Weak legislation allows professors to collect huge under-the-table payments from Big Pharma, and it’s time to fight back, Dan Greenberg writes in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Pharmaceutical companies pay professors to shill drugs and lend their names to industry research, and the only oversight is an honor-system mechanism requiring profs to report outside income to the university—not to a federal agency.
Payment scandals like one recently uncovered at Harvard could be avoided by requiring professors to report to a public database, Greenberg argues, and university communities should whip up a frenzy whenever illicit dealings are revealed. “Relatively few in an academic community share the loot, but all lose something when their institution is tainted by squalid dealings,” he writes. (Read more pharma stories.)