Reuben guilty of fraud

Scott S. Reuben, MD, former chief of the acute pain service at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Mass., has been sentenced to 6 months in federal prison and 3 years of probation. He was also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and $362,000 in restitution to the companies that provided his research grants.

Dr. Reuben had previously pled guilty to one charge of fraud in connection with falsifying and fabricating research studies involving the painkiller celecoxib. As reported in AAOS Now (April 2009), Dr. Reuben’s research was frequently cited and his techniques adopted by many orthopaedic surgeons. The fraudulent research seemed to prove that the addition of a Cox-2 inhibitor with pregabalin or gaba-pentin reduced postoperative pain.

According to information filed with the court, in September 2005, Dr. Reuben entered into a $73,512 clinical research grant agreement with Pfizer to compare its celecoxib product to placebo in patients undergoing multimodal analgesia therapy. In studies published in the journal Anesthesia & Analgesia, Dr. Reuben claimed positive results, but in fact, no patients were enrolled and the study results were fabricated. At least 13 of his published studies have been retracted.

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