June 9, Wall Street Journal – (National) Harvard researchers fail to report drug payments. Three prominent Harvard University psychiatrists underreported payments they received from drug makers, a situation that highlights the need for a national reporting system of pharmaceutical company payments to physicians, according to an Iowa senator, whose staff compared records of payments provided by drug makers with conflict-of-interest forms the three psychiatrists provided to the university and Massachusetts General Hospital, where they practice.
The university and hospital disclosures made it appear that the psychiatrists were making only a “couple hundred thousand dollars” over a seven-year period beginning in 2000. After the inquiry began, the university and hospital asked the doctors to take a second look at the amounts they received from drug companies. This prompted two of the doctors to report revised totals of more than $1.6 million each in payments from drug companies between 2000 and 2007. The other reported receiving more than $1 million.
The amounts may be even higher because drug-company records indicate the doctors were still reporting amounts lower than what the pharmaceutical makers say they were paid. The senator said the current method for disclosing conflicts of interest among medical researchers is an honor system in which researchers report their relationships with drug and medical-device makers, but nobody checks to make sure the information is accurate. He is calling for a national reporting system in which drug companies disclose payments to doctors. Source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121297210499055941.html?mod=googlenews_wsj