State account draws ethics scrutiny; Mental health officials used money from drugmakers for a variety of expenses.

The Philadelphia Inquirer

By John Sullivan INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

Two pharmaceutical companies paid nearly $14,000 into an unauthorized state bank account that was used by state mental health officials for travel, meals and other expenses at a time when the drugmakers were courting state business, records show.

Janssen Pharmaceutica and Pfizer Inc., also paid at least $10,000 to two state officials who helped win approval for a mental-health treatment plan that uses drugs manufactured by the companies, according to interviews and a review of documents from the state Office of Inspector General. Those payments – some of which went to charity and the general state fund – were for speaking engagements and attendance at company meetings.

State and federal officials are examining the connection between the payments and the state’s program…

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