THOMAS A. BAN: CONFLICT OF INTEREST IN NEUROPSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY: MARKETING VS. EDUCATION
Barry Blackwell and Tom Ban share my concerns about lack of open access to data generated in clinical research. However, Tom suggests “lack of open access” is a local legal issue, properly a sub-issue within the larger issues of marketing vs education.
Barry argues that current Pharma practices irretrievably blur the distinction between unbiased data and education, since what passes for education is actually tendentiously distorted data.
I accentuate that “local legal issues” are not inviolable dicta. Rather, the nexus of opposing social and economic interests, fought out in the political arena. Politically modifiable, interest based, legality is so neglected that even appropriately broadening conceptual issues, e.g., “marketing vs education”, may still displace enlightenment from concrete conflicts. Worse, it may deflect from the organized, active political groups that, hopefully, lead to legal change.
Donald F. Klein
July 2, 2015