June 16, 2006

What's the Big Deal? I Mean, It's Only $585,000!

Rick Weiss reports on the hearings at which NIH geriatric psychiatry chief for the NIMH Trey Sunderland is being skewered:
A world-renowned Alzheimer's disease researcher at the National Institutes of Health took advantage of the agency's lax oversight by improperly forwarding valuable tissue specimens to a pharmaceutical company and then accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in consulting fees from it, according to congressional investigators.

Trey Sunderland, chief of the geriatric psychiatry branch at the National Institute of Mental Health, failed to tell agency officials about his arrangement with the drug giant Pfizer Inc., as required by federal rules, the investigators concluded in a 27-page preliminary report released yesterday.

Sunderland also did not properly disclose arrangements with another company, said the report, which found no wrongdoing by the drug companies. And though the NIH has not released the findings of its own investigation, the House report said the agency has concluded that Sunderland committed "serious misconduct, in violation of HHS ethics rules and federal law and regulation."

Well, at least he didn't take samples from someone who had filed a sexual harassment claim against him.

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