Life Sciences

Industry ties to physicians remain under scrutiny

Pharma Compliance Alert, January 7, 2009

Prominent child psychologist Joseph Biederman, MD, will stop participating in industry-sponsored activities, including speaking arrangements, as part of an agreement with his employer, Massachusetts General Hospital, according to a Boston Globe article.

Massachusetts General Hospital is investigating whether Biederman fully disclosed all payments from pharmaceutical companies, among other things. Biederman is also under federal investigation for failing to report $1.6 million he was paid by pharmaceutical manufacturers between 2000 and 2007.

Biederman isn’t the only psychiatrist coming under fire for ties to industry. Charles B. Nemeroff, MD, stepped down as chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Emory University School of Medicine, according to a university release. An Emory University investigation found Nemeroff failed to report more than $800,000 in income from GlaxoSmithKline for 250 speaking engagements between January 2000 and January 2006.

Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) has been critical of industry ties to physicians and plans to reintroduce the Physician Payments Sunshine Act when Congress reconvenes, according to a statement.


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