Doc Accused of Faking Celebrex Study

Alleged fake Celebrex study lands doc in court

A Massachusetts doc, who is also a former member of Pfizer Inc.’s speakers’ bureau, is accused of launching what is being called "one of the biggest research frauds in medical history," according to The Day of New London.  And he has agreed to plead guilty, according to a Massachusetts newspaper. 

Dr. Scott Reuben, who is accused of faking medical research studies, including some that were published in medical journals, was charged with health care fraud Thursday in federal court in Boston, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.   

He's accused of accepting a $75,000 grant from Pfizer to research the effectiveness of the pain medication Celebrex for a 2005 study, the Day reports. 

His research, which the Day reports was pioneering at the the time, indicated that there are post-surgery benefits from painkillers. But no patients were actually enrolled in the study, according to a U.S. Department of Justice news release.

The Wall Street Journal reports that he also falsified information about Pfizer's Bextra and on Merck's Vioxx.
“Anesthesia & Analgesia” had to retract 10 papers Reuben wrote and medical experts say at least 21 journal articles by the anesthesiologist appear to be fabricated, the Day reports.
Reuben was the chief of acute pain at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts, and The Day reports that the hospital let him go last March, after an audit revealed he had been inventing data for as many as 13 years.

Reuben has reached an agreement in which he will plead guilty and prosecutors will recommend a more lenient sentence, the Wall Street Journal.

He would also have to forfeit assets of at least $50,000 he got from allegedly fake research, the Journal reports.

The Republican, of Springfield, Massachusetts, reports that Reuben has signed a plea agreement and must return $420,000 to pharmaceutical companies.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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