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MD accused of falsifying findings in 21 important pain-drug studies

  [ 10 votes ]   [ 3 Comments ] • March 16, 2009

“His findings had a huge impact on the field…. Doctors have been using (his) findings very widely.” – Dr. Steven Shafer, editor, Anesthesia and Analgesia

Apparently, the medical community was “universally hoodwinked” by the highly respected, influential, and much-published pain drug researcher, Dr. Scott Reuben, who has reportedly admitted making up “some or all” of the data in at least 21 important studies between 1996 and 2008. Now, researchers in the field say, they will be re-examining the literature and may need to repeat certain clinical trials.

These were studies supporting the safety and ‘benefits’ of such drugs as Pfizer Inc.’s Bextra, Celebrex, and the Fibromyalgia drug Lyrica; Merck’s Vioxx; and Wyeth’s antidepressant Effexor, which Reuben’s studies reported could also be used for pain.

While the others maintain their FDA-approved status, Bextra and Vioxx (both Cox-2 inhibitors) became infamous when they were pulled off the market after evidence mounted that they increased patient risk of stroke, heart attack, and death.

An anesthesiologist specializing in post-surgical pain relief at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts, Dr. Reuben was put on leave of absence after the hospital’s internal review board reportedly ascertained in a routine review that they had not approved some of his research. Their subsequent investigation revealed the extent of his allegedly unsubstantiated publications.

Journals which have retracted at least 13 of Dr. Reuben’s published studies so far include Anesthesia and Analgesia, and Anesthesiology. They've emphasized that Dr. Reuben's co-authors on the papers have not been accused of wrongdoing, according to Anesthesiology News, which broke the story on March 4.

“The retracted studies aren’t expected to affect the drugs’ regulatory status because Dr. Reuben’s studies weren’t part of the packages that manufacturers submitted to the FDA or European authorities," according to a New York Times report on the situation dated March 11. Nevertheless, some hospitals, including University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, say they’re reviewing their pain treatment protocols and conducting their own studies to verify the effectiveness of drugs that Dr. Reuben has reported on.

To review a listing of articles that Baystate allegedly "found were based on fabricated data," compiled by Anesthesia and Analgesia, click here.

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Article Comments Post a Comment

"hoodwinked" or "complicit with"
Posted by: agingisadisease
Mar 25, 2009
dan says: how can the "medical community" be "hoodwinked" by 1 doctor?.... this cannot be true, and even if it were, that means the "medical community's" system of evidence and criteria are so poor, that any single guy can destroy the entire world with fake studies.
Reply Reply

fibromyalgia and pain
Posted by: LADYBUG64
Apr 1, 2009
Is this the idiot that did some "research" that says narcotics don't work for FM pain? Just wondering because if you talk to the hundreds of people I have over the last 5 years, you will find the statement is false. Narcotics are the only thing that help most of us. Glad I don't have a doctor with no compassion and he does not label me a drug head for needing narcotic pain meds. WAKE UP IN THE FIBRO WORLD!
Reply Reply

Fabricated Data List
Posted by: Aberlaine
Apr 10, 2009
The link to the Fabricated Date List doesn't open in Adobe. There are too many dots in the link.
Reply Reply

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