Sen. Grassley Blasts Psychiatrist for Failure to Disclose Industry Funding
By Scott Hensley
Karen Wagner, a child psychiatrist at the University of Texas Medical Branch, is the latest academic psychiatrist to be criticized by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) for failing to fully disclose drug industry ties.
Grassley said in a letter that Wagner didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t disclose more than $150,000 in consulting and speaking fees she received from GlaxoSmithKline in recent years, the WSJ reports. Wagner worked on an NIH study of the treatment of teenage depression that included GlaxoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s antidepressant Paxil. Wagner didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t respond to the WSJÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s requests for comment. The university said it would look into the alleged discrepancies.
Grassley has been on a tear, criticizing other researchers and their universities:
Joseph Biederman, a psychiatrist at Harvard and Massachusetts General, who allegedly failed to disclose much of the more than $1.6 million in payments he received from companies including Johnson & Johnson and Eli Lilly.
Alan Schatzberg, a Stanford psychiatrist, whose stake in a drug company Corcept Therapeutics may have been was worth $6 million, a figure so far above the Ã¢â‚¬Å“greater than $100,000Ã¢â‚¬Â³ category on StanfordÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s disclosure forms that the senator questioned the universityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ability to assess his potential conflicts.
Melissa DelBello, a University of Cincinnati psychiatrist, who allegedly failed to disclose payments from AstraZeneca, maker of antipsychotic Seroquel. DelBello had studied the drug and recommended it for use in kids.
Grassley is leaning on NIH to get tougher with the researchers and universities receiving government grants. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Starting today, the NIH could send a signal that business as usual is over,Ã¢â‚¬Â Grassley said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The simple threat of losing prestigious and sizable NIH grants would force accurate financial disclosure.Ã¢â‚¬Â