More proof that the cover-up causes more damage than the deed itself: Three Harvard researchers are under fire today for failing to disclose thousands in payments from drug companies. One of the three, Dr. Joseph Biederman, is a world-renowned child psychiatrist whose work helped touch off an explosion in the use of antipsychotics in children. He collected at least $1.6 million in consulting fees from drugmakers from 2000 to 2007, but didn't report much of his income to university officials as required by the school and by the National Institutes of Health, according to documents given to Congressional investigators.
Two reasons why this isn't just another story about doctors messing up their paperwork: One, if the NIH's newly launched investigation of the matter shows that Biederman and his colleagues ran afoul of disclosure rules, that could put millions in grants at risk. Two, because the non-disclosure was uncovered by Sen. Charles Grassley--and publicized by the same--it could further fuel Congress's attempts to regulate doc disclosure. And there's no guarantee that the sunshine legislation will end up in the pharma-approved form it's now taken.
- read the article in the New York Times