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US psychiatrist steps down after questions about drug company payments

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.a2088 (Published 16 October 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a2088
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. 1New York

    Charles Nemeroff, a US psychiatrist, has temporarily stepped down as chairman of the department of psychiatry and behavioural sciences at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, pending conclusions of investigations into alleged undisclosed payments from drug companies. He remains a professor at the university.

    The US Senate Finance Committee has been looking into relations between drug companies and influential doctors and whether drug company funding has influenced the integrity of research and ultimately US doctors’ prescribing habits.

    The committee’s investigation has found that Dr Nemeroff received funds from several drug companies but did not report them to his university, according to documents posted on the committee’s website (http://finance.senate.gov/sitepages/hearing091608.htm).

    The university issued a statement last week saying, “Senator Charles Grassley (Republican, Iowa) [the leading Republican member on the finance committee] has raised a number of questions about whether Emory’s chairman of psychiatry and behavioural sciences, Dr Charles Nemeroff, has properly disclosed his financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies. We at Emory take this matter very seriously and are …

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