The amount of undisclosed cash paid a University of Texas researcher may be some 50 percent bigger than we originally thought. According to a new letter from Sen. Charles Grassley to the university, psych prof Dr. Karen Wagner (photo) didn't fess up to as much as $230,000 in payments from GlaxoSmithKline. Previously, the payments were thought to total about $150,000.
As you know, Grassley has been digging into financial ties between doctors, researchers, and pharma companies, with an apparent focus on psychiatry. Wagner had been a consultant/speaker for Glaxo at a time when she was also studying the company's antidepressant Paxil as a treatment for psych problems in kids.
The UT System "informed me that they were never aware of any discrepancies regarding Dr. Wagner's reporting of income from GSK," Grassley wrote in his latest missive. "The Texas System also informed me that they would undertake an investigation of any discrepancies in Dr. Wagner's reports." As you know, UT officials say they've been investigating Wagner for about two weeks, and that she's staying on the job during the probe.
If Wagner's pharma payments weren't reported to the National Institutes of Health--which funded her Paxil research--the university could be out of the running for NIH funding for a while. And UT is a big-time research institution. It got no less than $5 billion from NIH since 2000.
- read the post at the Wall Street Journal