Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Research Fraud Involving Celebrex and Lyrica

In what experts are calling one of the largest known cases of academic misconduct, a leading anesthesiology researcher has been accused of falsifying data and other fraud in potentially dozens of published studies.

Scott S. Reuben, MD, of Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Mass., a pioneer in the area of multimodal analgesia, is said to have fabricated his results in at least 21, and perhaps many more, articles dating back to 1996. The confirmed articles were published in Anesthesiology, Anesthesia and Analgesia, the Journal of Clinical Anesthesia and other titles, which have retracted the papers or will soon do so, according to people familiar with the scandal (see list). The journals stressed that Dr. Reuben’s co-authors on those papers have not been accused of wrongdoing.

In addition to allegedly falsifying data, Dr. Reuben seems to have committed publishing forgery. Evan Ekman, MD, an orthopedic surgeon in Columbia, S.C., said his name appeared as a co-author on at least two of the retracted papers, despite his having had no hand in the manuscripts. “My names were forgeries on the documents,” Dr. Ekman told Anesthesiology News.

Dr. Reuben has been an extremely active and visible figure in multimodal analgesia, particularly as an advocate for its use in minimally invasive orthopedic and spine procedures. His research has provided support for several mainstays of current anesthetic practice, such as the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and neuropathic agents instead of opioids and preemptive analgesia. Dr. Reuben has also published and presented data suggesting that multimodal analgesia can significantly improve long-term outcomes for patients.

WHAT THE FUCK!!! I know so many people who have taken these drugs. After my second thoracic surgery, I was prescribed Vioxx (a drug in the same class [Cox-2 inhibitors] as Celebrex) and Neurontin (a neuropathic agent). I took that for over a year but it didn't help me so they switched me to Celebrex and kept me on the Neurontin. The Celebrex gave me horrible stomach problems, but I kept taking it because I really didn't want to be on opioids for the rest of my life. A few months after I started the Celebrex, they took Vioxx off the market and, even though they tried to claim that the other Cox-2 inhibitors were okay, I stopped taking that shit immediately. My oncologist was convinced that the Celebrex was safe. He mentioned the fact that he took it himself after a basketball injury. However, after I read about the Vioxx issues, I decided that the Cox-2 inhibitors are too chemically similar to each other for the others not to be a problem if one of them is.

My partner was given Celebrex and Lyrica after being in an accident that damaged his neck, back, and head. The totally incompetent neurologist said he didn't believe in prescribing opioids, so he would only prescribe these two drugs to him. They did nothing for his pain. He was in agony, but the doctor didn't care. He was engaging in a study being conducted on Lyrica and he kept trying to get my partner to agree to participate in it. Actually, he tried to make it sound as if my partner had to but, fortunately, we knew he didn't. Needless to say, this did not make Dr. Asshole very happy. We eventually had to get the insurance company to agree to send him to another doctor.

Now we're finding out that we went through this extremely painful bullshit for nothing. There was no reason to believe that this combination would work in the first place. Great. Just great. I don't even know what else to say. I'm so angry that I'm shaking.


Godwhacker said...

I just stumbled on you blog and love it! I still have a lot of reading to do here, but your perspective is touching and fresh. Keep up the good work.

Zan said...

Whenever something like this comes up, as it does too often, I start to feel like we're just mice in Big Pharma's lab. I took Bextra before they took it off the market, did very little for my pain. Then they put me on Celebrex, which did NOTHING for me. So I just stopped taking all of them and reverted to plan Ibuprofen. And then I found a doctor who would give me real pain meds. I cannot imagine having surgery and having a doctor not give you real pain meds afterward. That's just...I mean, when I had my damned wisdom teeth out, they gave me Vicodin! They gave me Vicoprofen after my gallbladder surgery -- which is the BEST pain killer I've found. It works like magic on me, and it's really only very little Vicodin in it. If I had a doctor try to give me damned Celebrex after a major surgery? Fuck that. I'd be on the phone to my GP asking for a Vicodin refill.

This is just...I don't know why anyone would ever think that Celebrex would be a good thing to take after surgery! It literally boggles my brain.

Lucie said...

This is so scary. It's one thing to be an informed consumer, but where to begin? Who can you trust? I'm allergic to all opioids (at least, every one they've tried on me), can't take ibuprofen or aspirin because of stomach problems, and now am left feeling that if I have any pain so bad that tylenol won't take care of it, I'm screwed.

risa said...

Oh, honey, as if you didn't have enough to deal with. Some of these people, they just wanta pay for that home away from home and any shortcut seems legit to them. But no shortcut through human beings is ever legit. I'm glad you are doing your own homework.