Dr. Charles Nemeroff, the psychiatrist whose undisclosed financial ties made him a national model for rethinking conflict-of-interest standards, this month joins the University of Miami medical school as chairman of its psychiatry department.
The noted physician-researcher came under scrutiny by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) for failing to report at least $1.2 million on consulting fees, nearly $900,000 of it for speaking at industry events on behalf of GlaxoSmithKline.
His violation of federal research rules resulted in suspension of a sizable NIH research grant to Emory, and Nemeroff later resigned his chairmanship of Emory University's psychiatric and behavioral sciences department. Nemeroff is “an extraordinary psychiatrist and scientist” who “got into serious trouble on disclosure of conflict of interest,” the dean of the University of Miami's medical school acknowledged in the Miami Herald.
Emory tightened its faculty ethics policy this year. As of 2008, 62 academic medical centers have made their rules regarding conflict-of-interest disclosure more explicit, according to a study conducted by SACME and AAMC.
Sens. Herb Kohl (D-WI) and Grassley introduced the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, requiring pharmas to report publicly any payments that they make to doctors. Various sunshine measures appear in developing healthcare reform legislation.