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Researcher received undisclosed payments of $300 000 from Pfizer

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 14 December 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:1237
  1. Jeanne Lenzer
  1. 1Boston

    A federal research scientist working for the US National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) pleaded guilty last week to a charge that he had not declared a conflict of interest to his employers.

    Pearson “Trey” Sunderland III, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanour charge that he failed to report about $300 000 (£150 000; €230 000) worth of consulting fees and expense payments from Pfizer. Under the plea agreement, Dr Sunderland will pay back the $300 000 to the federal government, and prosecutors say they plan to recommend that he also serve 400 hours of community service and be placed on probation for two years.

    Dr Sunderland's activities came under scrutiny when Susan Molchan, a former NIMH researcher, blew the whistle on him when she suspected that he had diverted samples of cerebrospinal fluid that …

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