Grassley to APA: Open your books

Senator linkurl:Charles Grassley;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53381/ (R-IA), ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, issued a stark warning to the American Psychiatric Association on Thursday (July 10): Clearly outline the pharmaceutical industry's financial influence on your workings or incur my wrath! Well, maybe Grassley didn't use those __exact__ words. "I have come to understand that money from the pharmaceutical industry can shape the practices of non-profit organiza

By | July 14, 2008

Senator linkurl:Charles Grassley;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53381/ (R-IA), ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, issued a stark warning to the American Psychiatric Association on Thursday (July 10): Clearly outline the pharmaceutical industry's financial influence on your workings or incur my wrath! Well, maybe Grassley didn't use those __exact__ words. "I have come to understand that money from the pharmaceutical industry can shape the practices of non-profit organizations which purport to be independent in their viewpoints and actions," Grassley wrote in a linkurl:letter;http://finance.senate.gov/press/Gpress/2008/prg071008h.pdf to APA CEO linkurl:James Scully.;http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/41/1/4 "I would appreciate an accounting of industry funding that pharmaceutical companies and/or the foundations established by these companies have provided to the American Psychiatric Association (APA)." Grassley's language my be genial - as it tends to be in letters volleyed between the Senate conflict of interest hunter and his quarry - but his message is clear. The Senator has spent the better part of this year rooting out potential financial conflicts among prominent researchers and physicians (especially linkurl:psychiatrists),;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54771/ and now he wants to know exactly how intertwined pharma is with the top professional psychiatry organization in the country. Grassley not only wants to know which pharma company contributed how much to the APA since 2003, he wants the group to lay out its policies for accepting industry funds. The APA responded on Friday (July 11) to Grassley's request by sending an Email to its 148,000 members, as linkurl:reported;http://www.pharmalot.com/2008/07/grassley-probes-psychiatrists-over-ties-to-pharma/ by Ed Silverman over at the Pharmalot blog. The Email stated that the association will fully comply with Grassley and assured members that it has always held itself to a high standard regarding pharma funding. "The APA fully endorses the concept of transparency in our relationships with pharma and other entities and has been in the forefront of the disclosure process," the Email read. "In March, 2008, long before this inquiry from Senator Grassley, your Board of Trustees empaneled a working group charged to review all APA pharmaceutical revenues, sort them into categories; and provide the Board with options for ending pharmaceutical support in each category and the implications for the activities they currently fund."

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