I was recently telling a colleague of mine about my campaign for a Sunshine Act for Scotland. My colleague had noticed this recent interview as published in the BMJ:
I explained to my colleague that research for a Sunshine Act for Scotland had demonstrated the ongoing involvement of industry in providing our continuing medical education (CME).
I suggested to my colleague to look at the declarations for those involved in providing such education through the British Association for Psychopharmacology (BAP), a significant number of whom are also senior members of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
My colleague replied:
“I’m attending the BAP masterclass course (3 days) later this month and I was really excited about it. I thought they would give me the answers to some tricky medication issues. I’ll be honest, I never thought to really check their links to pharma or what they have declared regarding accepting industry money.”
All of these “Masterclasses” have been “FULLY BOOKED” for some time :
BAP have recently provide a facility to print out Declarations of Interest (DOI):
However the information provided in any print-out specifies only the companies from which that individual has received payments. There is no further detail provided and no requirement to give it. It is thus impossible to determine how much of the £42 million that the pharmaceutical industry pays each year to British healthcare workers (to promote their products) might have been allocated to this influential group of educators on psychiatric prescribing.
It concerns me that psychiatrists, in good faith, are attending educational events on prescribing yet have no idea of the potential financial arrangements that may underpin such “education”.