Response (Thomas A. Ban)

Thomas A. Ban’s response to Barry Blackwell’s response to Ban’s reply to Blackwell’s comment on his essay on “Conflict of interest in Neuropsychopharmacology. Marketing vs. education”.

My essay is based on the importance of the recognition that there is conflict between marketing with the objective to get a product prescribed to the widest population and education with the objective to prescribe it as discriminately as possible. It would be unfortunate if recognition of this conflict would distract attention from and serve as a cover, “straw man” for unethical conduct because contrary to your contention, the possibility for acting against one’s fiduciary interest in this conflict would not “disappear” by proper legislation and its reinforcement. The negative consequences if educators are acting against their fiduciary interest in this conflict could be reduced by research that would identify discrete, pharmacologically more homogeneous populations than the ones identified in currently used consensus-based diagnoses. Since the negative consequences on neuropsychopharmacology and society are profound if educators act contrary to their fiduciary interest in this conflict, I hope you would agree that concerns for unethical conduct should not suppress the expression of the need to address the conflict between marketing and education.


Thomas A. Ban

January 22, 2015