These studies promoted the safety and “benefits” of drugs like Bextra (Pfizer), Vioxx (Merck), Lyrica, Celebrex and Effexor. The lead researcher on these studies, Dr. Scott Reuben, was being paid by Pfizer and Merck, so there’s a verified financial connection between this clinical researcher and at least two of the drug companies that benefitted from his fabricated findings. (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/11/h…)
Note carefully the names of the medical journals that published Dr. Reuben’s fabricated data (see below). These so-called “science journals” claim to be peer-reviewed, which means these studies were approved by multiple scientists who agreed with the findings.
What this scandal reveals is that even peer-reviewed medical journals cannot be trusted to publish truthful, accurate information about pharmaceuticals. In fact, they are just as much a part of the Big Pharma / FDA conspiracy as the pill-pushing researchers who fabricate these studies, in my opinion.
The only honest medical science journal I’ve found is PLoS Medicine (http://medicine.plosjournals.org). Everything else I’ve seen is just tabloid medicalized fiction sandwiched in between pages of false advertising.
And conventional doctors, for all their self-proclaimed intelligence and scientific skepticism, were universally hoodwinked by this faked data! Apparently the best way to convince doctors that a drug is safe and effective is to just invent whatever story you want and submit it to a medical journal, which then gladly publishes it.
If you’re looking for a career as a fiction writer, the heck with authoring books sold in the “fiction” section of the local bookstore… just write for medical journals and drug companies! They pay is better and the fiction is even more outrageous!
Speaking of fiction and false advertising, here’s a list of studies authored or co-authored by Dr. Scott Reuben who admittedly fabricated at least twenty-one of these studies. Dr. Reuben was recently a faculty member at Tufts Medical School and co-founder of the Orthopedic Anesthesia, Pain and Rehabilitation Society, by the way. You can read more about his fraud in Scientific American (http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id…).