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Author Topic: Anesthesiologist Faked Data in 21 Studies  (Read 2744 times)

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Anesthesiologist Faked Data in 21 Studies
« on: 18/03/2009 10:42:23 »
A Medical Madoff: Anesthesiologist Faked Data in 21 Studies
A pioneering anesthesiologist has been implicated in a massive research fraud that has altered the way millions of patients are treated for pain during and after orthopedic surgeries

By Brendan Borrell

Over the past 12 years, anesthesiologist Scott Reuben revolutionized the way physicians provide pain relief to patients undergoing orthopedic surgery for everything from torn ligaments to worn-out hips. Now, the profession is in shambles after an investigation revealed that at least 21 of Reuben's papers were pure fiction, and that the pain drugs he touted in them may have slowed postoperative healing.

"We are talking about millions of patients worldwide, where postoperative pain management has been affected by the research findings of Dr. Reuben," says Steven Shafer, editor in chief of the journal Anesthesia & Analgesia, which published 10 of Reuben's fraudulent papers.

Paul White, another editor at the journal, estimates that Reuben's studies led to the sale of billions of dollars worth of the potentially dangerous drugs known as COX2 inhibitors, Pfizer's Celebrex (celecoxib) and Merck's Vioxx (rofecoxib), for applications whose therapeutic benefits are now in question. Reuben was a member of Pfizer's speaker's bureau and received five independent research grants from the company. The editors do not believe patients were significantly harmed by the short-term use of these COX2 inhibitors for pain management but they say it's possible the therapy may have prolonged recovery periods.

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=a-medical-madoff-anesthestesiologist-faked-data&page=2
« Last Edit: 18/03/2009 10:53:53 by Andrew K Fletcher »


 

Offline BenV

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Anesthesiologist Faked Data in 21 Studies
« Reply #1 on: 18/03/2009 10:54:13 »
Ben Goldacre, who was on the show on Sunday, wrote about this here: http://www.badscience.net/2009/03/scumbag/#more-1042
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Anesthesiologist Faked Data in 21 Studies
« Reply #2 on: 18/03/2009 11:15:02 »
Quote
but more interestingly, 6% admitted failing to present data if it contradicted their previous research.

If they didn't make such extravagant claims in the first place it would be easier and less career-damaging to retract. Exressions like "proves conclusively" or "without question" should be avoided at all costs as they make later retraction impossible without severe embarrassment.
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Anesthesiologist Faked Data in 21 Studies
« Reply #3 on: 18/03/2009 11:53:43 »
Good article Ben, liked the comments also.

Ben Goldacre, who was on the show on Sunday, wrote about this here: http://www.badscience.net/2009/03/scumbag/#more-1042

Question:  Scumbag or Scapegoat?
 

Offline BenV

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Anesthesiologist Faked Data in 21 Studies
« Reply #4 on: 18/03/2009 12:42:40 »
Seems a scumbag to me, assuming Ben's article is accurate.  I fail to see how he's being made a scapegoat for anything.
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Anesthesiologist Faked Data in 21 Studies
« Reply #5 on: 18/03/2009 12:58:34 »
Seems to me that the drug companies stood to gain the most from this fraud. More people would need to have been invloved in this than Reuben for all those fraudulant studies to have been not only published, but peer reviewed, and editorially reviewed. But who was to gain the most?
Follw the money and we find the real snake oil sales people.

Organised crime does not find many avenues it cannot exploit. And the real villains today do not drive round city streets with tommyguns, but conduct their affairs in offices on computers in big businesses. There are few businesses bigger than the legalised drug dealing company / cartels!

Any investigations need to be 100% independent, transparent and public in order to find the truth about who was involved and how much money greased their soiled hands.
 

Offline BenV

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Anesthesiologist Faked Data in 21 Studies
« Reply #6 on: 18/03/2009 13:13:06 »
Actually, the drug companies stood to lose the most from this fraud.

I think you've jumped to a bit of a false conclusion there - probably based on a misunderstanding of how the pharmaceutical industry works.  Clinical trials are run by specialist companies, and pharma companies ask them to bid for work.  The pharma companies chose the best based on price, standards, previous experience, legal requirements etc.  The pharma companies then keep track of the trials, and receive reports regularly.

In other words, this researcher could have been defrauding any pharma companies he was working for (if any - I've no idea who sponsored his research).  The pharma companies would be blameless, and it's pretty easy to be written out of their lists of potential vendors.

You like to think of pharma companies as big, evil enterprises, but really they're not.  Any companies that employed this man to do their trials will now be facing the enormous expense of totally re-doing all of the trails.  Do you think they would wantonly take risks that could put them in that position?

 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Anesthesiologist Faked Data in 21 Studies
« Reply #7 on: 18/03/2009 15:34:41 »
http://www.totalhealthbreakthroughs.com/2009/03/freedom-from-crooked-pharmaceutical-companies/

Soon after, Mr. Franklin left Parke-Davis and filed a suit against them (and their parent company Pfizer) claiming that the off-label marketing of Neurontin amounted to “false claims” intended to elicit money from the federal government. To avoid criminal charges and civil liabilities, the company agreed in 2004 to pay fines of $430 million, a small fraction of its illegal $3 billion windfall. A class action suit filed by parties who purchased the illegally marketed Neurontin (and possibly suffered severe side effects) has not yet been settled.

It would be naïve to think that the Neurontin case was the turning point in cleaning up the unethical business practices of the pharmaceutical industry, especially when our own government oversight is so often corrupt and incompetent. But it might be a start. The fact that one of the country’s leading medical journals has now acknowledged the role their profession plays in greed-driven pharmaceutical marketing should be a wake-up call to every doctor who is writing out prescriptions while investing heavily in Big Pharma or working for them on the side.
 

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Anesthesiologist Faked Data in 21 Studies
« Reply #7 on: 18/03/2009 15:34:41 »

 

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