Yet another psychiatrist has found his way into Sen. Charles Grassley's interrogation chamber. And this time, the doctor's employer moved quickly with a reprimand: Emory University disciplined Dr. Zachary Stowe, a prominent psychiatrist who was being paid by GlaxoSmithKline at the same time he was conducting federal research about the use of antidepressants in pregnant women. Stowe hadn't disclosed his payments from Glaxo, which amounted to at least $250,000 in 2007 and 2008.
Grassley wrote Emory earlier this month, saying that records he'd obtained from Glaxo--which makes the antidepressant Paxil--detailed those payments, which included fees for at least 95 promotional talks on the drugmaker's behalf, the Wall Street Journal reports. Meanwhile, Stowe was listed as primary investigator on at least three grants from NIH that involve antidepressant use in pregnant women. NIH requires reporting of conflicts of interest among researchers working under its grants.
In a statement, Emory said Dr. Stowe had come forward to acknowledge his undisclosed conflicts of interest. Perhaps the doctor learned something from the experience of Dr. Charles Nemeroff, another Emory psychiatrist who stepped down as chairman of the department last year after failing to report more than $800,000 received from Glaxo from 2000 to 2006. Nemeroff's conduct is now under investigation by the HHS inspector general; he remains on Emory's faculty and maintains that he had acted in good faith to follow the disclosure rules as he understood them.
- read the WSJ story