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DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: Twitter: Dereklowe

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April 15, 2009


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Posted by Derek

Readers may have seen the recent sting operation on Coast IRB, an institutional review board company that's in the business of monitoring clinical trials. They signed off on a trial of a nonexistent product from a bogus company, which doesn't make them look very good, to put it mildly. Admittedly, they probably weren't expecting things to be faked from top to bottom, but still.

Now, according to the Wall Street Journal's Health Blog, it turns out that the congressional committee that ran this one also was checking out the Department of Health and Human Services to see if they were checking up on IRBs in general:

Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., criticized Health and Human Services officials for failing to catch the fictitious IRB and registering it despite numerous red flags. “Nobody picked up on names like Phake Medical Devices, April Phuls, Timothy Witless and Alan Ruse — in the town of Chetesville, Ariz.?” he asked department reps.

Maybe someone should send some identical manuscripts to various peer-reviewed journals, co-authored by Witless and Phuls, and see how many of them get through. . .

Comments (7) + TrackBacks (0) | Category:


1. RB Woodweird on April 15, 2009 12:28 PM writes...

Some of their other staffers: (Sorry, Car Talk guys):

401K Statement Analysts
Douse and Burnham
Class Attendance Monitor
Julie Verley
Director of Preventive Maintenance
Oscar Ruitt
Director of Vengence
Ewell Rudy Day
Ponzi Scheme Operato
Shirley W. Money
Seasonal Adjustment Disorder Specialist
Mahmoud S. Bleak
Snowboarding Instructor
Soren Dekeester
Used Car Salesperson
Meg Meehan Hoffa
Werewolf Studies Specialist
Harriet Knight

Permalink to Comment

2. Anne on April 15, 2009 1:59 PM writes...

In computer science the SCIgen guys have it covered. They've had their computer-generated research papers accepted to at least one conference...

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3. MattW on April 15, 2009 8:55 PM writes...

This kinda sounds like something JJLC might do. But this time to make money, not spend it on $3k a g SM.

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4. Jose on April 15, 2009 11:29 PM writes...

"“With only a few exceptions, what the genomics companies are doing right now is recreational genomics,” Dr. Goldstein said in an interview. “The information has little or in many cases no clinical relevance.”

Ouch, but so damn true....

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5. damien bove on April 16, 2009 3:44 AM writes...

From some of the regulatory documents I have seen over the years, I think some pharma companies use computers to generate their IND's and CTA's

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6. damien bove on April 16, 2009 7:19 AM writes...


looking forward to your insight into this breaking story, GSK/Pfizer HIV merger.

Permalink to Comment

7. Fungus on April 16, 2009 8:39 AM writes...

RIP John Maddox.

“people should know what second-rate science is and that there is a lot of it about.”

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