Wednesday, November 23, 2011

More on scientific fraud

In last week's BMJ they drew attention to an outbreak of scientific fraud. There was mention of the pharmaceutical company GSK, paying $3 billion to settle a dispute with the US government over the incorrect marketing of Rosiglitazone (Avandia) and bupropion (Wellbutrin), a London GP was struck off the register by the GMC for using inappropriate tests and treatment for chronic fatigues syndrome, The Fraud Agency investigated conflicts of interest at the European Medicines Agency over the use of benfluorex (Mediator) as an appetite suppressant, the Dutch Health Minister was quizzed about excessive contacts with the tobacco industry, US organizations challenged the financial interests behind the recommendation of the use of HPV vaccine for boys and a Dutch psychologist was shown to have falsified data in dozens of studies in one of the biggest cases of scientific fraud on record. Diederik Stapel from Tilburg was responsible for 150 papers.

Then there was ongoing coverage of the MMR fraud committed by Andrew Wakefield, indicating that several of his colleagues were also culpable and that there seems to have been an ongoing cover-up at University College, London.

There is a good article by Elizabeth Wager of COPE detailing the ways of coping with scientific misconduct.

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