Scumbag Awarded Grant By Corrupt Health Agency

You know that corruption is rampant in the health care industry when a psychiatrist who has been chastised repeatedly for failing to disclose drug company payoffs wins a National Institute of Health grant. What exactly were they thinking? I suppose that they were thinking they could pull a big one over on the American people. This is the first grant that the NIH has awarded in 3 years time, and it has to go to a total scuzzball! BUZZZ!!!

The doctor is Charles Nemeroff who I have written about previously. The story is in Science Insider, Sanctioned Psychiatrist Gets First NIH Grant in 3 Years.

Charles Nemeroff’s lax reporting of at least $1.2 million in drug company payments to his employer, Emory University, and similar payments to other academic psychiatrists prompted a 2007 Senate investigation. Nemeroff stepped down as chair of psychiatry at Emory, and NIH suspended a $9-million grant he held for a depression study. In December 2008, Emory barred him from applying for NIH funding for 2 years.

9, 10, 11, 12…BUZZZ!!!!

Enter the corrupt good old boy system.

A year later, Nemeroff moved to the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Florida. This prompted concerns because Emory’s ban on NIH grants did not move with him. (Fueling the flames was a phone call in which National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) Director Thomas Insel apparently assured the University of Miami medical school dean that Nemeroff could seek NIH funding if he moved.)

You don’t think the NIMH has too much clout in the NIH, do you? Well, given a maneuver like this one, I certainly do.

The 2-year ban by Emory would have expired anyway. But Paul Thacker, a former staffer for Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) who led the Senate investigation, says NIH itself had the authority to impose a longer ban. “This shows they’re really not serious about the problem,” Thacker says.

When we are as corrupt as they come, I guess you could put it, we look after our own. I don’t know who else gets the wrong perpetuated by this gesture, but personally, I say, “shame on you NIH!” BUZZZ!

Did somebody say he withheld the reporting of 1.2 million dollars? This sleight gives new meaning to the expression, “that’s rich”. With that much of a kickback, there’s only one thing you can say, Dr. Nemeroff is solidly a one percenter. Again I say, “shame on you NIH!” That’s 99 % of the population you’ve passed over.

5 Responses

  1. So Insel of the NIMH tells Miami that Nemeroff can seek NIH funding if he moves there. He does so – unsurprisingly – Emory’s ban is only good for Emory, it appears.

    The NIH, with the capacity to keep Nemeroff out of business for longer, simply does not bother. How cosy.

    Do you think the fact that Zerhouni stepped down from directorship of the NIH not long after the decision to halt the $9 million trial has anything to do with it?

    Not declaring the payments sounds like fraud to me. If it is not already written into law that these circumstances constitute fraud, it certainly ought to be.

    • I seriously doubt Elias Zerhouni ending his tenure at NIH had anything to do with Charles Nemeroff. Zerhouni, who is associated as board member and consultant with 2 pharmaceutical companies, has conflict of interest issues of his own. On the record, reasons given for his leaving NIH were as follows:

      Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D., the director of the National Institutes of Health, today announced his plans to step down at the end of October 2008 to pursue writing projects and explore other professional opportunities.

      Researchers are required to disclose the amount of money they have received from pharmaceutical companies. Charles Nemeroff was one of a number researchers who failed to disclose the whole figure. He was penalized for not disclosing the full figure to the schools where he taught. Apparently inethical behavior is more acceptable at some schools than it is at other schools. He was hired, on NIMH director Thomas Insell’s recommendation, at one University after being penalized and resigning his teaching position at another. Now he’s been granted more money for conducting research. If it weren’t for this good and corrupt old boy system Dr. Nemeroff wouldn’t be where he is today. He shouldn’t be where he is today.

      • The notion of doctors being ethical simply because they are doctors is ridiculous. Accounting for these payments – or “grants” as they prefer to call them – should be written into law and not left to this self-serving mob.

  2. This week’s British Medical Journal has an item about this – about how Senator Grassley has asked questions. I can’t read it because I haven’t got a subscription.

    • We have a real big problem with over-diagnosing and over-prescribing in this country. Doctors are also prescribing drugs for purposes for which they have never been approved. Given such a situation, the last thing we need is a teflon mad doctor. When psychiatrists who commit atrocities are punished, we all benefit. Let me just add that punishing overzealous psychiatrists is good for the overall mental health in our country. When such doctors are not penalized, the mental illness rate climbs, and the physical health of people in treatment declines.

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