Harvard psychiatrists fail to reveal millions in pharma pay

Tools

A Harvard child psychiatrist with a global reputation whose work has helped to promote the use of antipsychotic meds in children apparently didn't report most of the $1.6 million in drug maker consulting fees he earned over the last several years.

According to information given to Congressional investigators, Dr. Joseph Biederman failed to report much of this consulting income to university officials, which he took in between 2000 and 2007. According to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), this may have violated federal and university research rules that attempt to limit potential conflicts of interest. Also accused of such conflicts are Dr. Timothy Wilens, who took in $1.6 million from 2000 to 2007, and Dr.Thomas Spencer, who reported earning at least $1 million during that period.

Even these large numbers may understate the case, given that the researchers' alleged incomes sometimes conflict with drug company reports, some of which contend that they give the researchers far more money than was disclosed. Given these questions, the $287 million in federal grants won by Drs. Biederman and Wilens in 2005 may be restricted, or even suspended.

To get more background on this controversy:
- read this article from The New York Times

Related Articles:
Psychiatrists getting the largest pharma gifts
Cardiac surgeon faces conflict-of-interest challenge
Feds charge research over Pfizer consulting fees
Senate questions NIH conflict-of-interest punishment