Dr. Jonathan Fishbein, NIH-Whistleblower on Nevirapine, Reinstated with Honors

by Liam Scheff

Dr. Jonathan Fishbein, former NIH AIDS doc and good apple who was fired after he threatened the worldwide sale of the dangerous AIDS drug Nevirapine by reporting ethical misconduct during the course of the Ugandan drug trial, has been reinstated to government service, with praise.

From the NYTimes.com (via the AP)

“Fishbein was among a handful of NIH whistleblowers whose plight was highlighted in Associated Press stories over the last year examining allegations of:

  • safety problems with federal AIDS research in the United States and Africa,
  • sexual harassment of female NIH safety workers
  • and the use of foster children to test AIDS drugs.”

Hey, woah, wait a minute…

The AP is saying that foster children were used to test drugs –

and that’s not a good thing? (Didn’t they check with the NY Times first?)

But note: He’s off the AIDS drug review:

“The Associated Press reported last week that NIH reinstated Fishbein and gave him time to find another federal job, settling a two-year whistleblower battle that prompted investigations into scientific misconduct and sexual harassment in the government’s premier AIDS research program.”

Wonder why? I guess you’re not supposed to be critical of AIDS drugs at the NIH?

It was a hard 2-year battle for Fishbein. So Kudos to the good man, for his good fight.

From the Associated Press article by John Solomon

WASHINGTON – A key Senate committee chairman on Tuesday hailed the government’s reinstatement of a medical safety expert who was fired after he raised allegations of misconduct in federal AIDS research, saying it was an important step in addressing the problems.

Dr. Jonathan Fishbein’s reinstatement by the National Institutes of Health “is an example where we can ‘chalk one up for the good guys,’” said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa. “His allegations led to an acknowledgment by NIH of deep-seeded, systemic problems that are finally being addressed by high-level managers.”

The Associated Press reported last week that NIH reinstated Fishbein and gave him time to find another federal job, settling a two-year whistleblower battle that prompted investigations into scientific misconduct and sexual harassment in the government’s premier AIDS research program.

Fishbein was among a handful of NIH whistleblowers whose plight was highlighted in Associated Press stories over the last year examining allegations of safety problems with federal AIDS research in the United States and Africa, sexual harassment of female NIH safety workers and the use of foster children to test AIDS drugs.

Grassley, a strong supporter of government whistleblowers, championed Fishbein’s case. His committee conducted its own investigation and prompted federal inquiries that are continuing. Nearly a dozen other lawmakers eventually intervened.

“Dr. Fishbein brought to light serious allegations of systemic problems at the National Institutes of Health. Our nation’s premier biomedical institution should not tolerate the type of misconduct and sexual harassment alleged by Dr. Fishbein,” Grassley said. “As is typical, Dr. Fishbein suffered mightily for being a whistleblower and for exposing the truth, until now.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *