February 18, 2010
It’s being called the largest research fraud in medical history. Dr. Scott Reuben, a former member of Pfizer’s speakers’ bureau, has agreed to plead guilty to faking dozens of research studies that were published in medical journals.
Now being reported across the mainstream media is the fact that Dr. Reuben accepted a $75,000 grant from Pfizer to study Celebrex in 2005. His research, which was published in a medical journal, has since been quoted by hundreds of other doctors and researchers as “proof” that Celebrex helped reduce pain during post-surgical recovery. There’s only one problem with all this: No patients were ever enrolled in the study!
Dr. Scott Reuben, it turns out, faked the entire study and got it published anyway.
It wasn’t the first study faked by Dr. Reuben: He also faked study data on Bextra and Vioxx drugs, reports the Wall Street Journal.
As a result of Dr. Reuben’s faked studies, the peer-reviewed medical journal Anesthesia & Analgesia was forced to retract 10 “scientific” papers authored by Reuben. The Day of London reports that 21 articles written by Dr. Reuben that appear in medical journals have apparently been fabricated, too, and must be retracted.
After being caught fabricating research for Big Pharma, Dr. Reuben has reportedly signed a plea agreement that will require him to return $420,000 that he received from drug companies. He also faces up to a 10-year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine.
He was also fired from his job at the Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Mass. after an internal audit there found that Dr. Reuben had been faking research data for 13 years. (http://www.theday.com/article/20100…)
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
Business as usual in Big Pharma
What’s notable about this story is not the fact that a medical researcher faked clinical trials for the pharmaceutical industry. It’s not the fact that so-called “scientific” medical journals published his fabricated studies. It’s not even the fact that the drug companies paid this quack close to half a million dollars while he kept on pumping out fabricated research.
The real story here is that this is business as usual in the pharmaceutical industry.
Dr. Reuben’s actions really aren’t that extraordinary. Drug companies bribe researchers and doctors as a routine matter. Medical journals routinely publish false, fraudulent studies. FDA panel members regularly rely on falsified research in making their drug approval decisions, and the mainstream media regularly quotes falsified research in reporting the news.
Fraudulent research, in other words, is widespread in modern medicine. The pharmaceutical industry couldn’t operate without it, actually. It is falsified research that gives the industry its best marketing claims and strongest FDA approvals. Quacks like Dr Scott Reuben are an important part of the pharmaceutical profit machine because without falsified research, bribery and corruption, the industry would have very little research at all.
Pay special attention to the fact that the Anesthesia & Analgesia medical journal gladly published Dr. Reuben’s faked studies even though this journal claims to be a “scientific” medical journal based on peer review. Funny, isn’t it, how such a scientific medical journal gladly publishes fraudulent research with data that was simply invented by the study author. Perhaps these medical journals should be moved out of the non-fiction section of university libraries and placed under science fiction.
Remember, too, that all the proponents of pharmaceuticals, vaccines and mammograms ignorantly claim that their conventional medicine is all based on “good science.” It’s all scientific and trustworthy, they claim, while accusing alternative medicine of being “woo woo” wishful thinking and non-scientific hype. Perhaps they should have a quick look in the mirror and realize it is their own system of quack medicine that’s based largely on fraudulent research, bribery and corruption.