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Former editor pays $1m to settle allegations of kickbacks to promote products

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 13 March 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h1459
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. 1Montreal

Charles Denham, one of the best known patient safety advocates in the United States and a former editor of the Journal of Patient Safety, has paid $1m (£0.7m; €0.9m) to settle US government civil allegations that he solicited and accepted kickbacks to influence infection prevention guidelines in a way that favored his sponsor’s product.

While serving as co-chair of the National Quality Forum’s Safe Practices Committee, Denham was also receiving payments through his consultancy company Health Care Concepts Inc and his research organization Texas Medical Institute of Technology, both of which are parties to the settlement.1 He did not declare these payments to the committee, the government alleged.

Minutes of committee meetings show how Denham used his position to advocate for a recommendation specifying 2% chlorhexidine topical formulations in the prevention of surgical site infections.2 This strength of chlorhexidine was found only in the ChloraPrep products made by CareFusion, whose parent company, Cardinal Health, was paying Denham’s companies.

These payments totaled $11.6m, and while …

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