FDA Approval of Vagus Nerve Stimulation

May 1, 2007

FDA Approval of Vagus Nerve Stimulation I am a triple-boarded, long-practicing psychiatrist and have used vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) in several patients so far. I have followed the controversies within the FDA and articles in the national media and was quite impressed by and appreciative of Dr Daniel J. Carlat's article on the sponsorship issues involved in FDA approval of VNS ("Conflict of Interest in Psychiatry: How Much Disclosure Is Necessary?"

 

FDA Approval of Vagus Nerve Stimulation
I am a triple-boarded, long-practicing psychiatrist and have used vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) in several patients so far. I have followed the controversies within the FDA and articles in the national media and was quite impressed by and appreciative of Dr Daniel J. Carlat's article on the sponsorship issues involved in FDA approval of VNS ("Conflict of Interest in Psychiatry: How Much Disclosure Is Necessary?" Psychiatric Times, November 2006). Dr Carlat's consideration of the larger issues involved in this unfortunate ethical quagmire made the article even more valuable.

I will continue to use VNS, since I feel it will settle out into a partially effective addition to our armamentarium that will prove to have a modest batting average, but I rue the ethical issues that intrude.

Frank B. Miller, MD
Hendersonville and Cherokee, NC

Dr Miller practices psychiatry in Hendersonville and Cherokee, NC.

Thanks To An Old Friend

Hungrily I ingest the monthly poems of Richard Berlin,
savoring each ingredient and thoughtful spice
like a phone call or email from an old friend;
amazing how well he knows me
though we have never met.

Irv Tessler, MD
Arcata, Calif

Dr Tessler is in private practice in Arcata, Calif.