May 28, 2009

Surgeon accused of not reporting payments

A spinal surgeon at the University of California, Los Angeles did not report payments he received from medical companies for research, a senator alleges.

U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, alleged in a May 21 letter to UCLA Chancellor Gene Block the school's chief of spinal surgery, Jeffrey Wang, never informed the university of $459,500 he received between 2004 and 2007, The Wall Street Journal said Thursday.

Under law, all California state university researchers must report any financial connections they have to non-governmental groups that have been funding their efforts.

The Journal said those found guilty of violating such laws can face university discipline and civil liability.

Grassley said Wang received payments from companies such as Medtronic Inc. and FzioMed Inc., but those connections allegedly were not reported until the senator began investigating the surgeon's financial reports.

The Journal said the allegations from Grassley are part of an effort by the senator and other lawmakers to unearth potential acts of conflict of interest among U.S. university researchers.