Sen. Grassley questions advocacy group funding

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The ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) has asked state-level chapters of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to account for funds given directly to them by drug companies or coming to them through drug company funding of the organization.

An earlier inquiry of the national-level NAMI found that in 2005-2008, drug companies gave a total of $28.6 million to the organization, which has often been accused of being too supportive of mental health drugs and the companies that make them. “Public trust and public dollars are at stake,” Grassley said. “People rely on medical advice and taxpayers spend billions of dollars on prescription drugs and devices through Medicare and Medicaid. Public confidence could be greatly improved if financial relationships were disclosed. My legislative effort is a common-sense reform that would require the pharmaceutical and device industry to report money it gives to doctors.”

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