NIH slaps Emory with new grant rules

Sen. Chuck Grassley will be glad to hear NIH cracking down on Emory University's research funding. Last week, Grassley dropped the bombshell that Emory's psychiatry department head had failed to report more than $1 million in payments from drugmakers, including money from GlaxoSmithKline that Charles Nemeroff received while researching Glaxo meds. Grassley's committee is investigating those payments--and alleges that Emory failed to take action even after an internal probe into Nemeroff's payments.

Well, Emory is certainly taking action now. As you know, Nemeroff stepped down as department chair last week, after the funding news hit. The university also notified professors to let the sun shine on every aspect of their research projects, funding, and potential conflicts of interest. Unfortunately, the latter wasn't Emory's idea: In a memo sent to research faculty, and obtained by Pharmalot, an Emory VP outlined "special award conditions" that now apply to every application for funding from the NIH.

"The NIH Institute or Center from whom funding has been sought will not issue an award until the institutional assurance and relevant information has been received," the memo states. What's more, the university won't even submit the applications "until disclosures have been received for every Investigator participating in the study." Sounds a bit like closing the barn door after the horse has escaped, but we suppose it's better late than never.

- read the news at Pharmalot