Many studies have shown that researchers who receive money from drug companies are more likely to report positive results from clinical trials. The Senate Finance Committee, spearheaded by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), conducted an investigation into the issues of transparency, conflict of interest and violations of federal research rules by some 30 academic researchers nationwide.
In conjunction with this investigation, Grassley promoted the Physician Payment Sunshine Act which now requires pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers to disclose all payments over $500 made to physicians and hospitals.
Dr. Charles Nemeroff, psychiatry department chair at Emory University, was one of a number of researchers investigated by the committee. Nemeroff was found to have earned more than $2.8 million in consulting arrangements with various drug makers between 2000 and 2007, but had failed to report at least one-third of this income to his university.