April 29,2010

Grassley Works to Disclose Drug Company Sponsorship of Patient Advocacy Groups

WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley today released information about donations pharmaceutical companies gave to state chapters of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI, and urged the national patient advocacy group to take steps to make support for state chapters more transparent.

The information was made available in response to a request Grassley made last October for an accounting of industry funding.  The data was previously unknown even to the national NAMI office.  The request led NAMI to begin posting reports of its own pharmaceutical industry funding on its website.  Grassley praised this initiative and said other professional societies and patient advocacy groups should consider doing the same as “a matter of building public trust.”

Grassley has conducted extensive oversight and worked for disclosure of financial ties between the pharmaceutical industry and physicians, especially those involved in influential taxpayer-sponsored medical research; medical journals containing ghostwritten articles; medical colleges; continuing medical education; and the patient advocacy community.