Saturday, December 23, 2006

NIH Researcher, Pfizer & Conflict of Interest

Article in the L.A. Times -- NIH researcher is ordered to forfeit Pfizer payments, by David Willman:

A federal judge on Friday spared a convicted National Institutes of Health researcher, Dr. P. Trey Sunderland III, any prison time but ordered him to hand over $300,000 in illicit payments he took from a major drug company.

U.S. District Judge J. Frederic Motz also sentenced Sunderland to two years of supervised probation and 400 hours of community service.

"Obviously, this was unacceptable conduct," Motz said.

Sunderland had pleaded guilty Dec. 8 to a criminal conflict of interest related to his payments from Pfizer Inc. The sentence matched a plea agreement in November between prosecutors and Sunderland's lawyers.

Sunderland took Pfizer's money from 1998 to 2003 while he collaborated with the company in his official federal role as a researcher of Alzheimer's disease.


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