Saturday, April 26, 2014

The $10 million Med School Whistleblower Story Keeps Going

The story of the $10 million whistleblower payout in the med school keeps going.  Today's LA Times business section carries a front page story about the general issue of conflict of interest.  As we have noted in past postings, no one pays out $10 million at the closing of a trial unless the fear is that the ultimate court decision could be a lot more than that.  [The Times repeats the university's claim - attributed to the Regents - that the settlement was just to save litigation time and costs.  But the costs were already well underway since the settlement came at the end of the trial.  Moreover, while technically the Regents have to approve such payouts, the Regents don't act unilaterally.  They rubber stamp the recommendations of university lawyers.]

Excerpt from the LA Times story:

...A new study in this month's Journal of the American Medical Assn. raised a red flag generally about university officials such as Eugene Washington, the dean of UCLA's medical school who also serves on the board of healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson. The world's biggest medical-products maker paid Washington more than $260,000 in cash and stock last year as a company director. "There are real risks here," said Walid Gellad, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and co-author of the JAMA study. "Are the policies in place enough to govern these potential conflicts among the leadership of academic medical centers?"  Meanwhile, the $10-million, mid-trial settlement this week between the UC system and the former head of orthopedic surgery at UCLA has prompted a consumer group to seek an independent investigation by California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris or Gov. Jerry Brown..."

Full story at

Maybe someone in Murphy Hall needs to take some control.  Some stories keep growing and growing...

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