Dr. Charles Schulz has not spoken to the press about the suicide of Dan Markingson, but he spoke to an interviewer for the Minnesota Psychiatric Society about the case in 2010. Here is what he said. (See if you can spot the falsehoods.)
"Dr. Cerra (University of Minnesota Vice-President for Health Sciences) has expressed his wish, he, from the first day I
met him to now, has said - I want us to be able to collaborate with industry, whether it is pharmaceutical or device, or whatever; but, let's make it real clear what we're doing. I think we can move ahead with this. And our conflict of
interest policy here at the University is really pretty much that way. Not pretty much, very much - it's actually as strict as any conflict of interest in the US."
"Our Department of Psychiatry has been hurt by an event that happened in 2004, when we were involved in a study of first episode
schizophrenia. Dr. Jeff Lieberman, the chair now at Columbia, and a real expert in first episode schizophrenia, thought to himself, and his colleagues like Joe McEvoy and others, that we really don't know how to use anti-psychotics and/or compare the efficacy and safety in people right at the outset of the disease. So he wrote a protocol and submitted it as an investigator-initiated study to AstraZeneca, and it compared Olanzapine, Quetiapine and Risperidone blindly. And Dr. [Stephen] Olson, here, is the head of our schizophrenia program and was the PI [principal investigator] for our site. The study entered, I think, 400 people."
"There's lots and lots of descriptions of what happened, but Dr. Olson enrolled a young man. I think he got enrolled in November, and in May ended his own life. He was at a residential treatment center. He had been seen by a staff member maybe an hour or two before his death, and Dr. Olson was coordinating the ratings and the administrating [sic] of the medication while the
person was receiving treatment in the community. This, then, led to, as I think you're aware, a lawsuit."
"The judge dismissed the case, with prejudice, saying that the case was so feeble that he could not allow for an appeal. And since that time, there have been a number of different people, including a person on the faculty of the University of Minnesota, in the Ethics Department, the patient's family, very distressed and upset. The department has gone through--- the department as
a whole, has been audited and reviewed. Dr. Olson has been audited and reviewed, and I've been audited and reviewed by the State of Minnesota, by the vice president of research office, by people from the Board of Regents, from the State Medical Board, from the Attorney General's Office. All of those [have been] negative. Yet, as people continue to bring up these complaints and go to
the newspapers, it continues to be in the newspapers."