Privatization of knowledge and the creation of biomedical conflicts of interest

Scientific and ethical misconduct have increased at an alarming rate as a result of the privatization of knowledge. What began as an effort to stimulate entrepreneurship and increase discovery in biomedical research by strengthening the ties between industry and academics has led to an erosion of confidence in the reporting of research results. Inherent tensions between profit-directed inquiry and knowledge-directed inquiry are instantiated in psychopharmacology, especially in the co-option of academic activity to corporate objectives. The effects of these tensions are visible in research agendas, publication practices, postgraduate education, academic-industry partnerships and product promotion.