Do Drugs Help Psychiatrists Tune Out Patient Voices?
Washington — If psychiatrists keep hearing voices — from corporate backers — does that mean they actually listen to them? Disputes over that question are growing as the American Psychiatric Association works toward the publication, in 2012, of the next edition of the mental-health bible known as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The APA’s reference book, known simply as the DSM, plays a critical role in determining the recommended treatment for known types of mental disorders, including what treatments are covered by health-care providers. Development of the planned fifth version, or DSM-V, is being led by a 27-member panel of experts formed in July 2007 by the APA. But it is not developing without controversy. Last July, Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the top-ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, wrote to the APA’s chief executive, James Henry Scully Jr., asking a series of questions about suspected conflicts of interest involving psychiatrist