Top Pain Scientist Fabricated Data in Pain Killer Studies – Was Money a powerful motivator
Posted Mar 11 2009 3:57pm
When you ask the question, why would someone do this? Money sure seems to be the first thing that pops into my mind, or maybe there’s some recognition attached as well. Sad, in that in the times we live in today that people still find time to try and defeat honesty, especially when it comes to research related to the drugs we take. In addition this somewhat makes one wonder how much more of this type of activity could be uncovered as the move for transparency continues to rapidly grow. With technology and the new balance and checks, plus the need for teamwork versus individual research, I would also hope the future of this type of activity will begin to resolve itself as well.
I will be looking forward to hearing more about this case as it evolves. BD
A prominent Massachusetts anesthesiologist allegedly fabricated 21 medical studies that claimed to show benefits from painkillers like Vioxx and Celebrex, according to the hospital where he worked.
Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, Mass., said that its former chief of acute pain, Scott S. Reuben, had faked data used in the studies, which were published in several anesthesiology journals between 1996 and 2008.
The hospital has asked the medical journals to retract the 21 studies, some of which reported favorable results from the use of painkillers likePfizerInc.'s Bextra andMerck& Co.'s Vioxx -- both since withdrawn -- as well as Pfizer's Celebrex and Lyrica. Dr. Reuben's research work also claimed positive findings for Wyeth's antidepressant Effexor XR as a pain killer. And he wrote to the Food and Drug Administration, urging the agency not to restrict the use of many of the painkillers he studied, citing his own data on their safety and effectiveness.
Dr. Reuben had been a paid speaker on behalf of Pfizer's medicines, and it paid for some of his research."It is very disappointing to learn about Dr. Scott Reuben's alleged actions," Pfizer said in a statement. "When we decided to support Dr. Reuben's research, he worked for a credible academic medical center and appeared to be a reputable investigator."
Dr. Reuben is on an indefinite leave from his post at Baystate, the hospital said. He no longer holds an appointment as a professor at Tufts University's medical school, according to the university.