Concerns about the over-prescribing of antipsychotic drugs in the elderly led me to consider possible explanations for this behaviour by doctors. I was also aware of a powerful marketing campaign including a series of national meetings led by key opinion leaders promoting the use of another drug, Memantine, for the management of behavioural and psychological issues in dementia. This led me to examine the current systems in place to make clear any potential conflicts of interest.
Two years of enquiry with my local NHS regarding any register of outside interests were eventually answered to reveal that no such register had ever existed.
This led me to write to all 22 of Scotland’s NHS Boards under Freedom of Information legislation and the results show that many of the Boards have no policy in place and in those that do the information recorded is very patchy and generally not available to the public.
The FOI returns can be viewed at:
I have prepared a summary database: due to the heterogeneity of the returns this is a rough guide at best: