DSM-5 panellists criticised over financial conflicts of interest

In an essay in PLoS Medicine, US bioethicists reject the notion that simply disclosing conflicts – a new policy brought in by the American Psychiatric Association for DSM-5 – is sufficient.

Ideally, DSM task force members should be free of financial conflicts, including  giving talks to peers on behalf of drug companies, the authors argue. 

Associate Professor Justin Oakley, deputy director of Monash University’s Centre for Human Bioethics, agrees.

“The main limit on transparency is that it doesn’t really address the core problem with conflict of interest, which is about undue influence,” Professor Oakley said.

“There’s a lot of research demonstrating it’s... unconscious.”

He said requiring disclosure merely shifted responsibility on to other people to determine the significance.

“In the case of doctors’ prescribing behaviours, it tends