The Boston Globe

Excerpts from the Globe’s blog on the Boston-area medical community.

Dr. Martin Keller, head of psychiatry at Brown University, may be the next target of congressional investigations into the cozy relationship between some doctors and pharmaceutical companies.

Senator Charles E. Grassley (below), the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, is taking a hard look at the consulting fees that Keller has received from drug companies for his research on the antidepressant Paxil, according to Ed Silverman at the blog, Pharmalot.

Alison Bass, a former Globe reporter who wrote a book on Keller’s research, the ensuing legal trial, and the fallout, said in an interview that it was a long time coming. Keller has never been publicly disciplined or sanctioned for his role in a study that hid negative consequences of Paxil while promoting positive ones. Yet “he is still chief of psychiatry [at Brown] and pulling in millions of dollars in research funding from the drug companies and federal research agencies,” Bass said.

A spokesman for Grassley’s office said the senator is looking into 30 physicians from up to 20 universities, but wouldn’t comment on any specific doctors.