The more I see of the pharmaceutical industry's (a.k.a. "Big Pharma") influence on how we think about human behaviors and their treatment, the more worried I become.
Alternet's articles, " How Pharma Giants Are Getting Rich By Calling Our Life Problems 'Medical Disorders'" and "Do You Have Excessive Sleepiness? Shift Work Sleep Disorder? Big Pharma Hopes So" are perfect examples of what I'm talking about.
An article in the Daily Finance finds the Food and Drug Administration almost doubling the number of warnings they're making to drugmakers for questionable marketing practices.
The good news?
A psychiatrist friend was telling me this weekend that the American Psychiatric Association (APA) made a ruling in May of this year to ban gifts from Big Pharma. No more trips, pens, notepads, etc. bearing the name of the drug. No more freebies to endear themselves to psychiatrists and their office staff. Nothing. The only thing that is still allowed are the catered meals. I hope this is true. This is a major step to limiting the influence of a corporate interest upon the medical decisions of treating psychiatrists.
My colleague also said they APA is now discussing the influence of Big Pharma on research studies and discussing how to limit that. Let us keep our fingers crossed!