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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Martin B. Keller - Good or Evil?

Sources - Black (1) Red (2)

Dr.Keller is the Mary E. Zucker Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the Brown University School of Medicine.

Brown University professor who was forced last year to forfeit hundreds of thousands of dollars in state grant money was paid more than $500,000 in consulting fees in 1998, most of it from pharmaceutical companies whose drugs he touted in medical journals and at conferences.

He is also Executive Psychiatrist-in-Chief at the seven Brown University affiliated hospitals.

Dr. Martin Keller of Newton earned more than $842,000 in 1998 while serving as chief of the psychiatry department at Brown, according to financial records. More than half of his compensation came from the pharmaceutical industry, including companies such as Pfizer Inc., Bristol-Myers Squibb, Wyeth-Ayerst, and Eli Lilly, all of which market antidepressants that Keller lauded in a series of medical research reports.

Dr. Keller received his medical training at Cornell University, and completed a medical internship at Bellevue Medical Center in New York City and a psychiatric residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

In addition, Keller did not disclose the extent of his financial ties with the companies to the medical journals that published his research in 1998, or to the American Psychiatric Association, which sponsored the meetings at which Keller presented his findings.

His research interests include investigation of nosology and long-term course of psychiatric illnesses, including mood disorders, anxiety disorders and eating disorders, and the effect of treatment of neuropsychopharmacologic compounds and psychotherapy on the short-and long-term clinical course of these illnesses in children, adolescents and adults.

Several ethicists contacted by the Globe say Keller's unusually large consulting fees - he pulled in a total of $556,000 in 1998 and $444,000 in 1997 - constitute the most serious potential conflict they've heard of yet.

Dr. Keller has received over 20 research grants from the National Institute of Health and numerous grants from research foundations and pharmaceutical industry. He serves on numerous professional committees and editorial boards, published over 240 articles for peer-reviewed journals, and has been the recipient of several prestigious awards in recognition of making major contributions to the understanding and treatment of mood disorders.

Keller, meanwhile, is a valuable resource for Brown University, attracting millions in research grants and donations. According to the psychiatry department's annual report and other documents, Keller has brought in about $14.4 million in research funding from pharmaceutical companies and federal agencies since 1993. Approximately $8.4 million has come from the National Institute for Mental Health for research on mental illness.

The most recent honor he received is the 2001 American College of Psychiatrists (ACP) Mood Disorders Lifetime Research Award which he received in February, 2001.

In 1998, Brown was forced to return $300,170 Keller's psychiatry department had collected from Massachusetts for research that state officials say the department never performed. Brown returned the money shortly after the Massachusetts attorney general's office filed a civil lawsuit in Suffolk Superior Court, accusing Brown of breaching research contracts with the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health.

Keller and Study 329:

(3) GlaxoSmithKline conducted a study, numbered 329, in which it examined the efficacy and safety of paroxetine versus placebo in the treatment of adolescent depression. Keller was the lead author on the article (J American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2001, 762-772) which appeared regarding the results of this study.

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