M E M O R A N D U M
TO: Reporters and Editors
FR: Jill Kozeny, 202/224-1308
for U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa
RE: Emory announcement on conflicts of interest
DA: Monday, December 22, 2008
Senator Chuck Grassley issued the comment below about the announcement made today by Emory University regarding its investigation into allegations of conflicts of interest involving a department chair at its School of Medicine. Click here to view university’s announcement and here for the letter from Emory to the National Institutes of Health.
In 2007, Senator Grassley started looking at the large sums of unreported money going to research doctors from the pharmaceutical and medical device industry. As a result of his findings in the case at Emory and those at other highly respected universities and research institutions, Senator Grassley has called on the National Institutes of Health to fully exercise its authority to require grantees to manage conflicts of interest. Separately, Senator Grassley is pursuing congressional action on his legislative reform proposal that would require makers of drugs, devices and biologics to publicly report money they give to all doctors. Senator Grassley has announced that he will reintroduce this legislation, the Physician Payments Sunshine Act, in the new Congress which begins in January.
Here is Senator Grassley’s comment about Emory’s announcement today:
“Emory’s swift and sure-footed response sets an example for other research institutions to follow and for the National Institutes of Health to hold up as the kind of standard it expects from all those receiving federal research dollars. Accurate disclosure and transparency are fundamental to the integrity of medical research. Without them, the public trust is violated and public confidence in the system is legitimately shaken.