This brief article reflects on the relationship between psychiatrists and pharmaceutical companies (pharma), which continues to generate debate and concerns. We suggest that psychiatrists should consider both the biomedical ethical principles and how values guide actions and clinical decision-making in their dealings with pharma. In addition, the Royal College of Psychiatrists should err towards eschewing influences that might be regarded by others as distorting its position, and individual psychiatrists should declare interests that others might regard as competing/conflicting in order to maintain the trust of patients and the public.
S.M.B. practises as an independent systemic psychotherapist. Both authors have undertaken various roles within the Royal College of Psychiatrists and S.B. is involved in recruiting patients for clinical trials.