Why academic researchers involved in fraudulent Paxil study escape scrutiny

The Chronicle of Higher Education this week ponders why various universities have taken no action against the academic researchers who co-authored the notorious Paxil study that formed the crux of GlaxoSmithKline’s recent $3 billion settlement with the Department of Justice — read more about that case here. The Chronicle article noted that even before federal prosecutors sued GlaxoSmithKline, others (including myself in researching Side Effects) had unearthed evidence that Paxil study 329 “constituted scientific fraud.” But neither the journal that published the Paxil paper or academia have done anything to sanction the researchers involved. As the Chronicle reported:

And yet for years, the publisher of the article, the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the universities whose researchers’ names were on it resisted calls to retract the study and publicly rebuke its “authors.”

The Chronicle specifically mentions the lead author of study 329, Dr. Martin Keller, then chief of psychiatry at Brown University (who features prominently in Side Effects), and reports that the new president of Brown, Christina H. Paxson, doesn’t see any reason for further action against Keller (he stepped down as chair a year after my book came out). Other universities with which Keller’s co-authors are affiliated expressed much the same indifference. As Chronicle reporter Paul Basken noted:

Universities could act on their own to demand that the journal retract the article, said Fiona Godlee, editor in chief of BMJ, another leading medical journal. But, she said, “it is proving hard to get those who should do something to act.”

In the meantime, several of the authors on the Paxil study (including Keller) are still bringing large federal grants to their universities. Perhaps this explains why the universities involved have been sitting on their hands. They don’t want to jeopardize such a lucrative source of funding and are willing to compromise their moral scruples to keep those coffers full. But it doesn’t explain why the NIH hasn’t sanctioned the researchers or taken away their grants. One can only hope that this latest inquiry, published in the must-read publication for academia, will finally toggle the moral compass of a few federal and university officials.

This entry was posted in antidepressants, clinical trials, National Institutes of Health, pharmaceutical industry, scientific journal retractions, scientific misconduct, university industry collaboration and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Why academic researchers involved in fraudulent Paxil study escape scrutiny

  1. T.N.B. says:

    As Notre Dame football and fans enoy a weekend of the wonderful land Ireland…allow me to give you an insight to the reality of Irish Healthcare 2012…

    Living in Ireland….born in Ireland…an Irish Native’s dilemma on an Irish cover up!

    If I were an asylum seeker I would have the protection of The Irish Human Rights Organisation and the Department of Foreign Affairs as well as many other Groups of Justice and Human Rights….

    If I were a member of the Travelling Community I would have the protection of Pavee Point, Equality and Justice, Irish Human Rights and many other such Groups….

    If I were a prostitute I would have the protection of Ruhama, Women’s Aid and many other such Groups…

    If I were a victim of torture from a foreign country I would have the protection of Irish Human Rights, The Red Cross and many other such Groups….

    If I were a victim of domestic violence I would have the protection of Women’s Aid, the Gardai and many other such Groups…

    If I were a victim of Corporate corruption I would have the aid and support of Transparency Ireland and other Groups…

    But as a patient who suffered adverse side effects of a blood pressure drug that I should never have been prescribed I have no support….I am shunned like a leper by the Department of Health, HIQA, ISQSH, the HSE and every HSE doctor, public hospital and by many Groups who profess to speak up for the oppressed and wronged in Irish Society….to be shunned I could deal with but I have suffered systematic torture at the hands of doctors in our hospitals and GPs…with the full knowledge of Prime Minister and Minister of Health….is this pharma control?…all to silence me on what is a worldwide exposure of a blood pressure drug, Rasilez Aliskiren….google it and see what you find. Doctors are harming and killing patients to cover up side effects of drugs in general medicine and psychiatary. HSE give 20% bonuses to consultants to “push” drugs on patients. We did not listen to Susie Long when she spoke out against the two tiered Health System in this country. We did not listen to Leonie Fennell when she spoke out against doctors in our country pushing anti-depressant drugs on our young people…will you listen to me?

    Fact: It is not compulsory for doctors or hospitals to report adverse side effects of prescription drugs to the Irish Medicines Board…why? Pharmaceutical companies state that they rely on doctors to report side effects so that they can improve on their drugs. Novartis Medical Director stated to me that he would do what he could both ethically and morally in what has happened to me….and still they harmed me further…should I believe him? Is this the HSE? Is it the Department of Health? Is it doctors and hospitals believing that because they have the protection of the HSE, the IMO, Consultant Groups and their Medical Schools. Write to the Medical Council so many told me and I did only too find out that the Medical Council protects them also….the words of one GP echo in my head “The Medical Council will do nothing on this”. These criminals in our hospitals truly believe they are above the law? Is it pharma control? Or is it a combination of all of the foregoing? Whatever it is, it is wrong, it is beyond medical malpractice. Is this the new Irish holocaust? Yes, I may be labelled “paranoid”…I have found abusing the Mental Health Act comes easy to doctors covering up side effects of all prescription drugs but “truth and freedom of speech” has always been questioned throughout the world.

    We the innocent people of Pharma/HSE/Government may suffer but I pray for the many students who study to become doctors and healers only to become puppets in fear!

    “Those who prefer to favour freedom and yet deprecate agitation are people who want crops without ploughing up the ground. Power concedes nothing without a struggle. It never has and it never will.” Frederick Douglas

    Edmund Burke: “All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”.

  2. Pingback: Calls for action against authors of fraudulent Paxil study are getting louder | Alison Bass

  3. Pingback: Martin Keller, Principal Investigator of Controversial Paxil Study, Leaves Brown University | Mad In America

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