A psychiatrist on the payroll of GlaxoSmithKline has been sentenced to 13 months in prison after pleading guilty to committing research fraud in trials of the company’s antidepressant Paxil on children. GlaxoSmithKline, manufacturer of Paxil, paid Palazzo $5,000 for every child she enrolled in the study. The case’s significance goes beyond simple research fraud, as Glaxo is now defending itself against charges that for 15 years it deliberately concealed evidence that Paxil increases the risk of suicide in children. Maria Carmen Palazzo is already serving a sentence of 87 months for defrauding Medicare and Medicaid.
Dr. Maria Carmen Palazzo was a clinical investigator for SmithKline Beecham doing business as GlaxoSmithKline. Prosecutors say that during those studies she included psychiatric diagnoses inconsistent with patients’ psychiatric histories; prepared multiple psychiatric evaluations on study patients which contained different diagnoses and reported symptoms she knew the study subject did not demonstrate.
A crooked doctor who faked data in a GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) study of the antidepressant Paxil in children pled guilty to criminal charges today, causing groans among GSK’s senior management as the company hopes to fend off a different criminal investigation into whether it manipulated clinical data on its diabetes drug, Avandia. She was sentenced to 13 months in prison.