Puritanical or Platinum?

Next week the 2019 International Congress for the Royal College of Psychiatrists will take place in London.

Naturally the President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and her predecessor, have been promoting it.

The current President shared a tweet [that was probably made by a doctor training in psychiatry]: “The Royal College of Psychiatrists has the largest Twitter following of any of the Royal Colleges. The International Congress #RCPsychIC has massive impact!”

The most recent past-President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists tweeted: “For all attending #RCPsychIC2019 , which these days means nearly everyone . . .”

Last year the International Congress was held in Birmingham, and, after college overheads were met, made a net surplus of £363,000

You can read the “Exhibitor Opportunities” and “Packages” from Platinum to Bronze, along with “Additional Opportunities and Extras” from this brochure produced by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

The brochure confirms that last year’s sponsors of the International Congress were:

An example of feedback given from one of the sponsors was: “Met a number of key customers at the event from all around the UK.”

Last year I resigned from the Royal College of Psychiatrists. In my letter of resignation I outlined that a key concern was in relation to the continued involvement of the pharmaceutical industry in the “education” of British psychiatrists from their years as a trainee through to retirement.

[In previous posts 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 this College guidance]

If you are interested in more of my writings for the International Congress for previous years they can be accessed here.

In December 2016 the out-going CEO of the Royal College of Psychiatrists said: “These days we have an appropriately puritanical relationship with Pharma . . . Psychiatrists can give medication to people against their will and we cannot be in the pockets of the Pharma companies.” 

The available evidence of the International Congresses held since the above statement was made would suggest a relationship that is far from puritanical. Unfortunately I do not know what the College’s current view is because they have not replied to my concerns.