Sen. Charles Grassley's hall of shame: The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, who's been trying to rally support for a bill requiring drug and device makers to disclose anything of value given to doctors, raised the case of Dr. Melissa DelBello, a psychiatrist who got hundreds of thousands of dollars in travel expenses, consulting fees, and lecture payments from AstraZeneca. DelBello also happened to be lead author of a study that concluded kids did well on AstraZeneca's antipsychotic med Seroquel.
Here's the timeline: DelBello authored the study, published in 2002. In 2003, she got $100,000 from the drugmaker, or so she told the University of Cincinnati. In 2004, she reported $80,000. AstraZeneca's figures total $238,000.
Grassley was pretty peeved not only about the apparent conflict of interest--which AstraZeneca denied; DelBello wasn't available for comment--but also by the fact that DelBello also got NIH funding during the same period. University of Cincinnati said it applauds Grassley's "looking into this very important issue."
AZ takes steps to shore up Seroquel. Report
AZ's Seroquel receives additional approval. Report