Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Johnson & Johnson Psychiatric Gifts Probed by Senate (Update2)

Johnson & Johnson, the world's largest health-care company, said a U.S. Senate committee probing payments to doctors by drug and medical-device makers has asked about company support of psychiatric professional groups.

J&J, of New Brunswick, New Jersey, is responding to the request, received Oct. 23 from the Senate Committee on Finance, the company said today in a regulatory filing. The letter asks about ``any payments or benefits to a number of specified psychiatrists associated with psychiatric professional associations or otherwise authorities in their field.''

Committee members Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican, and Herb Kohl, a Wisconsin Democrat, sent a similar request Oct. 16 to J&J, Medtronic Inc. and Abbott Laboratories about support for a medical-device conference. Grassley has also said he is probing payments by AstraZeneca Plc and Eli Lilly & Co. to psychiatrists and disclosures by Stanford University professor Alan Schatzberg, president-elect of the American Psychiatric Association.


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