Thursday, August 1, 2013

Time to Re-Engage With Pharma

APA President Jeffrey Lieberman, M.D., is using the Psychiatric News Alert as a forum to reach APA members and other readers. Please send your comments to

Drug companies aren’t held in high esteem by the public these days. There are many reasons for the companies’ poor showing, including high drug prices, aggressive marketing practices and direct-to-consumer advertising, efforts to buy influence with physicians, and, perhaps most egregiously, the suppression of data on drugs’ dangerous side effects. Couple these issues with the fact that innovative drug development has slowed to a crawl, and it’s not easy to muster much defense of the pharmaceutical industry.

But let’s face it, they need us and we need them. We must recognize the important, beneficial role that drug companies have long played in all areas of medicine. While not minimizing problems, we simultaneously must remember how products have improved the quality of health care and quality of life in our society, and their funding has helped to advance research, public outreach, and training.

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