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Letters to the Editor
Disclosure Controversy
Psychiatric News
Volume 43 Number 19 page 23-23

I read my August 15 Psychiatric News. An important contribution is Dr. Nada Stotland's column, "From the President," in which she describes her experience at the annual meeting, without pharmaceutical company support, of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in London.

In the same issue is coverage of APA President-elect Alan Schatzberg, M.D.'s happenings, describing point by point Stanford University's responses to Sen. Charles Grassley's congressional charges and to questions from Psychiatric News. Stanford's removal of Dr. Schatzberg as principal investigator is not reported. I accept the reportage as accurate and clarifying about these events and about relationships our federal statutes encourage.

In my recent posting to APA's Member-to-Member Listserv, I called for Dr. Schatzberg to step aside [as president-elect]. My comment has triggered considerable discussion, as I had intended. If Dr. Schatzberg disclosed these events during the APA election, I missed it and apologize. His responses to Psychiatric News—"I don't relish the publicity" and "I have nothing to hide"—need to be augmented by a statement from him describing these events as he sees them to the membership. With his impending assumption of the presidency, it is still timely.

It is past time that APA begins to move toward self-reliance in its activities. It is clear that others as well as I have been uncomfortable with the symbiotic nature of our relationship with the pharmaceutical industry. Our statement of ethics cautions against doing business with our patients; we also need a statement of ethics about our relationships with patient-related industry. Many actions that are not against the law and some that are sanctioned by the law do not serve well our profession or our patients.

I appreciate and congratulate Dr. Stotland's description of the Royal College's self-financed meeting. I call on her and the president-elect to provide leadership to APA to move to a similar clarification and exploration of self-reliance of the organization and its members.

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