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Friday April 25, 2014
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The Corruption of Sid Gilman

 

continued

It was another year before the U-M, Wall Street, and the world found out about Gilman's breach of faith. Two days before Thanksgiving, Bharara announced the criminal charges against Martoma. In a civil case announced simultaneously, the Securities Exchange Commission sued CR Intrinsic, Martoma, and Gilman. In that case, Gilman agreed to forfeit $234,000--the amount he earned in the scheme, plus interest.

At the med school, a faculty committee was already working on an updated policy regarding outside consulting gigs, but the Gilman case has made that work more urgent: "We are seriously taking into account the events and actions involved in the Gilman case as we strive to make the process more robust and we work to minimize situations where ethical violations can occur," Barker emails.

Acknowledging that "actual and potential conflicts of interest are a normal part of all business," the U-M says "the key is how they are managed," adding "we have a rigorous set of policies--and a formal process--that ensure this management occurs for every employee."

When it comes to outside consulting, the U-M, like every major academic institution, largely trusts in the integrity of its employees. To do otherwise would require instituting cumbersome rules that faculty would perceive as an intrusion on their professional freedom. But Wayne State's Henning suggests that "it might be a good first step to bar researchers from being in expert networks while they are participating in clinical trials."

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