(NaturalNews) A congressional investigation has revealed that a group of Harvard psychiatrists, instrumental in pushing the diagnosis of bipolar disorder in children and its off-label treatment with antipsychotics, concealed from university officials the millions of dollars they earned in consulting fees for the companies that make those drugs.
Iowa Sen. Charles E. Grassley requested the financial disclosure reports that Drs. Joseph Biederman, Timothy E. Wilens and Thomas Spencer had filed with Harvard University between 2000 and 2007. He then asked a handful of pharmaceutical companies for their own records on how much had been paid to the researchers in that time.
The numbers reported by the drug companies were much higher than those on the researchers’ forms.
“Basically, these forms were a mess,” Grassley said. “Over the last seven years, it looked like they had taken a couple hundred thousand dollars.”
Upon being confronted with the discrepancies, the researchers admitted to having concealed certain consulting fees and upped their estimates. These new numbers still fell short of those reported by the drug companies.
Biederman, for example, originally told Harvard that he had received no money from Johnson & Johnson in 2001. When Grassley asked him to double check, Biederman admitted to receiving $3,500. The drug company’s records, however, recorded payments of $58,169 to Biederman in that year alone.
A more thorough investigation revealed that Biederman and Wilens had received at least $1.6 million from the pharmaceutical industry between 2000 and 2007, while Spencer had received at least $1 million.
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