Doctor Pleads Guilty to Research Fraud

Huge news…that will surely rock the pharmaceutical industry!

Dr. Scott Reuben had been accused last year of fabricating results of published studies for a twelve year period.  A reported $361,932 had been paid in research grants to conduct studies and report the results of post-surgery benefits from certain painkillers.  Dr. Reuben was the lead researcher on studies for Pfizer Inc & Merck & Co.  Painkillers being studied were Bextra (which has since been pulled from the market), Celebrex, Lyrica, Vioxx (which has since been pulled from the market), and Effexor.  The hospital Dr. Reuben worked for discovered, during a review, that some of the his research had not been approved by the hospital’s review board.  This led the hospital to dig deeper, which is how they discovered the anesthesiologies had fabricated some or all of the data in 21 published reports.  There is a possibility that not only were the results made up, but that the studies may never have been conducted!

Dr. Reuben plead guilty today to one count of federal health care fraud.  His attorney stated that the doctor suffers from bipolar disorder.  He had been undiagnosed until 2008, and suffered periods of mania and depression.  His lawyer explains that because of his untreated mental illness, he was unable to stop his behaviour which resulted in him making the choices he made, and that he wasn’t in control of the role he played in what could be the largest fauds in medical study data reports.  

Last year, 13 of Dr. Reuben’s reports had been pulled from 2 journals.  The hospital he worked for has asked the other journals to pull the remaining studies.

My head is still spinning from this news!  This is huge!  I can’t help but ask myself, who can you trust?  How many other researchers have done this, and gotten away with it?

Wow!  I’ll be following this story VERY closely!

Last year I was on Lyrica and had to discontinue my treatment do to severe side effects.  This experience really shook me up and I have been really leary about trying other newer meds that are being used to treat FM.  It scares me that the best interest of patients are not being kept in mind and that everyone is money hungry to tap into the Fibromyalgia market.

What are your opinions on this?

How are you feeling after hearing this news?

I’m going to sleep on this, and do more reading tomorrow!

~ Gentle Hugs

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4 Responses to Doctor Pleads Guilty to Research Fraud

  1. Effexor didn’t do anything for me. I’m on Lyrica now, and it helps…a little. The Maternal Unit took herself off Savella when the side effects got to be too much for her–but she’s always been a wimp in that regard, so I dunno how much stock I’d put in that.
    It really bothers me that there are (so called) doctors out there who’d rather line their pockets with research grant money, than keep the best interests of the patient in mind.

    • Nancy says:

      LOL about the wimp comment 😉
      I’m glad that you are having success with Lyrica! Unfortunately have a low tolerance to many meds, and Lyrica was one of them. I kept falling down, falling over, falling backwards, and even fell down my stairs (14 stairs) and dislocated both my SI joints along with all the other trama to my muscles, joints and tissues :S I was getting feelings that I was going to pass out all the time. Had violent tremors and muscle twitches (more that the usual). It just wasn’t worth it for me. I was only getting 2 hours of relieve for all of that…LOL!
      I’m patient 😉 I’ll wait for something that is more gentle with me 😉 lol
      Thanks so much for your reply! It is really good to hear when meds are working for people, the way they should!
      I’m SO disappointed about this news from today. It really breaks people’s confidence and trust in those we depend on for proper treatment.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Physician comment
    The main reason Reuben got away with what he did is that he published data the supported already published data and that was consistent with what we already knew. Even with his data gone from the literature, there are plenty of papers still espousing the same conclusions: drugs like Celebrex are useful for the pain after surgery. Duh. Like we didn’t know that with ibuprofen and ketorolac and naprosyn; except Celebrex doesn’t affect your bleeding and so can be used with surgery. Anyhow, as for FM and Lyrica . . . what other drugs are there indicated for FM? Lyrica, Savella and Cymbalta, all of them new. You want to use ‘old’ drugs that were ‘proven’ for FM? Go ahead, but you’ll learn that the studies done on those drugs back in the 70’s and 80’s were far, far below FDA standards in terms of study design and number of patients, so the ‘known old reliable’ drugs may not even work and have their own host of problems (e.g. Elavil aka amitriptyline, which can cause sudden cardiac death. Didn’t know that, didya?). The media so screws up what we read so they can panic the public and sell more papers. Makes me ill. Maybe I can sue them for that side effect!

    • Nancy says:

      Re: Physician comment
      Thank you so much for your comment. I appreciate your input, and it certainly sounds like you have a very strong opinion regarding this topic.
      However I have to say that you do come across as being a tad bit defensive, which has me wondering why?
      I have no doubt and am well aware of the fact that medications (old and new) comes with their list of side effects. Some side effects more or less common, more or less severe. Regardless, there are always risks to taking a medication. The question is… when do the benefits out-weigh the risks?
      As a patient, I need to be able to make informed decisions in partnership with my doctor (who is awesome), and feel comfortable with the choices that are made. Obviously medications have different effects on different people, for a multitude of reasons. I’m not comfortable being a lab rat for the pharmaceutical industry. I like to be able to see some sort of results that a drug will benefit me, and not kill me 😉
      Thanks again for your comment!

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