists].

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This Editorial was published in the BMJ in 2008. It is however as relevant today as it was then:


Two decades ago, all NHS Chief Executives in Scotland were asked to implement and govern this Scottish Government circular: HDL 62. This has not happened.HDL-62

The General Medical Council published, more than a decade ago:  “Good Medical Practice”, which makes very clear:

Annexe A, GMC

Also more than a decade ago the Royal College of Psychiatrists issued its own guidance, CR148:

CR148 says (3)

Given these multiple levels of failing in governance, and in the pursuit of scientific objectivity, I have petitioned the Scottish Government to consider implementing a Sunshine Act. The research behind this can be accessed here.

I am employed as an NHS psychiatrist and have been an NHS Consultant for 13 years.

Over this time, the key opinion leaders in UK psychiatry (though I have never met) have become known to me.

Continuing Medical Education invites (generally “CME-accredited”) come to my NHS e-mail address on a weekly basis.

As an NHS employee I have had regular invites to attend “CME-accredited” conferences that include educational talks by  paid opinion leaders.

It is the case that TODAY we still have no way of knowing how much may be paid to any individual to educate professionals like myself.

Dr McCartney has long argued that the medical profession should take the lead on transparency. I agree.


The Royal College of Psychiatrists guidance CR148 has not brought about necessary transparency. The updated system (following my dogged persistence) still fails to require details of monetary exchange or for specific dates of (any such) payments.

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