I recently became aware of a psychiatrist from the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College in London named Tonmoy Sharma, MD, once a prominent academic psychiatrist in England with multiple papers and books who appeared frequently on the BBC. He made hundreds of thousands of dollars in outside consulting and speaking work for drug companies over the past decade or so.
Charges of ethical lapses were brought against him for his conduct in industry sponsored drug trials of psychiatric patients, and although he countered with various defamation lawsuits and the like, he was finally found to be responsible for conducting research without appropriate human subjects approvals, improperly presenting himself as having a PhD, and selling drugs he got for free from drug companies for his research to hospitals. Someone described him as being only interested in making money. Finally, after eight years, he was stripped of his licence by the British General Medical Council.
Andrew Popat, chairman of the panel, told Sharma: “Your persistent and wide-ranging dishonesty and untruthfulness, spanning a number of years, together with your lack of insight, is so serious that it is fundamentally incompatible with your continuing to be a registered medical practitioner.”
He failed to appear at a hearing for accusations against him of fraud and skipped the country; now he is purported to be a fugitive in the US.
It took a while (eight years) and a lot of lawyer time and defamation law suits before this happened though. That is why I say if you don’t have some stamina.
Don’t squeeze the Sharma.
That is not the only “action” going on at the Institute of London.
As I I have written about here previously, and as chronicled by Philip Dawdy and BNET, the leader of the “BOLDER” studies of Seroquel (quetiapine) for the treatment of bipolar disorder, Wayne MacFadden MD, was disclosed to be having an affair with an academic psychiatrist at the Institute of Psychiatry in London who was a study investigator in trials of Seroquel from 2000-2006, during which time he emailed her about offering sexual favors for news about competing drug companies and other things. These shenanigans raised questions about the integrity of the findings from the BOLDER studies, which were used for the basis of FDA approval for Seroquel for bipolar depression. The fact that Astrazenica instructed its employees to lie to doctors and tell them that there was no evidence that Seroquel could cause diabetes, when there was evidence to the contrary, is further cause for concern. When Philip Dawdy wrote to the American Journal of Psychiatry editors, including Robert Freedman MD, asking if they would reexamine the BOLDER study published in their journal, they ignored him, but inadvertantly replied “I don’t think we should respond to this guy.” A published letter to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry about the other BOLDER study by Philip asking why they didn’t do a last observation carried forward analysis was rebuffed by the authors as not being needed and “statisticians don’t faver that analysis anymore.”
I have written before about use of atypical antipsychotics (Seroquel, Abilify, Risperdal, Zyprexa) for non-psychotic depression and the fact is they are more likely to cause akathisia than cure the blues, and they can also cause life threatening diabetes. It is a tragedy how these drugs have been foisted on the American public, and I think people are getting sick of it and fighting back. I saw to my fellow physicians it is time to take our profession back.
[Originally posted on this site March 2009]
[Update: After being stripped of his medical license in the UK Dr. Sharma somehow surfaced in California practicing psychiatry where there were allegations of abuse of adolescents in inpatient substance abuse programs.]