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By Ault, Alicia | Clinical Psychiatry News, July 2010 | Go to article overview

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Ault, Alicia, Clinical Psychiatry News


NIMH Director Denies Conflict

Dr. Thomas R. Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, is denying a report in the Chronicle of Higher Education that he assisted a former colleague in securing a new position after the person was removed as principal investigator on an NIMH-funded grant because of conflicts of interest. The story alleged that Dr. Insel helped Dr. Charles B. Nemeroff get a new position at the University of Miami after he left Emory University and that Dr. Insel helped Dr. Nemeroff avoid sanctioning by the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Nemeroff is under investigation for not disclosing payments from Glaxo-SmithKline while he was leading studies of the company's drugs escitalopram and duloxetine at Emory. Dr. Insel has been leading the NIH's latest effort to weed out conflicts among employees. In a post on his "Director's Blog" in mid-June, he said that "Having been one of the most outspoken proponents for developing tougher conflict of interest policies at NIH, the allegations that I would help anyone avoid penalties struck me as surreal." He added, "I realize that my tenure at Emory and a previous association with Dr Nemeroff will, for some, be 'guilt by association.' To avoid such allegations, I recused myself from all matters involving Dr. Nemeroff during the conflict of interest investigation at NIH ... and from future applications or NIH matters involving Dr. Nemeroff."

APA Beefs Up Conflict Policy

The American Psychiatric Association has approved a new code of conduct to govern its relationships with other organizations. The policy requires that any financial relationship with any entity that develops educational programs or subsidizes research should be clearly stated by APA staff and members working on behalf of the organization. It also requires all APA educational programs follow the American College of Continuing Medical Education standards for independent and unbiased presentations. A new conflict of interest committee will be charged with overseeing the organization's relationships with industry and other groups. The code is available at www.psych.org/Resources/Governance/Disclosure-of-Interests-and-Affiliations/APA-Code-of-Conduct.aspx.

Judge Hands Down Topamax Fine

Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical LLC, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, recently pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of violating the Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act, for the illegal promotion of Topamax for psychiatric uses. …

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