In yesterday’s QRAM meeting, Grace Park, COIOC Administrator reviewed
and discussed the recent revisions to the Public Health Service’s (PHS)
policy on objectivity in research (commonly referred to as the PHS
financial conflict of interest regulation). The impetus for the recent
PHS policy revisions was Congressional concern over undisclosed
financial conflicts of interest (FCOI), as well as scrutiny and
criticism of PHS’s internal and extramural FCOI policies. As you will
see upon reading the below news summary (and the additional information
accessed by the URL at the end of the summary), FCOI continues to garner
Congressional concern, scrutiny and criticism. Clearly, Congressional
interest and pressure on PHS, as well as the federal government’s
continued efforts to increase transparency and accountability have
combined to heighten the public’s concerns about FCOI.

Sen. Grassley Questions NIH Over Grants to Sanctioned Researcher

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) has requested information from NIH about
why it made a “$400,000 medical research grant to a physician who it
banned from NIH funding in recent years for failing to disclose a $1.2
million financial relationship with a major pharmaceutical company while
leading a $9 million federal study involving that drug company’s
blockbuster depression drug Paxil.” The investigator at issue is
Charles Nemeroff, formerly of Emory University and now with the
University of Miami (RRC 6/10, p. 11).
http://www.mmsend25.com/link.cfm?r=11211586&sid=19178412&m=2018292&u=At
lantic2&j=10456715&s=http://www.reportonresearchcompliance.com/printissu
es_library_main.php> According to Grassley’s May 29 letter to NIH,
“Nemeroff remains under investigation” by the HHS Office of Inspector
General, “which is working with the Department of Justice on the case.”
Grassley requested answers to six questions, including “were the peer
reviewers aware that Dr. Nemeroff was under federal investigation? If
not, why not?” by June 12. Link:
http://www.grassley.senate.gov/about/upload/2012-05-29-CEG-to-NIH-Dr-Nem
eroff-grant.pdf
http://www.mmsend25.com/link.cfm?r=11211586&sid=19178413&m=2018292&u=At
lantic2&j=10456715&s=http://www.grassley.senate.gov/about/upload/2012-05
-29-CEG-to-NIH-Dr-Nemeroff-grant.pdf>

I encourage all listserv subscribers to broadly share this information
within their units.

Bruce Morgan

Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research Administration

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