NYT: Psychiatrist Failed to Report $1.2M Paid by Big Pharma

The New York Times reports that Emory University psychiatrist Charles B. Nemeroff failed to report $1.2 million he earned from consulting with pharmaceutical companies. If true, this would violate federal research rules. According to the article:

In one telling example, Dr. Nemeroff signed a letter dated July 15, 2004, promising Emory administrators that he would earn less than $10,000 a year from GlaxoSmithKline to comply with federal rules. But on that day, he was at the Four Seasons Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyo., earning $3,000 of what would become $170,000 in income that year from that company — 17 times the figure he had agreed on.

Dr Nemeroff “has written more than 850 research reports and reviews. He was editor in chief of the influential journal Neuropsychopharmacology,” according to the Times.

This is just the latest in several recent embarrassing moments for psychiatry involving the profession’s financial ties with pharmaceutical companies. As reported earlier on AHP, nearly 1/3 of the American Psychiatric Association’s budget comes directly from the pharmaceutical industry (here), and the New York Times has called on the US Congress to pass legislation that will force pharmaceutical companies to publicly disclose all payments they make to physicians (here). The Times reports that this “series of disclosures that is shaking the world of academic medicine and seems likely to force broad changes in the relationships between doctors and drug makers.”

About Christopher Green

Professor of Psychology at York University (Toronto). Former editor of the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences. Creator of the "Classics in the History of Psychology" website and of the "This Week in the History of Psychology" podcast series.

5 thoughts on “NYT: Psychiatrist Failed to Report $1.2M Paid by Big Pharma

  1. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution provides an update: “Emory University officials said Saturday that a prominent psychiatric researcher has been accused several times in recent years with not disclosing earnings from drug companies and not revealing potential conflicts of interest…. On Friday, he [Nemeroff] voluntarily stepped down as chairman of Emory’s Department of Psychiatry pending the outcome of the investigation…. ‘There were serious allegations in the past, and now there are even more allegations. And we are investigating,’ said Earl Lewis, Emory’s executive vice president of academic affairs…. Lewis told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Saturday that depending on the outcome of the university’s own probe, the allegations could lead to the firing of Nemeroff.”

  2. The blog Furious Seasons has posted a letter that Charles Nemeroff apparently wrote to himself… well, I can’t describe it better than Furious Seasons:

    “In 2000, Emory University psychiatrist Charles Nemeroff wrote himself a letter–the salutation is “Dear Me”–on letterhead of the journal Depression and Anxiety, which he then edited, inviting himself to author a supplement article celebrating the fifth anniversary of Effexor, and noting that he would be paid $3,000 for his efforts. The monies apparently came from a university fund that was filled with money by Wyeth, maker of Effexor.”

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