Doctor Who Faked Celebrex Study Data Sentenced

The former chief at the acute pain clinic at Bay State Hospital in Springfield, Massachusetts was just sentenced in federal court for health care fraud, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced.

Scott Reuben, 51, was charged with submitting fake research for a 2007 pain management study of knee surgery patients said The Republican. The test in question was undertaken for drug maker Pfizer under a $73,000 research grant and was intended to measure the efficacy of its pain medication <"">Celebrex when used to manage post-operative pain, wrote The Republican.

U.S. District Judge Ponsor sentenced Reuben to six months imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release, a $5,000 fine, restitution of $361,932, and forfeiture of $50,000. Reuben pleaded guilty to engaging in health care fraud on February 22, 2010.

According to Reuben’s defense team, said The Republican, his disreputable behavior was blamed on a bipolar disorder the team claimed was diagnosed in 2008, but that was allegedly “long-running.” Since, Reuben has also been banned from conducting future drug research and has lost his license to practice medicine, added The Republican.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Mark Dragonetti, Special Agent in Charge of the FDA-Office of Criminal Investigations; Susan J. Waddell, Special Agent in Charge of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General-Office of Investigations; and James C. Burrell, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)–Boston Field Division, issued the announcement.

The Republican said that Reuben’s sentence was announced last week as a result of the February guilty plea to one count of health care fraud.

At the prior plea hearing, the prosecutor told the Court that had the case proceeded to trial the Government’s evidence would have proven that Reuben obtained research grants from pharmaceutical companies for the purpose of performing research on pain management, including one from Pfizer in 2005 regarding the use of multi-modal analgesia for patients having and recovering from anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction surgery.

Despite entering into contracts by which pharmaceutical companies funded his research and provided free drug for the studies, Reuben did not perform certain studies, including one funded by Pfizer on “Perioperative Administration of Celecoxib as a Component of Multimodal Analgesia for Outpatient Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction Surgery.” Reuben’s behavior resulted in medical journals, including Anesthesia and Analgesia, to publish articles touting his multi-modal analgesia therapy despite knowing that he had falsified the research.

The Republican wrote that 50 patients were to receive the drug, while another 50 were to receive a placebo; however, while Reuben published studies indicating the test was conducted, it never was. The ruse was revealed during a 2008 “routine audit” conducted by Bay State that led to the discovery that Reuben had distorted findings from 21 studies that dated as far back as 1996, said The Republican. In 2009, Reuben terminated his privileges at Bay State, The Republican added.

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