The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Doctor Fakes Benefits in 21 Pain Pill Studies

Self-Portrait with Pills 

A news report published in several publications including The Wall Street Journal stated that anesthesiologist Scott S. Reuben faked data so that it would seem that benefits occurred from painkillers like Vioxx and Celebrex. The studies had been published in several anesthesiology journals between 1996 and 2008.

Dr. Reuben had been a paid speaker for Pfizer, a powerful pharmaceutical company, and Pfizer paid for some of the research.

The journal Anesthesiology has retracted three of Dr. Reuben's articles. The journal Anesthesia & Analgesia has retracted 10 of Dr. Reuben's studies and posted a list of 11 of his studies published in other journals.

Jacques E. Chelly, head of acute interventional postoperative pain service at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, said that the situation has prompted his hospital to review the protocols it uses to treat patients for pain, because Dr. Reuben's work was so influential in establishing them.

Editor James C. Eisenach warned in an editorial in the journal Anesthesiology, stating:

"these retractions clearly raise the possibility that we might be heading in wrong directions or toward blind ends in attempts to improve pain therapy."

Other Problematic Drugs. Vioxx and Celebrex are not the only highly prescribed drugs that have been found less effective than advertised. Several major drugs prescribed for pain/fibromyalgia and headache were later ordered by the FDA to carry a Suicide Risk Warning:

Where Does Some of the Information in Medical Books Come From?

Healthy Ways To Stop Sources of Pain. Specific well-known medications and surgeries have found to be no more effective than less expensive and disruptive methods:


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About the Author


Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.