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General Health : Other News Last Updated: Apr 20, 2011 - 9:38:09 AM

Radio show host receives $1 million from drugmakers
By Sue Mueller
Nov 21, 2008 - 2:48:16 PM

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The drug industry knows what they are doing. It knows where money should be invested to promote sales of all types of drugs.   This could be an issue of conflict of interest, which has been reported from time to time in the news media.


News broke that drugmakers start paying cash earned from suffering and dying patients to at least one radio host that works of the National Public Radio or NPR and his name is Dr. Frederick K. Goodwin.


Media reports that the psychiatrist and former NIMH director collected some $1.3 million from drugmakers between 2000 and 2007 and he never disclosed that income to his listeners.   And the radio show producer said he knew nothing about it.


Goodwin's program should be very influential or the industry would waste its money.   The New York Times reports some of his programs talk about subjects "important to the commercial interests of the companies for which he consults."


The undisclosed payments have come to light due to a congressional investigation into drugmakers' potential influence on prescribing habits.


FiercePharma cited Congressional records as showing that Goodwin told listeners that children with bipolar disorder could suffer brain damage if untreated. And During the same program, he touted the safety and efficacy of treatments like mood stabilizing dugs. One the same day, he was $2,500 richer.   GlaxoSmithKline paid him to give a promotional lecture for its drug Lamictal, as part of the $329,000 deal.


In an interview with the New York Times, Goodwin was cited by news media as telling the newspaper that his radio show's producer knew about his collecting payments from drugmakers, but at the time, neither he nor the producer did not know it would be necessary to disclose the relationships.


The NPR producer denied he knew anything of such deals. "The fact that he was out on the stump for pharmaceutical companies was not something we were aware of. It would have violated our agreements," producer Bill Lichtenstein was quoted as saying in an interview.


Lichtenstein said should the NPR know Goodwin's financial relationships with drug makers the program could have been pulled off the air as soon as possible.


A Glaxo spokesperson said it is doctors that need to disclose what they receive from the drug company. "We continue to believe that healthcare professionals are responsible for making disclosures to their employers and other entities, in this case National Public Radio and its listeners."


Conflict of interest does not seem uncommon nowadays.


The Chronicle of Higher Education reported on October 15, 2008 that due to conflict of interest concerns, the National Institute of Health halt its $9.3-million, 5-year study grant to Emory University. Dr. Charles B. Nemeroff has reportedly failed to comply with federal regulations and university policies to disclose his receiving payments from Glaxo.   Senator Charles Grassley also found similar issues concerning researchers at Harvard, Stanford, the University of Texas, the University of Cincinnati, and others reporting payments from drug companies inaccurately.

Here is something about Goodwin:

Frederick K. Goodwin, M.D., is research professor of psychiatry at George Washington University. He is the director of the Psychopharmacology Research Center and the Center on Neuroscience, Medical Progress, and Society at the George Washington University Medical Center. He is a specialist in manic-depressive illness.[1]

Frederick Goodwin received his M.D. from St. Louis University, and was a psychiatric resident at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Before moving to Georgetown, Dr. Goodwin was director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), from 1981 to 1988. Earlier, he was head of the Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration. He is known in particular for having been the first to report a controlled study on the antidepressant effects of lithium.[1]

He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the ACNP. He is a founder of the journal Psychiatry Research, and on the editorial boards of a number of other journals. He was president of the Psychiatric Research Society, elected in 1998.[1]

Dr. Goodwin was recently removed from his position as the host of a reputable public radio show on psychiatry. A congressional investigation discovered that he accepted $1.3 million for consultancy fees for pharmaceutical companies that were at times related to topics discussed on the radio show. (cite from wikipedia)

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