O texto abaixo da AP ilustra o problema da associação do público com o privado. Nos Estados Unidos, a presença do estado é pequena e, quase todas as universidades são privadas. Isso leva que professores universitários atuando como speakers de empresas farmacêuticas seja tolerada. No Brasil, ao contrário, todas as instituições de importância na área médica são estatais. Isso nos leva a um novo tipo de discussão sobre a participação de médicos e professores em atividades de empresas. Discutir se o medicamento A é melhor do que o B pode-se tolerar, mas quando utilizar títulos universitário e afiliação a hospital público para fazer lobby contra o SUS para aquisição de medicamentos, esse relacionamento se torna insuportável. Há três anos, médico de hospital público publicou artigo de opinião atacando o secretário da saúde por não adquirir o medicamento do qual era speaker (obviamente, ele omitiu essa associação na reportagem).
Researcher Pleads GuiltyTo Improperly Taking Fees Associated PressDecember 8, 2006 11:54 p.m. BALTIMORE -- A government researcher pleaded guilty Friday to misdemeanor conflict of interest for taking $285,000 in consulting fees from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. for work that improperly overlapped his official duties. Trey Sunderland, of Chevy Chase, Md., a prominent Alzheimer's expert who ran a geriatric research unit at the National Institute of Mental Health, part of the National Institutes of Health, entered the plea in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. Dr. Sunderland, 55 years old, failed to get NIH approval for the consulting work that "directly related" to his federal research, and did not properly report the fees and travel expenses from New York-based Pfizer, prosecutors said in court filings. "Dr. Sunderland violated the fundamental rule that government employees cannot accept payment from interested private parties without the permission of their supervisors," U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said in a written release. The conflict began in 1998 when Dr. Sunderland was making arrangements for NIH to work with Pfizer on an Alzheimer's project. At the same time, he began negotiations to be a paid consultant on the same project, prosecutors allege. Government scientists are not allowed to take money for their official collaborations with private companies. The researcher shared thousands of NIH human tissue samples with Pfizer during the time he was paid as a private consultant, prosecutors said. The case is believed to be the first conflict prosecution against a federal scientist since 1992 when NIH researcher Prem Sarin was convicted of embezzling a drug company payment to the agency that was intended to help with AIDS research. Sunderland's case stemmed from a two-year ethics controversy at NIH that prompted the nation's premier medical agency to issue new rules on consulting and end such elationships that enrich its scientists. Scientists recently told NIH that the new rules are so strict that many are considering leaving the agency. The agreement with federal prosecutors calls for two years supervised probation, 400 hours of community service, forfeiture of $300,000, and a fine yet to be determined by the judge. Sentencing was scheduled for Dec. 22. Dr. Sunderland, who was charged Monday and released on personal recognizance pending sentencing, had faced up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine on the single charge