Barry Blackwell: Corporate Corruption in the Psychopharmaceutical Industry


Barry Blackwell’s reply to Edward Tobe’s comments


       I appreciate Edward Tobe’s eloquent response to my essay as well as his impassioned search for a solution founded on historical wisdom, psychoanalytic and poetic insights which he explores in “The Iceberg of Improbity,” an INHN  commentary on the Paroxetine 352 story (Tobe 2020).

       With the passage of time my own interpretation of this dilemma has evolved. Foremost, I am inclined to invoke a changing social Zeitgeist manifested by increasing income disparity beginning in the mid 1980s and still unchecked. Since then major health care corporations have capitalized on their alleged “not for profit” status to garner vast amounts of wealth with exorbitant executive compensation, often in the millions.

       Government has largely withdrawn from funding drug research and industry has shifted from sophisticated research to marketing me-too compounds extolled with fraudulent claims. Academic faculty, starved of revenue, have been seduced and made complicit by industry lucre,  muted by knowledge, “everyone is doing it” and secure in the knowledge their professional organizations are complicit “feeding at the same trough” so that oversight and sanctions are lacking.

       I have also suggested that greed is a unique form of addiction. The senseless acquisition of unrealistic amounts of money that, unlike all other human addictions, lacks adverse consequences.

       Dr. Tobe seems to suggest that poetic insights or dynamic formulations about this form of behavior might prove helpful. But to be either sought or effective this requires empathy, insight and motivation to change. He concludes that psychopharmacology “is not a solid science and vulnerable to fraud.” So, of course, is psychoanalysis where he admits truth is both hard to find and oftentimes corrupted by lies.



Tobe E. Edward Tobe’s comments. The Iceberg of Improbity (Jay D. Amsterdam and Leemon B. McHenry: The Paroxetine 352 Bipolar Study Revisited: Deconstruction of Corporate and Academic  Misconduct). April 23, 2020.


February 25, 2021