Almost a year has passed since I last considered the Psychopharmacology Committee of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
This committee has ten members including the Chair.
Here is a summary of some important aspects:
- 3 out of the 10 members have declared no financial conflicts of interest
- the remaining 7 members have declared financial conflicts of interest with some of the following companies:
AstraZeneca, Janssen, Lundbeck, Pierre Fabre, Pfizer, Liva Nova, Mundipharma, Sunovion, Otsuka, Cambridge Cognition, Shire, Leso Digital Health, Promentis, Wyeth, Abbvie, Autifony, Eli Lilly, Heptares, Leyden-Delta, Servier, Rand, Roche, Bristol Myers-Squibb, Cyberonics, Ferrer, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck Sharp, Dohme, My Tomorrows, SPIMACO, Corcept Therapeutics Inc, Indivior.
- 6 out of the 10 Members have declared competing interests using the Royal College of Psychiatrists “Declaration of Interests form”
- 4 out of the 10 Members (including the Chair) have not declared competing interests using the Royal College of Psychiatrists “Declaration of Interests form” but have their interests added, in undated and unsigned html format. It would appear that a number of the declarations are at least several years old.
A few of my thoughts on this as a longstanding campaigner for full transparency of competing financial interests:
The public and professionals alike can establish from these declarations that 70% of the Members of this influential Committee on advising on the prescribing of psychiatric drugs in the UK have competing financial interests with the pharmaceutical industry and companies involved in medical education. At least 32 different commercial enterprises are involved.
The public and professionals alike cannot establish how much of the £40million that the pharmaceutical industry pays each year to UK professionals to promote and market their products goes to members of this committee.
The public and professionals alike cannot establish how much of the pharmaceutical industry has paid over a full career span to any UK professional to promote and market their products.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists continues not to offer support to legislation (Sunshine legislation) that would ensure the “full disclosure” which the Psychopharmacology Committee has “agreed” is “best practice”. I have communicated with the current and previous President about this matter over many years but have never been included in any any college “developments” in relation to this.
The previous Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Royal College of Psychiatrists stated that the College was “puritanical” in its relationship with the pharmaceutical industry and the current CEO has stated that governance of competing financial interests in its members is “sufficiently robust”. It was because I was so concerned about these false reassurances that I resigned from the College last year.