The above Evidence-based guidelines for treating depressive disorders with antidepressants have recently been published.
The British Association for Psychopharmacology are an organisation highly regarded by my profession of psychiatry. 12% of their funds come directly from the Pharmaceutical Industry.
I have petitioned the Scottish Government to introduce a Sunshine Act. It is for this reason I am interested in transparency of financial conflicts of interest.
A number of authors of these “consensus” guidelines are well known as “paid opinion leaders”. Some of the declarations of competing interest that they have given in the course of their career can be seen below [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]:
A number of authors were part of the Royal College of Psychiatrists International Congress, 2015 and their declarations can be found here
This post looks only at the level of transparency provided by BAP in these Guidelines. Most academics are of the view that full transparency of financial interests is necessary if we are to make recommendations that are “explicitly evidence-based”:
I have written to Susan Chandler, Executive Officer for BAP, on a number of occasions over the last few years about BAP’s approach to declarations of interest:
Professor Ian Reid was a former colleague of mine who is sadly missed.
Here is a copy of my last communication with BAP sent at the beginning of May 2015:
I copied this to the General Medical Council. They did not reply.
This was the reply from the Executive Officer for BAP. I have received no further communications:
Here is what BAP provides in these Guidelines. It is worth comparing the limited amount of information provided here with the much more comprehensive information provided by NICE guidelines.
It is not possible to find out how much doctors like these Guideline authors have been paid.
The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges are of the view that all payments to individual doctors and academics should be mandatory.
Update, 5th October 2016. The following was published on the front page of the Scotsman newspaper: "Mental health prescriptions hit ten-year high"
The figures are from the Scottish Government and can be accessed here.