Fraud Case Stuns Anesthesiologists. Post-op Pain Expert Fabricated Years of Data. Adam Marcus, Anesthesiology News, April 2009, Vol 35:4.
Editor’s note: This article contains information that first appeared in the Anesthesiology News e-newsletter, as well as additional reporting since the story broke. To sign up for the e-newsletter, visit AnesthesiologyNews.com
In what experts are calling one of the largest known cases of academic misconduct, a pioneer in the area of multimodal analgesia has been accused of falsifying data and other fraud in potentially dozens of published studies.
Scott S. Reuben, MD, formerly chief of the acute pain service at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Mass., is said to have fabricated his results in at least 21 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.
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