E. Torrey

Dr. E. Fuller Torrey is president of the Treatment Advocacy Center in Arlington, Virginia. His most recent book is The Invisible Plague: The Rise of Mental Illness from 1750 to the Present.

Recent Articles

The Going Rate on Shrinks

I t was last summer in Berlin when I first encountered pharmaceutical funhouses. I was one of 4,000 attendees at the 7th World Congress of Biological Psychiatry. Until about a decade ago, pharmaceutical companies passed out pens or notepads with their companies' logos at such events, and most speakers presented data and opinions based upon their true scientific beliefs. That all changed when Big Pharma took over. At the congress, I counted 15 major displays on the way to the lunch area, including an artificial garden (Janssen-Cilag), a brook running over stones (Lundbeck), and a 40-foot rotating tower (Novartis). Almost all offered free food and drink, T-shirts, or other inducements designed to get psychiatrists to pause so that an army of smiling sales representatives could give their sales pitch. Eli Lilly's display included two large, walk-through tunnels set up like funhouses. One tunnel, labeled "Zyprexa," included a mirrored room with dozens of telephones dangling from the...