An anesthesiologist with privileges at Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, Mass., fabricated results in at least 21 studies, many appearing in the journal Anesthesia & Analgesia, according to a hospital spokeswoman.
The studies, authored by Scott Reuben, largely focused on the use of medication to control post-operative pain, said Baystate spokeswoman Jane Albert. Reuben is a practicing physician who has conducted about 70 studies at the hospital since 1991. Hospital officials first became aware of the research violations last May when Chief Academic Officer Hal Jenson discovered that two of Reubens research abstracts presented for inclusion in Baystates annual research week conference were not registered with the hospitals internal review board. That finding prompted a full investigation of studies Reuben conducted at the hospital.
We concluded that no other researchers were involved or aware (of the violations), and there were no allegations regarding adverse outcomes with any patients, Albert said. Reuben has been on leave from the hospital since 2008 and his actions were reported to the Massachusetts Board of Registration and Medicine. Albert said confidentiality laws prevented the hospital from providing more information about further disciplinary action.
Some of Reuben's research focused on the Pfizer-brand pain reliever Celebrex, according to Pfizer spokeswoman Sally Beatty. Five of the studies were funded by the drugmaker, and Reuben also served as a speaker for the company. Pfizer said it had no knowledge of the research violations prior to recent retractions printed in journals featuring his work.