Lisa Cosgrove of Harvard University, along with Sheldon Krimsky of Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, analyzed the financial disclosures of 141 members of the "work groups" drafting the manual. They found that just as many contributors – 57 per cent – had links to industry as were found in a previous study of the authors of DSM-IV (1994).
The findings raise concerns over the independence of the revamped Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM-5, published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and scheduled for publication in May 2013.
What's more, the work groups that had the most members with ties to the pharmaceutical industry were considering illnesses for which drugs are the front-line treatment – and for which proposed changes to diagnostic categories are especially controversial.
The DSM-5 proposals have also attracted criticism from psychologists, who tend to favor counseling over the drug treatments that dominate modern psychiatry. An on-line petition calling for greater involvement from psychologists has attracted more than 12,000 signatures, and is backed by professional bodies including 14 out of the 54 divisions of the American Psychological Association.