|The documents in DIDA were obtained from a number of court cases as well as investigations headed by US government committees and private interest groups. Click on a specific investigation below to learn more about the case and to access the documents from that case.|
Using documents obtained from litigation* about Paxil (paroxetine), an antidepressant sold by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), POGO discovered that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funds researchers who used ghostwriters to write journal articles and other scientific communications. POGO used this information to ask Francis Collins, NIH Director, to "take a firm stance against ghostwriting both to protect public health and the integrity of NIH funding. We ask that you implement new policies that will require institutions to ban ghostwriting, and to make NIH funding contingent upon periodic certification from institutions that ghostwriting is strictly prohibited and that enforcement mechanisms such as disciplinary action and dismissal are in place." The POGO letter to Dr. Collins, and related documents, can be read here.
United States Senate Finance Committee - Charles Grassley
Investigation into payments made to physicians
Several studies over the years have shown that researchers who receive money from drug companies are more likely to report positive results from clinical trials. The Senate Finance Committee, spearheaded by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), has been conducting a far reaching investigation into the issues of transparency, conflict of interest and violations of federal research rules by some 30 academic researchers nationwide. In conjunction with this investigation, Grassley is promoting a bill called the Physician Payment Sunshine Act that would require pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers to disclose all payments over $500 made to physicians. Dr. Charles Nemeroff, psychiatry department chair at Emory University, is one of a number of researchers being investigated by the committee. Nemeroff was found to have earned more than $2.8 million in consulting arrangements with various drugmakers between 2000 and 2007, but had failed to report at least one-third of this income to his university. See the New York Times article on the committee's investigation into Nemeroff and Emory University.
United States Congressional Committee on Government Reform - Henry A. Waxman
Investigation into the marketing of Vioxx to physicians
A select set of documents, obtained from the public records of the Minority Office of the Congressional Committee on Government Reform, which detail the marketing of Vioxx (rofecoxib) to physicians. In his report to the Committee, Representative Waxman concluded, "a review of over 20,000 pages of Merck documents suggests that the company used its sales force of thousands to counter growing evidence of concern over the safety of Vioxx. These efforts involved providing highly questionable information to physicians and pursuing aggressive marketing strategies."
See all documents related to the Government Reform Committee inquiry.
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