Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Door Revolves: Tufts Medical School Dean Goes Back to Merck

A little news item in the Newark Star-Ledger:
Merck announced the appointment of Michael Rosenblatt as executive vice president and chief medical officer.

The appointment, which was announced this morning by the company, is effective immediately.

Rosenblatt will be responsible for bringing greater focus to Merck’s global medical activities as well as shaping innovative medical strategies. He will report directly to CEO Richard Clark.

Rosenblatt has served as dean of Tufts University Medical School since 2003.

Earlier, he was senior vice president for research at Merck Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories, where he co-led the worldwide development team for Fosamax, Merck’s treatment for osteoporosis.

A quick Google tour revealed that while he was Dean, Dr Rosenblatt also served as a Scientific Advisor to Boston Millenia Partners, a venture capital firm; a Founder and then Scientific Advisor to Nuvios, which now is known as Radius Pharmaceuticals;  an Advisor to Puretech Ventures, which specializes"in company creation and early-stage investment in novel therapeutics, medical devices, diagnostics, and research technologies"; and a Director of Shire, "one of the world’s leading specialty biopharmaceutical companies."

This is a reminder how fuzzy the line has become between medical academics and health care corporations.  Here is an example of someone who alternated his main employment between leadership posts in academic medicine and in the pharmaceutical industry, but while in academia maintained a string of part time commitments to a further variety of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, and related venture capital firms.  Given all these positions and financial relationships, who knows where his main allegiance was? 

I would hope that the Dean of  a medical school would be the primary steward of the academic and clinical missions.  But what kind of stewardship can one expect from someone who came from one lucrative position in the pharmaceutical industry, and was to go back to an even higher level position, and who worked for several biotechnology/ pharmaceutical firms, and venture capital firms on the side?

Hat-tip to Shearlings Got Plowed blog.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Endocrinologists are not paid enough by Medicare and other carriers to take care of patients with diabetes and hypothyroidism so they must supplement their income.

Surprised that he has not jumped on the HIT gravy train for the serious cash.