In Reply: I thank Dr. Moffic for raising this important issue. I'll begin with a quick word in my defense. Psychiatric Services does not ask book reviewers to submit forms disclosing potential conflicts of interest, although they do require such forms from authors of research reports. I have hardly been shy about describing my experiences with the pharmaceutical industry and my opinions about certain marketing practices (1), and I would have been happy to have made such a disclosure if the journal's policies requested it.
But that is passing the buck. In retrospect, considering how controversial this topic is, I could—and probably should—have insisted that a disclosure be published. As I've written elsewhere (2), research articles and clinical reviews should be accompanied by full disclosure of all relationships that might conceivably bias the content. Book reviews typically do not have the same impact on clinical practice and patient care as research articles, so they have flown under the radar of the disclosure policies for many journals. But Dr. Moffic makes a good case, and I'm pleased that my own oversight may lead to a necessary improvement.
Carlat D: Dr Drug Rep. New York Times Magazine, Nov 25, 2007
Carlat D: Conflict of interest in psychiatry: how much disclosure is necessary? Psychiatric Times, Nov 1, 2006
Editor's Note: Beginning with this issue, Psychiatric Services will request signed disclosure forms from all book reviewers, and a disclosure statement will accompany all reviews.