With thanks to Mike Adams at Natural News:
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. Scott 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. Scott Reuben: He also faked study data on Bextra and Vioxx drugs, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The Day of London reports that 21 articles written by Dr. Scott Reuben that appear in medical journals have apparently been fabricated, too, and must be retracted.
After being caught fabricating research for Big Pharma, Dr. Scott 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. Scott Reuben had been faking research data for 13 years. (http://www.theday.com/article/20100…)
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. Scott 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. Scott 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.
From Wikipedia: Scott S. Reuben (born 1958) is Professor of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Reuben was considered a prolific and influential researcher in pain management, and his purported findings altered the way millions of patients are treated for pain during and after orthopedic surgeries.
Reuben has now admitted that he never conducted any of the clinical trials on which his conclusions were based “in what may be considered the longest-running and widest-ranging cases of academic fraud.”
Reuben was educated at Columbia University. He graduated from medical school at the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1985 and undertook his anesthesiology residency at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York.
Reuben fell under suspicion when Baystate Medical Center, where he was chief of acute pain, conducted a routine audit in early 2008.
On March 10, 2009 a Baystate spokeswoman announced that Reuben has admitted that he fabricated much of the data underlying his research.
Reuben never conducted the clinical trials that he wrote about in 21 journal articles dating from at least 1996.
In some cases, he even invented the patients.
Although Reuben often co-wrote papers with other researchers, Baystate found that the other researchers did not know about or participate in Reuben’s studies, and their names were forged on documents.
The hospital has asked the journals to retract the studies, which reported favorable results from painkillers including Pfizer Inc.’s Bextra, Celebrex and Lyrica and Merck & Co. Inc.’s Vioxx. His studies also claimed Wyeth’s antidepressant Effexor could be used as a painkiller.
Pfizer gave Reuben five research grants between 2002 and 2007. He was a paid member of the company’s speakers bureau, giving talks about Pfizer drugs to colleagues.
Reuben also 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.
“Doctors have been using (his) findings very widely,” said Dr. Steven Shafer, editor of Anesthesia and Analgesia, a scientific journal that published ten articles identified as containing fraudulent data. “His findings had a huge impact on the field.”
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 and Merck’s Vioxx, for applications whose therapeutic benefits are now in question.
All of Reuben’s 21 fraudulent articles, as well as the article abstracts, are documented in Healthcare Ledger Magazine.
Reuben is currently on an indefinite leave from his post at Baystate, and he no longer holds an appointment as a professor at Tufts University’s medical school.
His license status with the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine is “voluntary agreement not to practice.”