Monday, March 25, 2013

What was pharma's "gift" to the CAFE study investigator?

Among the many interesting documents that emerged in the lawsuit brought against the University of Minnesota by Mary Weiss is a "Departmental Peer Review" for Dr. Stephen Olson.  Olson, of course, is the principal investigator of the CAFE study, in which Dan Markingson committed suicide.

At the bottom of the document are two conflict of interest questions: one for a "potential conflict of interest that is of $10,000 or more" and another for a "gift valued at $1,000 or more."  Olson checked "yes" for both, which means he should have attached explanations.  But the explanations are not included in the court exhibit.

What exactly was this gift that Olson received, and how was it justified?  What was his potential conflict of interest?  I have filed yet another Data Practices Act request for those explanations.  If past experience is any guide, however, I won't be getting an answer anytime soon.

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