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Orqis medical director targeted in Senate probe

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

NIH and Marvin Konstam, M.D., medical director at cardiac device firm Orqis Medical, are the target of a probe by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, into apparent "double dipping" conflict-of-interest practices by Konstam and the NIH's National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Grassley sent a letter Sept. 23 to NIH Director Elias Zerhouni asking why Konstam was hired by the NHLBI last January as a senior advisor at the same time he was serving as medical director for Orqis, chief of cardiology at Tufts-New England Medical Center, and professor of medicine and radiology at Tufts School of Medicine. NIH says Konstam is a "contractor" with NIH, the Senator writes. Of particular concern to Grassley is that Konstam - who "appears to be a full-time federal employee" and is listed on HHS' Web site as a senior advisor, complete with an NHLBI phone number and e-mail account - sent out a press release about one of Orqis' products, praising its performance
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