Senator Pursues Questionable Pharma/Academic Ties


Senator Chuck Grassley continues his pursuit of questionable financial ties between the pharmaceutical companies and research by asking the National Institutes of Health (NIH) why it has awarded $400,000 for medical research to Charles Nemeroff. Nemeroff, who had been banned from NIH funding for failure to disclose a $1.2 million financial relationship with GlaxoSmithKline (the maker of Paxil) while leading a $9 million study on the treatment of depression, remains under investigation by the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services. The decision to award the grant “risks sending the wrong message to physicians seeking or performing federally funded research,” Grassley said.

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. Oh really? The NIH just throws money at a guy in the interest of science when he’s recently been busted for conflicts of interest? What sort of bad message could that send? Be corrupt, make millions of dollars and publish junk science at the expense of peoples lives and livelihoods and at the very least you’ll keep getting tax funded research dollars? Why not just let psychiatry publish whatever they want to publish, with or without science, and pretend that it’s all true.

    If not for this one senator, the government would probably gladly hand us all over to psychiatry.

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    • He’s the only person standing between us and Pharmageddon since the sheeple public accepts anything and everything; hook, line, and sinker, that the drug companies and the media feed to us. And then you have the quack psychiatrists revving up with their DSM-5 for broader labeling and catching more people in the nets of mentil illness. And of course, they don’t have to support anything with any shred of real science.

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  2. I’d be more interested in an investigation into the *results* of the research that has been funded by pharmaceutical companies and NIMH. I’d like to see an analysis of both the quality and the reliability of the research findings- and penalties assessed for fraud and errors that are either grossly misleading or blatantly harmful- For Nemeroff, Wilens, Biederman and Spencer.

    I don’t think the conflict of interest stories, or even the obscene pay outs to these guys makes much of an impact on our society. Inundated as we are with corporate financial corruption stories, there seems to be an element of desensitization around $$$.

    We need to move on to what these guys have actually produced, given both their high standing in academic medicine and their pompous *bad boy* notoriety.

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