Fraud Charge on Danish Doc for Payments from Drugmakers

Fraud Charge on Danish Doc for Payments from Drugmakers

July 16th, 2013 // 12:28 pm @

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In Norway, there is a cardiologist for a large hospital that has been charged with fraud for going on fishing trips and buying furniture with money he was given from Pfizer and Merck. The word is that the companies made payments to him for clinical study work that was supposed to go straight to the hospital.

A newspaper in Norway stated that the payments were sent to a private bank account that belongs to Peer Grande. Since about 2000, Grande illegally received about $325,000 from pharmaceutical companies for doing clinical studies at the hospital. A 1999 rule prohibits doctors from getting money directly from drug companies.

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The Merck unit in Europe, put at least $150,000 from 2009 to 2012 in the doctor’s account. About $20,000 of that money was used for a salmon fishing trip and for furniture.

Danish legal authorities stated that they are now looking at all laws and protocols in this area to see if they are operating as intended. After this case, the police are trying to determine if drug companies are paying money according to the rules for external financing of clinical studies.

This fraud episode in Norway has come to light as the subject of payments to physicians is getting more attention in the US. In August, there will be a new law that mandates pharmaceutical companies to collect and report financial ties to doctors on a Website. This is known as the Sunshine Act, and this law came about after an investigation by the US Senate into whether shady payments were influencing clinical studies and medical research.

Grande denied the allegations above and said that he did not have any private account from which he took money. But he was confronted the following day with evidence that the payments were made, and he would not speak to the press after that.

A Danish newspaper stated that Grande did 6 trials for Astrazeneca, but the firm has stated that it made all payments to the organization that did the studies, not to Grand personally.

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