Jan 122012

Dr. Dipak Das, professor of surgery at University of Connecticut Health Center, was found to have fabricated results of scientific studies on a hormone called resveratrol. His studies claimed that resveratrol had potential as a weight loss hormone. He made good money as an expert on resveratrol. Glaxo paid $720 million to buy a small company that was working on resveratrol. I do not know how much of this went into the pockets of Dr. Das.

Dr. Das wrote over 50 scientific papers, full of fabrications. The only reason he got caught is that one of his confidants reported him. If this whistle blower had not come forward we would still be treating all of Dr. Das’s research as legit, even though no other company was able to reproduce his findings.

This brings to importance the need of reproducibility in medical research. A single study, or several studies by the same person or company,  should not be relied upon to make important medical decisions. The results of one study must be reproduced by others before we accept the results. However the FDA does not follow this rule. New drugs and surgical devices are approved based upon results of a single study, and the study is conducted by people who benefit from its approval. The people of USA are exposed to unsafe and ineffective drugs and surgeries because of this unscientific policy.

 Posted by at 7:07 am