Saturday, March 5, 2011

Medical journal retracts "unethical" research

By Kate Kelland, Health and Science Correspondent, LONDON | Fri Mar 4, 2011:

(Reuters) - The editors of 16 international medical journals have retracted "unethical" research carried out by a German doctor on drugs known as colloids, which boost blood volume in patients having surgery.

Joachim Boldt, an anesthesiologist at the center of an investigation into allegations that he may have forged up to 90 studies, was sacked from Klinikum Ludwigshafen, the German hospital where he worked, late last year.

British surgeons' organizations said they were withdrawing and reviewing their guidelines on the use of colloids following the retractions, although experts said there was little risk to patients.

In an open letter, 16 editors of various medical journals, including the U.S.-based Anesthesia & Analgesia, the European Journal of Anesthesiology and the British Journal of Anesthesia, said 89 of 102 studies published by Boldt had so far been found not to have had approval from an ethics body known as the institutional review board (IRB).

"At this stage we can't say it's fraud, all we can say is that the studies were not conducted with ethical approval and should therefore not have been published," Charles Reilly, editor-in-chief of the British Journal of Anesthesia (BJA), told Reuters. Read more>>

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