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Psychiatric group to unveil guidelines to curb conflicts

Wall Street Journal, June 11, 2010

The medical profession has been curtailing financial ties to drug makers in response to criticism over possible conflicts of interest. Now doctor groups are facing budget shortfalls and cuts in services, and they are struggling to find new sources of revenue. The American Psychiatric Association has seen a $7.5 million decrease in pharmaceutical-industry dollars over the past year—a more than 10% cut in revenue. The decrease in revenue means having to cut back on some activities, such as lobbying on behalf of doctors and the mentally ill, and running educational programs in schools and for returning veterans, said Alan Schatzberg, immediate past-president of the APA, who convened a task force to develop conflict-of-interest guidelines that are expected to be unveiled today.