Just a day after the Japanese government filed a criminal complaint against pharmaceutical giant Novartis for “exaggerated marketing” of the drug Diovan, allegations of falsified data in an unrelated study are being investigated by the Health Ministry. The research study on Alzheimer’s involves 11 pharmaceutical companies, several hospitals and medical organizations.
A former professor from Tokyo University and a project researcher that worked on the study called J-ADNI reported to the ministry that some of the data used in the study was falsified. They are now interviewing researchers of the public and privately funded study which started in 2007 and when they finish verifying the facts of the allegation, a ministry official said they might set up an investigative committee to “deal with the issue appropriately.”
Health Minister Norihisa Tamura said that they are trying to see whether or not the allegations have any basis and if they are right, they will also be investigating how the falsified data managed to get into such a high-profile study. Some of the pharmaceutical companies involved are Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb plus Japanese giants Takeda Pharmaceutical and Astellas Pharma. “If there really has been data falsification, that would be a grave problem, so we are investigating carefully,” Tamura said.
A leading Japanese newspaper said that they were able to get hold of several documents proving that in at least four instances, researchers from the pharma companies and medical institutions tried to falsify the data in the Alzheimer’s disease study. The only company that has made a statement so far is Pfizer who says that while they did give financing to the study, they did not provide any researchers.
[ via Naharnet ]
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