conflict of interest and ADHD

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Today (Wednesday 13 July 2011) Mental Health Minister Mark Butler announced the membership of the committee responsible for developing new Australian guidelines on ADHD. Of the ten members invited to participate, two have significant conflicts of interest that should preclude their involvement. However, this compares very favorably to previous ADHD guideline development processes which have been dominated by pharmaceutical company allies who have relied on commercially compromised research.

It is also, for the first time, an open process. We know from the start who is developing the guidelines and the details of their conflict of interest declaration. (see http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/guidelines/adhd-conflicts-interest ) Gillard Government Mental Health Minister Mark Butler deserves credit for this. Let us hope this creates a precedent for future commonwealth government medical guidelines and advisory committee processes.

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