The Influence of Pharmaceutical Companies and Restoring Integrity to Psychiatric Research and Practice

  • Lisa CosgroveEmail author
  • Akansha Vaswani


A growing concern across all areas of medicine is that commercial interests are undermining the medical profession’s culture and public health mission. The absence of biological markers for psychiatric conditions makes psychiatry more vulnerable to industry influence and, concomitantly, to overdiagnosis and overtreatment. Although we discuss conflicts of interest, we use the more robust framework of institutional corruption to understand the economies of influence and problematic incentive structures that have had a distorting effect on psychiatric research and practice. We provide specific examples of these distortions and discuss their implications (e.g., how the DSM-5 may have inadvertently functioned as a vehicle for high-profit patent extensions). Suggestions for how the profession can work to inoculate itself from commercial influences are offered.


Institutional corruption Evidence-based psychiatry DSM Clinical practice guidelines 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Counseling PsychologyUniversity of Massachusetts-BostonBostonUSA

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