Mostly conflict of interest coverage, doctors behaving badly: Thursday news and blogs

Lots of coverage of the following conflict of interest story:

  • At the NIH, conflicting stories of conflict of interest — Washington Post — It’s been just three weeks since the National Institutes of Health announced new guidelines to deal with long-standing concerns that federally funded researchers were being influenced by millions of dollars from the drug industry and other companies, which would naturally love to see the researchers’ efforts reach the right conclusions.
  • Uh Oh! Thomas Insel gets pulled into Nemeroff’s World — The Carlat Psychiatry Blog — One truism of professional life is that some favors, no matter how alluring, should be politely turned down. The trick is predicting which bestowers of favors spell D-A-N-G-E-R, and which do not. Unfortunately, it looks like Dr. Tom Insel, the director of the National Institute of Mental Health, made the mistake of accepting multiple favors from Charles Nemeroff, and he is now paying the price.
  • NIHM’s Insel On Nemeroff: ‘What Relationship?’ — Pharmalot — How close are Tom Insel, the National Institutes of Mental Health director, and Charles Nemeroff, a former Emory University professor who has been the focus of an ongoing Senate probe into financial conflicts of interest among academic researchers? A recent story in The Chronicle of Higher Education noted that Insel (see photo) “quietly” helped Nemeroff get a new job last fall at the University of Miami School of Medicine, which overlooked a two-year ban Emory imposed on Nemeroff for receiving federal grants (back story). This prompted US Senator Chuck Grassley to extend his probe still more (see this).
  • der Insel — Holistic Recovery from Schizophrenia — Rossa, takes a refreshing and important different perspective. There is a flurry of recent blogsphere posts about the conflict of interest relationship between Dr. Thomas Insel, Director of NIMH and Dr. Charles Nemeroff, University of Miami, formerly of Emory University. I did a previous post in May about why I voice my complaints about the NIMH’s focus on future magic bullets.

And on a different note:

  • In the Name of Love | Psychology Today — An illusion. An anesthetic. An irrational compulsion. A neurosis. An emotional storm. An immature ideal. These are the descriptions of love that have long populated the psychological literature. Let us not even consider the obvious fact that they are highly judgmental and dismissive. The question I want to pose is, does any one of them, or even all of them together, come close to capturing the extraordinary experience that for most people is an enormous part of the meaning of life—an experience that fosters well-being and growth?

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