Pharmaceuticals Anonymous

Monday, April 6, 2009

Bloomberg: NAMI to be probed re Pharma ties

Grassley Probes Financing of Advocacy Group for Mental Health
By Nicole Gaouette

April 6 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Senator Charles Grassley expanded his investigation into drug company influence on the practice of medicine by asking a nonprofit mental-health- advocacy group about its funding.

In a letter sent today to the National Alliance for Mental Illness, based in Arlington, Virginia, Grassley asked the nonprofit group to disclose any financial backing from drug companies or from foundations created by the industry.

The Iowa Republican, in a series of hearings and investigations, has focused on financial ties between the drug industry, doctors and academic institutions. His efforts have led New York-based Pfizer Inc. to begin disclosing consulting payments to U.S. doctors, and Harvard Medical School in Boston to reexamine its conflict-of-interest policies. Now Grassley is expanding his inquiries to nonprofit groups.

“I have come to understand that money from the pharmaceutical industry shapes the practices of nonprofit organizations which purport to be independent in their viewpoints and actions,” Grassley wrote in his letter.

Officials at the National Alliance for Mental Illness didn’t return calls for comment.


Thank Senator Grassley - or contact him with your concerns - here.

Read the Bonkers Institute's response to Senator Grassley's initiative here.