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June 1957

Relation of Psychiatry to the Pharmaceutical Industry

Author Affiliations

Rockland State Hospital Orangeburg, N. Y.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1957;77(6):611-615. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1957.02330360069007

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These words are written as an individual, and not as the representative of any department or association.

Although a little learning is reputed to be a dangerous thing, a little too much understanding can be absolutely fatal. As psychiatrists we pride ourselves on this "understanding," claiming to neither condone nor condemn. The extension of this way of life outside the patient-doctor relationship can all too easily sap away righteous indignation. Overcontrol of aggressive and hostile forces in order to preserve the ego ideal of the all-tolerant, all-understanding, paternalistic psychiatrist can lead to blunting of social values. Some recent incidents call for strong feeling and immediate action.

Unlike most branches of medicine, the psychiatrist has had relatively little contact with the pharmaceutical industry until the past year or two. The advent of a new series of compounds with a $150,000,000-to $200,000,000-a-year market has opened a floodgate with which we were not