Researchers fail to reveal full drug pay.A world-renowned child psychiatrist child psychiatrist Psychiatry A psychiatrist specialized in mental, emotional, or behavior disorders of children and adolescents; CPs are qualified to prescribe medications whose work has helped fuel an explosion in the use of powerful antipsychotic antipsychotic /an·ti·psy·chot·ic/ (-si-kot´ik) effective in the treatment of psychotic disorders; also, an agent that so acts. Antipsychotics are a chemically diverse but pharmacologically similar class of drugs; besides psychotic medicines in children earned at least $1.6 million in consulting fees from drug makers from 2000 to 2007 but for years did not report much of this income to university officials, according to information given Congressional investigators, "The New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of Times" reported June 8.
By failing to report income, the psychiatrist, Joseph Biederman, M.D., and a colleague in the psychiatry department at Harvard Medical School Harvard Medical School (HMS) is one of the graduate schools of Harvard University. It is a prestigious American medical school located in the Longwood Medical Area of the Mission Hill neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. , Timothy Wilens, M.D., may have violated federal and university research rules designed to police potential conflicts of interest, according to Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-IA). Some of their research is financed by government grants.
Like Biederman, Wilens belatedly reported earning at least $1.6 million from 2000 to 2007, and another Harvard colleague, Thomas Spencer, M.D., reported earning at least $1 million after being pressed by Grassley's investigators. But even these amended disclosures may understate un·der·state
v. un·der·stat·ed, un·der·stat·ing, un·der·states
1. To state with less completeness or truth than seems warranted by the facts.
2. the researchers' outside income because some entries contradict payment information from drug makers, Grassley found.
In one example, Biederman reported no income from Johnson & Johnson for 2001 in a disclosure report filed with the university. When asked to check again, he said he received $3,500. But Johnson & Johnson told Grassley that it paid him $58,169 in 2001, the senator found.
The Harvard group's consulting arrangements with drug makers were already controversial because of the researchers' advocacy of unapproved un·ap·proved
Not approved or sanctioned: an unapproved vaccine; an unapproved protest march. uses of psychiatric medicines in children.
In an e-mailed statement, Biederman told The Times, "My interests are solely in the advancement of medical treatment through rigorous and objective study," and he said he took conflict-of-interest policies "very seriously." Wilens and Spencer said in e-mailed statements that they thought they had complied with conflict-of-interest rules.
John Burklow, a spokesman for the National Institutes of Health, said: "If there have been violations of NIH "Not invented here." See digispeak.
NIH - The United States National Institutes of Health. policy--and if research integrity has been compromised--we will take all the appropriate action within our power to hold those responsible accountable. This would be completely unacceptable behavior, and NIH will not tolerate it."
The federal grants received by Biederman and Wilens were administered by Massachusetts General Hospital Massachusetts General Hospital Health care The major teaching hospital for Harvard Medical School, widely regarded as one of the best health care centers in the world , which in 2005 won $287 million in such grants. The health institutes could place restrictions on the hospital's grants or even suspend them altogether.
Alyssa Kneller, a Harvard spokeswoman, said the doctors had been referred to a university conflict committee for review.
Grassley sent letters June 4 to Harvard and the health institutes outlining his investigators' findings, and he placed the letters along with his comments in "The Congressional Record A daily publication of the federal government that details the legislative proceedings of Congress.
The Congressional Record began in 1873 and, in 1947, a feature called The Daily Digest was added to briefly highlight the daily legislative activities of each House, ."
Biederman is one of the most influential researchers in child psychiatry child psychiatry
Branch of medicine concerned with mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders of childhood. It arose as a separate field in the 1920s, largely because of the pioneering work of Anna Freud. and is widely admired for focusing the field's attention on its most troubled young patients. Although many of his studies are small and often financed by drug makers, his work helped to fuel a controversial 40-fold increase from 1994 to 2003 in the diagnosis of pediatric pediatric /pe·di·at·ric/ (pe?de-at´rik) pertaining to the health of children.
Of or relating to pediatrics. bipolar disorder bipolar disorder, formerly manic-depressive disorder or manic-depression, severe mental disorder involving manic episodes that are usually accompanied by episodes of depression. , which is characterized by severe mood swings, and a rapid rise in the use of antipsychotic medicines in children. The Grassley investigation did not address research quality.
Doctors have known for years that antipsychotic drugs Antipsychotic Drugs Definition
Antipsychotic drugs are a class of medicines used to treat psychosis and other mental and emotional conditions.
Purpose , sometimes called major tranquilizers, can quickly subdue children. But youngsters appear to be especially susceptible to the weight gain and metabolic problems caused by the drugs, and it is far from clear that the medications improve children's lives over time, experts told The Times.
In the last 25 years, drug and device makers have displaced the federal government as the primary source of research financing, and industry support is vital to many university research programs. But as corporate research executives recruit the brightest scientists, their brethren in marketing departments have discovered that some of these same scientists can be terrific pitchmen.
To protect research integrity, the National Institutes of Health require researchers to report to universities earnings of $10,000 or more per year, for instance, in consulting money from makers of drugs also studied by the researchers in federally financed trials. Universities manage financial conflicts by requiring that the money be disclosed to research subjects, among other measures.
The health institutes last year awarded more than $23 billion in grants to more than 325,000 researchers at over 3,000 universities, and auditing the potential conflicts of each grantee An individual to whom a transfer or conveyance of property is made.
In a case involving the sale of land, the buyer is commonly known as the grantee.
grantee n. would be impossible, health institutes officials have long insisted. So the government relies on universities.
Universities ask professors to report their conflicts but do almost nothing to verify the accuracy of these voluntary disclosures.
"It's really been an honor system thing," said Robert Alpern, M.D., dean of Yale School of Medicine The primary teaching hospital for the school is Yale-New Haven Hospital. The school is home to the Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library, one of the largest modern medical libraries, also known for its historical collections. . "If somebody tells us that a pharmaceutical company pays them $80,000 a year, I don't even know how to check on that."
Some states have laws requiring drug makers to disclose payments made to doctors. Grassley and others have sponsored legislation to create a national registry.
Lawmakers have been concerned in recent years about the use of unapproved medications in children and the influence of industry money.
Grassley asked Harvard for the three researchers' financial disclosure reports from 2000 through 2007 and asked some drug makers to list payments made to them. Prompted by Grassley's interest, Harvard asked the researchers to re-examine re·ex·am·ine also re-ex·am·ine
tr.v. re·ex·am·ined, re·ex·am·in·ing, re·ex·am·ines
1. To examine again or anew; review.
2. Law To question (a witness) again after cross-examination. their disclosure reports.
In the new disclosures, the trio's outside consulting income jumped but was still contradicted by reports sent to Grassley from some of the companies. In some cases, the income seems to have put the researchers in violation of university and federal rules.
In 2000, for instance, Biederman received a grant from the National Institutes of Health to study in children Strattera, an Eli Lilly drug for attention deficit disorder attention deficit (hyperactivity) disorder (ADD or ADHD)
Behavioral syndrome in children, whose major symptoms are inattention and distractibility, restlessness, inability to sit still, and difficulty concentrating on one thing for any . Biederman reported to Harvard that he received less than $10,000 from Lilly that year, but the company told Grassley that it paid Biederman more than $14,000 in 2000, Grassley's letter stated.
At the time, Harvard forbade professors from conducting clinical trials if they received payments over $10,000 from the company whose product was being studied, and federal rules required such conflicts to be managed.
Grassley said these discrepancies demonstrated profound flaws in the oversight of researchers' financial conflicts and the need for a national registry.
"The price we pay for these kinds of revelations is credibility, and we just can't afford to lose any more of that in this field," said E. Fuller Torrey Edwin Fuller Torrey, M.D. (b.September 6, 1937, Utica, New York), is an American psychiatrist and schizophrenia researcher. He is Associate Director for Laboratory Research at the Stanley Medical Research Institute (SMRI). , M.D., executive director of the Stanley Medical Research Institute, which finances psychiatric studies. "In the area of child psychiatry in particular, we know much less than we should, and we desperately need research that is not influenced by industry money."