The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that Emory University psychiatrist Zachary Stowe had an improperly reported relationship with pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, which they said " … made payments to Stowe at the same time he was conducting federal research about the use of antidepressants, such as Glaxo's Paxil, in pregnant women."

Apparently Stowe made approximately $250,000 from his relationship with Glaxo. The paper reports that Stowe has been reprimanded andtold he musteliminate all conflicts related to current federal grants. "In a statement, the school said Stowe had informed it of 'previously unreported activities and has disclosed his failure to abide by Emory policies.'"

This is very disappointing. It calls into question his research, regardless of whether it was or was not affected by this relationship. Is it possible to separate church and state and have federally-funded research that completely bars any additional funding from pharmaceutical companies? What is the issue with thecost of research or the amount that researchers aregetting paid that makes them seek additional funding from sources that could compromise their work? Can't we ensure that people are paid well enough in their jobs that they don't need to seek this kind of questionable funding elsewhere? Ugh.

No matter how many he times he may say that this didn't affect his research results, it won't helpbecause this damages his credibility, at least in the public arena. No matter how much good work hemay havedone. That is why this is so awful.

For more on this, check out the Carlat Psychiatry Blog here.