Prominent Patient Safety Advocate Was Taking Kickbacks from Pharma


ProPublica revisits the story of Dr. Chuck Denham, the previous editor of the Journal of Patient Safety and former “co-chairman of a committee that set guidelines for the National Quality Forum, a nonprofit group that endorses best practices that are widely adopted throughout the healthcare community.” It was discovered that Denham was long in a conflict of interest, secretly taking money from the pharmaceutical industry.

ProPublica reports that Dr. Albert Wu of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health said that the controversy “has helped the patient safety movement grow up by showing that the world of quality improvement presents opportunities for industry to corrupt medical practice. People are becoming as wary and aware of the influence of money on patient safety as they have been in the world of medical devices and pharmaceuticals.”

“We’re now much more aware that we need to be more vigilant,” Wu was quoted as saying.

Patient Safety Journal Adjusts After an Eye-Opening Scandal (ProPublica, November 26, 2014)