Newsflash -- courtesy of WSJ Health Blog:
It looks like Scott Reuben, the Massachusetts anesthesiologist said to have used phony research data in 21 published papers, has reached a plea deal with
Federal prosecutors accused Reuben of health-care fraud for allegedly
faking data that suggested after-surgery benefits from painkillers including
Merck’s Vioxx and Pfizer’s Bextra and Celebrex, the Justice Department said yesterday. The Justice announcement said he faces as much as a 10-year sentence and a $250,000 fine.
But the Associated Press said Reuben, the former chief of acute pain at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, has agreed to plead guilty in exchange for prosecutors recommending a more lenient sentence. The sentence
would also reportedly include forfeiting assets of at least $50,000 that Reuben
received for the allegedly phony research. The Republican, a Springfield newspaper, said Reuben has signed a plea agreement under which he must pay $420,000 in restitution to pharmaceutical companies.
Reuben is accused with taking pharma money for doing research, then fabricating results and getting studies published in anesthesiology journals.The tale began to unravel last year as Baystate said it found Reuben had faked data and the Boston U.S. attorney began looking into the case. (For refreshers, see our posts here and here.)
Reuben’s attorney has said in the past his client cooperated with the hospital review and expressed regret. The lawyer didn’t immediately return a call for comment after Thursday’s federal complaint, the AP said.