The British Journal of Psychiatry: are competing interests of authors sufficiently transparent?

The current edition of the British Journal of Psychiatry, May 2018, contains academic papers on depressive disorders. In this post I will share some of the declarations of interest linked to these papers.

The lead Editorial by a singlar author gives the following vague declaration:

Another Editorial, with multiple authors, gives declarations that have no consistency. This Editorial confirmed the following basis for its conception and funding:Apart from the lack of consistency demonstrated in these May 2018 declarations, it is impossible to determine the scale (in numerical terms) of these competing financial interests. The ABPI Register (Disclosure UK) will not help here, as this is a voluntary register and so has a database that will always be incomplete.

If academics were to submit papers to any scientific journal with incomplete data on their studies, their research would be rejected.

The last three years have seen payments of over £40 million per year from the drug industry going to British healthcare professionals. It is reasonable to wonder how much has gone to those authors published in the May 2018 British Journal of Psychiatry?

Here are some of the paid opinion leaders in UK psychiatry – amongst these paid opinion leaders are some of the authors in the above edition [May 2018] of The British Journal of Psychiatry.

[NOTE: 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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