From 2000 to 2006, GSK paid Nemeroff a total of $960,488. Note that this was not research grant money, or money for Emory's psychiatry department. These were fees that went into his personal bank account, which he earned by either sitting on GSK's Advisory Board, or speaking to doctors about GSK products. His typical fee for a talk was $3500 plus expenses, but sometimes he made more.
Of this $960,488, the total amount he disclosed to Emory was $34,998.
By 2004, Emory officials knew that Nemeroff was hiding financial information from the university, and its conflict of interest committee investigated. On June 24, 2004, the committee issued this confidential report, which was obtained and posted by the New York Times. The committee found that Nemeroff committed "serious" violations of Emory's conflict of interest policies regarding his financial relationships with Eli Lilly, Janssen, Merck, and Cypress Pharmaceuticals. They created a series of conflict of interest management plans for each of these relationships. It is not known whether he followed these plans, because the Senate inquiry has focused on his relationships with GSK.
If your head is beginning to spin, it is understandable. Nemeroff's financial entanglements were (and are) extensive, complex, and of a scale possibly unprecedented in psychiatry. Luckily, Senator Grassley's office prepared a timeline of deception which I have pasted in miniature below, but which you can read in full scale on the last page of Grassley's letter to Emory.
As Emory's investigation proceeds, I assume we will find out more. Meanwhile, Nemeroff has temporarily resigned as chairman pending the results of the inquiry. My prediction is that we will be hearing about differing definitions of "consulting," along the lines of Clinton's infamous "it depends on what the word is is."
Monday, October 6, 2008
Detailing Deception, or, Nemeroff by the Numbers
As more information surfaces about Dr. Charles Nemeroff, the picture becomes more complicated and more sordid. Below is a table of Dr. Nemeroff's income from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) vs. his disclosures, from the Grassley letter.