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15111 - Fraud in medical research Richard Smith Editor BMJ...

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Fraud in medical research Richard Smith Editor, BMJ September 2001
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What I want to talk about Why fraud matters Britain’s most dramatic case of fraud What is fraud? How common is it? Why does it happen? What does a country need to respond? A comment on COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics)
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Why fraud matters It’s like child abuse: we didn’t recognise it, now we see alot It undermines public trust in medical research and doctors It corrupts the scientific record and leads to false conclusions Most countries do not have good systems of either treatment or prevention
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Britain’s most dramatic case of fraud
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August 1996: a major breakthrough Worldwide media coverage of doctors in London reimplanting an ectopic pregnancy and a baby being born Doctors had been trying to do this for a century. It was a huge achievement
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August 1996: a major breakthrough Achieved by Malcolm Pearce, a senior lecturer in at St George’s Hospital Medical School in London A world famous expert on ultrasonography in obstetrics A story from a paper in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gyneacology . Pearce was an assistant editor.
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August 1996: a major breakthrough A second author on the case report was Geoffrey Chamberlain, editor of the journal, president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and professor and head of department at St George’s. The same issue contained a randomised controlled trial also by Malcolm Pearce -- and others.
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Autumn 1996: both papers are fraudulent A front page story in the Daily Mail exposed the two papers as fraudulent.
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