Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Shocked, shocked that U athletes are using drugs

Actually, Zanny and Red Bull is a new one to me.  But that's Gopher athletics. Always pushing the envelope.

This is not even close to the most interesting Xanax scandal in the news.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Former Governor Arne Carlson on the U

Former Governor Arne Carlson discusses the many failings of the University of Minnesota administration and Board of Regents on WCCO.

Gov. Dayton signs legislation restricting recruitment of psychiatric patients under 72-hour hold

Just a quick refresher course here. In 2009, over five years after Dan Markingson was recruited into a drug study at the U while under a civil commitment order, the state legislature passed "Dan's Law." That rationale behind the law was this: it is very difficult, if not impossible, for psychiatric patients to give truly voluntary consent for a research study if they are involuntarily confined to a locked psychiatric unit. The same goes for patients under a "stay of commitment," which would return them to a locked unit if they disobeyed their psychiatrist. Dan's Law made it very hard for Minnesota psychiatrists to recruit patients into drug studies while they are under civil commitment orders.

But Dan's Law had a loophole. It said nothing about patients under a 72-hour hold. These patients are also confined to locked units, often for psychiatric reasons, but they are not under civil commitment orders. A psychiatrist hold a patient for 72 hours without getting a commitment order.

This is what happened to Robert Huber in 2007.  Stephen Olson recruited Mr. Huber into the disastrous bifeprunox study while he was confined to a locked unit at Fairview under a 72-hour hold. Yet the U has repeatedly refused to concede there was anything wrong with this.

Which brings up today's development. The governor has just signed legislation that prohibits the recruitment of psychiatric patients under a 72-hour hold. You can see a summary of the bill on this page, under number 120.

The amendment reads in full as follows:

(d) A patient must not be allowed or required to consent to nor participate in a clinical drug trial during an emergency admission or hold under this subdivision or subdivision 2. A consent given during a period of an emergency admission or hold is void and unenforceable. This paragraph does not prohibit a patient from continuing participation in a clinical drug trial if the patient was participating in the drug trial at the time of the emergency admission or hold.

There was some preliminary news coverage of the issue two weeks ago when the bill passed the Senate.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

U attorney advised physicians to post patient records online?

You've got to wonder which university attorney advised Drs. Olson and Schulz to post confidential patient information to a University of Minnesota website.

According to the reprimands issued to Drs. Olson and Schulz by the state medical board last week, both had this to say in their defense:

Respondent "admitted that he had authorized the posting of privileged documents regarding a patient on a public website, but stated that he thought the posting was appropriate since an attorney representing his employer had suggested he release the privileged information."

Nice. Kind of reminds me of a previous confidentiality breach, which was also sanctioned by a university attorney. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

U fights bill giving state oversight of psychiatric research

From AHC Media:

"Reeling from a decade-long series of investigations and allegations after the suicide of a psychiatric research patient, the University of Minnesota (UM) in Minneapolis is now facing a proposed state law that would assign oversight for its psychiatric drug research program to an independent ombudsman’s office."

Thursday, May 19, 2016

U psychiatric researchers reprimanded

KSTP has the report.

Minnesota Board of Medical Practice reprimands Dr. Stephen Olson and Dr. Charles Schulz

From a press release by the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice, dated May 14, 2016:

Stephen C. Olson, M.D. #43430
F282/2A West Building
2450 Riverside Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55454
Year of Birth: 1954
Date of Action: May 14, 2016

Nature of Misconduct: Revealing a privileged communication from or relating to a patient.

Action Taken: Dr. Olson is Reprimanded.

S. Charles Schulz, M.D. #42261
U of MN Psychiatry
2450 Riverside Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55454
Year of Birth: 1945
Date of Action: May 14, 2016

Nature of Misconduct: Revealing a privileged communication from or relating to a patient.

Action Taken: Dr. Schulz is Reprimanded.