Wednesday, June 9, 2010

In other words, the show must go on

"We cannot afford to take any chances with the integrity of the research process," Collins said.

The NIH's tougher disclosure requirements came in response to a spate of bad press showing huge private-sector bucks flowing to researchers at universities and institutes and the like, creating, as NIH Director Francis S. Collins said, an appearance of a conflict of interest that could undermine public trust

I directly put the question to Thomas Insel a couple of years ago. "Dr. Insel," said I, "how come I, a mere mother, can figure out what is going on with my son's mental health issue and what to do about it, but here's the NIMH still chasing magic bullets? Why don't you pay attention to people like me more and forget trying to find the next wonder drug? It hasn't happened yet and there have been plenty of bright minds working on this." Okay, I didn't say exactly that, but that was the gist of my argument.

I guess we can all predict what his answer was. Here's a reasonable facsimile of what he said. "Yes, I often meet people like you, and maybe we should be looking into emulating what others have successfully accomplished. But, of course, schizophrenia is a serious mental health disorder, so I absolutely disagree with you that drugs are not the answer."

Emulating what works for others who have been there is not going to happen when the "smart" money is into drugs dreamed up to combat the continually elusive "serious mental health disorders."

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