A report by investigators from the House Energy and Commerce Committee found that a prominent researcher at the National Institutes of Health received hundreds of thousands of dollars in payment from Pfizer. He received the cash in return for granting Pfizer access to human spinal fluid samples collected as part of a government project. According to investigators, Dr. Trey Sunderland, a branch chief with the National Institute of Mental Health, received about $300,000 from Pfizer in return for access to the samples. The report concludes that this case demonstrates a lack of research oversight at the NIH.
The inquiry began after researcher Dr. Susan Molchan became suspicious when she discovered that many of the samples she had collected from patients were missing. The news comes at a time when questions are growing about the integrity of the national tissue supply following the scandal at Biomedical Tissue Services.
- read this Wall Street Journal article (sub. req.)