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Amid ongoing concerns over conflicts of interest that may affect medical practice, a new analysis finds two-thirds of nine widely used psychopharmacology textbooks had at least one editor or contributing author who received personal payments from drug makers.

Overall, 11 of 21 editors or authors received more than $11 million between 2013 and 2020, although most of the money was paid to a single author by one drug maker that sells an antidepressant. Five of those editors and authors — or 24% — each received more than $75,000 during that period. And almost all of the payments were for activities other than research — primarily consulting and promotional speaking, according to the study published in Community Mental Health Journal.


The study authors believe the findings are worrisome, because of the prominent role these textbooks play in medical school and residency training, which shapes attitudes and prescribing practices of those who are starting their psychiatric careers. They also noted these medical textbooks do not include original data on which safety and effectiveness statements are based, limiting the possibility to draw separate, independent conclusions.

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