Schneider Shorts of 10 June 2022 – why eugenics science is innocent, with a job opening for a medical school dean, a Turkish biomedical con artist charged with murder, a Herbalife shill whitewashed, a supplement scammer celebrated by CNN, plus a proxalutamide retraction, German Alzheimer’s cure, and Peter Wilmshurst vs Big Pharma to reassure you that science is first and foremost a business.
Table of Discontent
- Racist inspiration – the eugenicists whom the Buffalo killer referenced
- Newmaster innocent – University of Guelph whitewashes Herbalife shill
- Job open at Marshall University – Dean Joe Shapiro made to step down after 5 retractions
- Sinclair Forever – CNN celebrates a supplement scammer from Harvard
- Welcome Guido! – Kroemer invited as chair at FEBS-IUBMB-PABMB conference
- Proxalutamide retraction – Cadegiani isn’t a fan of Frontiers anymore
- Quackery to kill for – the story of medical fraudster and biotech entrepreneur Serhat Gumrukcu
- Alzheimer’s cured in Germany – Storz Medical cures all brain disorders with pulse waves
- Ely Lilly under criminal investigation – how medicines are made
- White Vests – Peter Wilmshurst tells of his fight against Big Pharma fraudsters
You probably all heard of the mass murder in Buffalo, New York. The apprehended 18 year old perpetrator Payton Gendron is a racist who specifically targetted Blacks, on 14 May 2022 he killed 10 people and injured 3 more. Soon after, a 180-page “manifesto” which the murderer posted online was discovered. It was a racist, antisemitic mix of US white supremacy theories and German Nazi ideology, inspired by the “manifesto” of the fellow racist mass murderer from New Zealand, and soon taken offline by tech companies.
But the Buffalo shooter’s racist manifesto was also referencing peer-reviewed science. And now the scientists whom the killer quoted together with science-loyal journalists reassure us that it was all a misunderstanding. But it was not. The scientists whose race theories Gendron referenced are indeed racists and eugenicists.
“I learned today that one of the same people who I was investigating when I wrote Superior: the Return of Race Science was cited in the manifesto of the far-right shooter who killed ten Americans in Buffalo. For years, Woodley and his ‘colleagues’ on the far-right have tried to undermine my research, carried out personal attacks online on me and my family, and all because I warned that their theories were both pseudoscientific and dangerous. Please can scientific journals finally wake up to the risk that these ‘scientific’ racists pose.”
Saini also shared this article in a Belgian newspaper:
“A petition by international genetic researchers is calling for the resignation of Michael Woodley, a researcher affiliated with the Brussels university VUB, as his research into race and genetics was featured in the manifesto of the far-right terrorist who slaughtered ten Americans in a US supermarket last month.
The researchers specialising in population genetics have called the 38-year-old, who hails from Scotland, a “white supremacist researcher”, De Morgen reports. Woodley has been affiliated with the Centre Leo Apostel (CLEA) of the VUB since 2013. […]
Part of those 180 pages is a full-page infographic titled “The Truth About Race,” debunking eight so-called ‘myths’.
In the top right corner of the graph is a table that should prove that there is enough genetic diversity among people to speak of different races. The reference below the table refers to a scientific paper by Woodley from 2010.
Here is his university profile, as it seems there are enough racists and eugenicists at VUB to keep this one academically employed, especially since he keeps publishing peer-reviewed racist and eugenicist papers. I briefly wrote about this wealthy Scottish aristocrat, Michael Woodley of Menie, here:
Saini also told me that the Buffalo shooter’s “Manifesto” also generously references Ian Deary, Robert Plomin and Thomas Bouchard, scientists we are told to revere by scholarly authorities and journalists. That’s because their racist and eugenics papers are a bit more subtle than that by Richard Lynn, J Philippe Rushton or Satoshi Kanazawa, which makes these stealth racists even today publishable in highly respected journals.
I wrote about Deary and Plomin here:
You will notice that the media carefully avoids talking about the influence these scholars had on a racist mass murderer.
One scholar quoted in the “manifesto”, Robbee Wedow, seeks to prove that educational attainment, income and even smoking or alcoholism are genetically inherited (e.g, Belsky et al PNAS 2018), a classic eugenic and racist trope to prove why all education and social work are wasted on poor and non-white kids, since those are genetically inferior anyway. So this Wedow explained in Scientific American:
“In his document, the shooter contorts many scientific studies, including the findings from a 2018 genetic study co-authored by one of us (Wedow), to try and “prove” that white people have a genetic intellectual advantage over Black people. The 2018 study cited by the shooter aimed to find genetic variation associated with years of completed schooling and cognition.[…] The 2018 study concluded that the environment plays a substantial role in shaping these outcomes.”
That is not true. Wedow should read his own paper Lee et al Nature Genetics 2018, where he and dozens of his co-authors postulated that more research into Black
eugenics genetics was needed:
“we found that our score for educational attainment has much lower predictive power in a sample of African-American individuals than in a sample of individuals with an European ancestry, and we anticipate that the score would also have reduced predictive power in other samples of individuals with a non-European ancestry. Therefore, until polygenic scores are available that have as much predictive power in other ancestry groups, the score will be most useful in research that is focused on samples of individuals with an European ancestry.”
Today’s scientific racism is more inclusive for non-whites, but the goals remain the same: to assure the supremacy of wealthy white elites. And when a Nazi uses your peer reviewed paper to justify mass murder of Black people, do as Wedow does: insist your scholarly study has been misunderstood.
A Canadian university once again shat on research integrity and smugly expects you thank them for the mess they made.
“Botanist Steven Newmaster, whose controversial work profoundly influenced how dietary supplements are tested and marketed, did not engage in scientific misconduct, a University of Guelph (UG) investigation committee has ruled.
Newmaster “displayed a pattern of poor judgement and failed to apply the standards reasonably expected in research activity in his discipline,” panel chairman John Walsh wrote today in a letter to the eight scientists who lodged a complaint against Newmaster last year. Yet despite “many shortcomings” in his work, the panel said there was “insufficient evidence” to find Newmaster guilty of misconduct in three studies that his accusers had singled out.”
Newmaster was previously exposed by his former postdoc Ken Thomson who declared in May 2021 on PubPeer and in a blog post that their joint papers on DNA barcoding cannot be trusted. One paper was soon after retracted due to “concerns with the data availability“. Other Newmaster works got criticised, as Science reported, “apparent fabrication, data manipulation, and plagiarism in speeches, teaching, biographies, and scholarly writing” were found.
Newmaster is also a shill for the herbal supplement company Herbalife and helped them attack an Indian doctor who reported deadly dangers of Herbalife products polluted with toxic contaminants (read here).
The final result is a total whitewashing exercise by the University of Guelph. Because the original data did not exist, there was no proof it was fake.
“Stanford University postdoctoral fellow Ken Thompson, a complaint signatory who was the first to cast doubt on Newmaster’s work in 2020. UG dismissed Thompson’s concerns on several occasions and did not launch a formal investigation until the group of eight scientists filed its complaint. […]
Thompson is particularly frustrated that the committee says the misconduct allegations are not supported because of “the absence of records and data. … That was the essence of our complaint,” he says. “We knew they wouldn’t be able to find records. Our complaint alleged that Prof. Newmaster falsified his work and never had the data to back it up. That’s really disappointing.”
Job open at Marshall University
Joe Shapiro, inventor of a bullshit COVID-19 cure (which is charcoal!), who together with his colleagues Komal Sodhi and Nader Abraham published some impressive massive research fraud, was made to step down as dean of Marshall University Medical School (located in West Virginia, USA).
Here the university’s announcement:
“After leading Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine for 10 years, Dean Joseph I. Shapiro has announced he will step down from his position June 30 and will assume a tenured faculty position at the school.
“I have been honored to direct the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine this past decade, and I am very proud of what we have accomplished during that time,” Shapiro said. “However, 10 years is a long time to lead a medical school. After deep personal reflection and discussions with [Marshall University] President Smith, we have agreed that the school of medicine would benefit from a change in leadership at the end of this academic year, allowing me to focus my energies on research, teaching and clinical practice.”[…]
Smith said a national search will be conducted to find Shapiro’s successor.”
Feel free to apply for this job, I will provide you with a reference letter.
The reason why the school of medicine would benefit from a change in leadership, is Shapiro’s retractions. Apparently, my colleagues’ sleuthing and my notifications to Marshall University’s research integrity officer and the journal editors bore fruit. Yet by tradition, you are supposed to credit Retraction Watch for our work, as usual:
Komal Sodhi , Nitin Puri, Gaia Favero, Sarah Stevens, Charles Meadows, Nader G. Abraham, Rita Rezzani, Hayden Ansinelli, Edward Lebovics, Joseph I. Shapiro Fructose Mediated Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Is Attenuated by HO-1-SIRT1 Module in Murine Hepatocytes and Mice Fed a High Fructose Diet PLoS ONE (2015) doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0128648
The PLOS One retraction from November 2021 made a hint about an institutional investigation:
“The corresponding author requested retraction of this article. They stated that data underlying some of the article’s results are currently held by Marshall University, and that the original data underlying Figs 4A and 7A are not available.”
Why else would the Marshall University hold its dean’s lab files (while denying him access) if not for a misconduct investigation?
Here is one such newly retracted Scientific Reports paper:
Rebecca D. Pratt, Cameron Brickman, Athar Nawab, Cameron Cottrill, Brian Snoad, Hari Vishal Lakhani, Austin Jelcick, Brandon Henderson, Niharika N. Bhardwaj, Juan R. Sanabria, Jiang Liu, Zijian Xie, Nader G. Abraham, Joseph I. Shapiro, Komal Sodhi The Adipocyte Na/K-ATPase Oxidant Amplification Loop is the Central Regulator of Western Diet-Induced Obesity and Associated Comorbidities Scientific reports (2019) doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-44350-9
All 3 retraction notices from 30 May 2022 describe the data manipulations in detail and mention that Abraham (who is at New York Medical College) agreed to the retraction, but Sodhi and Shapiro did not. Sodhi remains listed as Marshall health clinician and associate professor.
The all-knowledgable Ivan Oransky and Adam Marcus of Retraction Watch however still do not know Shapiro resigned, but they will sure provide an update later and credit it to their own reporting. The Watchdogs also seem unhappy that Scientific Reports didn’t provide them with details on the retractions, but my sources say that Shapiro and Sodhi engaged a lawyer to send a written threat to the editor of this journal. Luckily, the lawyering-up didn’t stop the retractions, only delayed them.
CNN brings you exciting science news:
“In molecular biologist David Sinclair’s lab at Harvard Medical School, old mice are growing young again.
Using proteins that can turn an adult cell into a stem cell, Sinclair and his team have reset aging cells in mice to earlier versions of themselves. In his team’s first breakthrough, published in late 2020, old mice with poor eyesight and damaged retinas could suddenly see again, with vision that at times rivaled their offspring’s.
David Sinclair has reversed aging in mice and believes the same can be done for people.
“It’s a permanent reset, as far as we can tell, and we think it may be a universal process that could be applied across the body to reset our age,” said Sinclair, who has spent the last 20 years studying ways to reverse the ravages of time.
“If we reverse aging, these diseases should not happen. We have the technology today to be able to go into your hundreds without worrying about getting cancer in your 70s, heart disease in your 80s and Alzheimer’s in your 90s.” Sinclair told an audience at Life Itself, a health and wellness event presented in partnership with CNN.”
There is a video of that event in the article, know yourself out. Nobody is arsed by Sinclair’s scientific claims being nothing but bullshit based on rigged data and his boundless greed.
“”I’ve been doing a biological test for 10 years now, and I’ve been getting steadily younger for the last decade,” Sinclair said. “The biggest change in my biological clock occurred when I ate less often — I only eat one meal a day now.That made the biggest difference to my biochemistry.””
This is followed by Sinclair supplement advice, naturally the article doesn’t mention that he own the company selling those NAD+ supplements.
Sinclair will probably live forever, and he will soon own all the money on this planet, too.
Here is the main reason to register for “the 25th IUBMB Congress, the 46th FEBS Congress and the 15th PABMB Congress, in one single global event named The Biochemistry Global Summit, happening from the 9th to the 14th July 2022″:
The invited speaker is Guido Kroemer.
Yes, the man in the centre of data fudgery universe who still never retracted a single paper.
Kroemer will also be chairing the “Cancer and Metastasis” symposium on 10 July 2022.
I wrote to the congress organisers, asking what about Kroemer’s over 70 problematic papers on PubPeer, flagged for suspicions of data forgery. No reply.
Maybe this is exactly why they invited him. Kroemer is a peer in urgent need of some support.
Tom Kingsnorth, Chief Administrator at FEBS, wrote to me one day before Kroemer’s chairing the session:
“From your information that has been sent to us it is clear that these are very serious allegations and therefore we are actively involved in investigating them fully before making any decisions. This involves discussions with relevant journals and institutes, etc. We feel that it is only prudent that we have all the full facts available before any actions are taken. We are sure that you will understand that these investigations may take time before a definitive outcome is made.”
Meaning in practice, Kroemer’s participation in the conference as role model for young scientists continues as scheduled. Have fun forever investigating this Kroemer classic, dear FEBS.
Sonsoles Hortelano, Bruno Dallaporta , Naoufal Zamzami , Tamara Hirsch , Santos A Susin , Isabel Marzo , Lisardo Boscá, Guido Kroemer Nitric oxide induces apoptosis via triggering mitochondrial permeability transition FEBS Letters (1997) doi: 10.1016/s0014-5793(97)00623-6
The Brazilian fraudster quacks around Flavio Cadegiani suffered another setback. Their biggest achievement so far, a paper in Frontiers about the miracle COVID-19 cure proxalutamide, has been retracted. At some point, the extend of fraud was too much even for Frontiers to bear.
Cadegiani was previously even accused by Brazilian senate of crimes against humanity, because he and his team abused and poisoned COVID-19 patients. You can read about his fraud and horrendous ethics breaches here and here. Among other things, Cadegiani experimented on people without ethics approval and is seen as responsible for the deaths of 200 patients in the control group of his COVID-19 trials with the anti-androgen proxalutamide (which is made by Chinese and marketed by the US company Cadegiani works for, Applied Biology).
This is the retracted Frontiers paper, featuring Cadegiani’s Brazilian partners and Applied Biology’s owners and employees:
Situm , Jerry Shapiro , Rodney Sinclair , Antonella Tosti , Andrija Stanimirovic , Daniel Fonseca , Edinete Dorner , Dirce Costa Onety , Ricardo Ariel Zimerman , Carlos Gustavo Wambier Proxalutamide Reduces the Rate of Hospitalization for COVID-19 Male Outpatients: A Randomized Double-Blinded Placebo-Controlled Trial Frontiers in Medicine (2021) doi: 10.3389/fmed.2021.668698
The retraction notice declared:
“The journal and Chief Editors have retracted the 19 July 2021 article cited above.
Serious concerns were raised to our office concerning the integrity of the article, following which an Expression of Concern was published and a thorough investigation was conducted, in accordance with our policies and COPE guidelines.
The investigation exposed multiple concerns with the methodology of the study. In particular, an independent analysis found that the process of allocation to treatment and control was not sufficiently random.
This retraction was approved by the Chief Editors of Frontiers in Medicine and the Chief Executive Editor of Frontiers. The authors disagree with this retraction.”
Frontiers should have acknowledged that their investigation consisted of reading the work by Smut Clyde, Nick Brown and other sleuths who debunked that toxic trash already in its preprint version on PubPeer and on my site. What the retraction notice also fails to mention is that before proxalutamide, these killer quacks used another anti-androgen, dutasteride, which goes unmentioned in the methods section of the Frontiers paper. And their control arm was the anti-parasitics ivermectin and nitazoxanide, plus the antibiotic azithromycin, plus many other drugs, probably mixed in a bucket, which would explain the initially announced almost 50% mortality in the control arm.
Just a few months ago Cadegiani celebrated another (likely also fraudulent) COVID-19 paper he and his gang published in Frontiers (Zimerman et al 2022), in fact even in the very same journal. That is Frontiers ethics for you.
Quackery to kill for
A very long read has been published by Hindenburg Research (who own short shares of Enochian Biosciences) about a killer medical fraudster from Turkey. The summary alone is huge, so here an excerpt:
“- Last week, Enochian Biosciences’ co-founder, “scientific founder”, “inventor”, and largest shareholder, Serhat Gumrukcu, was arrested by Federal authorities over allegations that he conspired in a plot to murder a Vermont father of six.
– The victim, Gregory Davis, was murdered on January 6th, 2018, just 19 days before Gumrukcu was scheduled to appear in court […]
– Enochian is a biotech company with an entirely preclinical pipeline of claimed miracle cures, vaccines and treatments for HIV, Influenza, Hepatitis, Cancer, and COVID-19. The company claimed last week that Gumrukcu “has had no formal role in the Company” and that the incident was “completely unrelated to the Company”.
– However, Enochian’s own disclosures indicate that the company and its pipeline are completely dependent on Gumrukcu. Every product Enochian is investigating appears to have been licensed to it by Gumrukcu-controlled or affiliated entities or are otherwise based on his research.”
“- We have been unable to find any jurisdiction in which Gumrukcu is licensed as a medical doctor. He is unlicensed in California, where he has apparently been practicing medicine anyway, and where he has claimed to have made his major breakthroughs for Enochian.
– Gumrukcu claims to have spent 12+ years earning an M.D. and multiple PhDs in Russia and Turkey. Our research indicates he made it all up. He has no medical degree and no PhDs.“
This is exactly how Gumrukcu managed to find cures for all possible diseases, by making everything up:
The man also “describes himself as an “exceptional tango dancer,” a martial artist, and a psychonaut, interested in altering consciousness through the use of psychedelics” and claims to have earned “an M.D. and several PhDs before the age of 30“. No wonder his company’s CEO extols Gumrukcu as “rare genius” and his investors see him as “Leonardo Da Vinci, Nikola Tesla and Einstein In One And The Same Person”.
Gumrukcu of course also dabbed in stem cell business:
“He allegedly received $275,000 to treat the patient, Elsever Bunyatov, using mistletoe, stem cell therapy, and other treatments not available in Turkey or Azerbaijan at the time.
The patient deteriorated and had to be admitted to hospital. He later died.
Facing a fraud trial in Turkey, Gumrukcu ignored the travel ban and fled to US where he continued with medical scamming:
“August 2015 – Gumrukcu Charged A Pennsylvania Family $59,100 To Treat A Dying Child With Unapproved Substances, Despite Not Being Licensed To Practice Medicine
The Family Sent Him Another $253,000 For More “Treatments” But The Child Died Before Gumrukcu Could Visit Again – He Refused To Return The Money Until The Family Sued Him […]
Gumrukcu has gone on to charge hundreds of thousands of dollars to treat other terminal cancer patients, including children, at his private clinic, Seraph Medical Institute, in California – housed in the same building as Enochian.“
In 2017, he was arrested and charged with 14 felonies. Enochian was so impressed they immediately hired Gumrukcu as their cancer vaccine consultant. In 2018, Gumrukcu killed a witness before the latter could testify against him:
“As described by the DoJ, on January 6th 2018, Gregory Davis, Gumrukcu’s business partner in the oil trading venture and a father of 6 children, was kidnapped from his Vermont home by someone claiming to be a U.S. Marshal. The man drove Davis away from his home, shot him, and left his body in a snowbank.
On May 25th 2022, the Department of Justice announced that Serhat Gumrukcu was arrested for allegedly conspiring to commission the murder.”
Gumrukcu started as magician, then became medical scam entrepreneur with fake degrees, and progressed from killing patients with quack treatments to actually murdering people in cold blood, with a gun. What a career.
Alzheimer’s cured in Germany
In Germany, everything is tightly regulated and there are laws and rules for everything. Well, almost everything. Quack therapy peddled by unscrupulous medical business practitioners are not regulated at all, here the state stays out completely and the free-market capitalism rules supreme.
STAT News reports about a new Alzheimer’s therapy on sale in Hamburg:
“Looking more like a barber than a doctor, orthopedic surgeon Musa Citak squirted gel on his patient’s head and massaged the gooey substance into his scalp as though it were shampoo. He then pulled out a handheld device and began sliding it across the side of the elderly man’s head.
“This is shockwave therapy,” Citak explained. As he moved the device, it made rapid clicking sounds, each click a high-frequency sound wave intended to stimulate brain regions and, according to Citak, help regenerate cells and halt the rapid deterioration of the patient’s brain.”
The article mentions that there are “hundreds of patients who have come to Citak in the past year, desperate for help“, and that the device he uses is manufactured by the Swiss company Storz Medical which said that “at least 1,500 patients in 23 countries have undergone a total of about 10,000 treatment sessions“. STAT News however debunks the therapy by quoting experts.
“Yet anecdotes aren’t sound evidence, and the science behind TPS is far from convincing, experts say. Studies of its efficacy are limited and their methods questionable, and there’s no real understanding of how the technology acts on the brain beyond speculative theories, experts say. The treatment is also largely unregulated and expensive, costing thousands of dollars that patients have to pay out of pocket. Critics accuse clinicians adopting the technology and Storz Medical of taking advantage of families desperate for help.”
By the way, Dr Citak is (according to his interviews) full professor at the Hannover Medical School (MHH), which may be not exactly correct, judging from his LinkedIn CV. Rather, Citak may still be unsalaried adjunct professor at MHH, which does not surprise me at all, I mean, even Paolo Macchiarini is still professor there.
Apparently, Citak used to be chair of computer-assisted surgery and robotics at MHH, as per this press release from 2007, announcing a “Pain Gun” against back pain. It operated by injecting analgesics straight into the spinal column, and must have become such a resounding success that one never heard of it again. In any case, according to his LinkedIn CV, Dr Cital left MHH in 2008. He eventually set up his own clinic for sports orthopaedics, where he got bored with fixing twisted ankles and now cures Alzheimer’s with shockwaves.
Now Citak sees no limits for his business, all brain disorders can be treated. In this 2022 interview, he declares to “absolutely agree” with the alleged inventor of transcranial stimulation Henning Lohse-Busch, that this therapy can also cure “Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, stroke after-effects, polyneuropathies, incomplete paraplegia, the Tourette syndrome or even coma patients“. Citak also declares to have treated 20 Parkinson’s patients off-label already, unsurprisingly without any success though.
Citak is not the only one in Germany treating desperate Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and dementia patients in return for a lot of money, right now it’s 33 private clinics in Germany alone. A Storz Medical press release cites also some peer reviewed research by Roland Beisteiner, neurology professor at the Medical University Vienna in Austria. So I guess science has spoken?
- Beisteiner R, Matt E, Fan C, Baldysiak H, Schönfeld M, Philippi Novak T, Amini A, Aslan T, Reinecke R, Lehrner J, Weber A, Reime U, Goldenstedt C, Marlinghaus E, Hallett M, Lohse-Busch H. Transcranial Pulse Stimulation with Ultrasound in Alzheimer’s Disease-A New Navigated Focal Brain Therapy. Adv Sci (Weinh). 2019 Dec 23;7(3):1902583. doi: 10.1002/advs.201902583.
- Popescu T, Pernet C, Beisteiner R. Transcranial ultrasound pulse stimulation reduces cortical atrophy in Alzheimer’s patients: A follow-up study. Alzheimers Dement (N Y). 2021 Feb 25;7(1):e12121. doi: 10.1002/trc2.12121.
The authors always declare to have no conflicts of interests whatsoever despite Storz’ grants (including equipment) to Beisteiner and his other (obviously paid) collaborations with the company. The company website lists a bit more papers, all by Beisteiner, like this:
Eva Matt, Gregor Dörl, Roland Beisteiner, Transcranial pulse stimulation (TPS) improves depression in AD patients on state-of-the-art treatment Alzheimers Dement (N Y). 2022 Feb 10;8(1):e12245. doi: 10.1002/trc2.12245.
Ely Lilly under criminal investigation
Reuters reported on 27 May 2022:
“The U.S. Justice Department has launched a criminal investigation into Eli Lilly and Co (LLY.N) focused on alleged manufacturing irregularities and records tampering at a factory in Branchburg, New Jersey, that produces the pharmaceutical giant’s COVID-19 therapy and other drugs, three people familiar with the matter said.
The probe represents a significant escalation of the government scrutiny on Lilly. The pharmaceutical company, one of the world’s largest, has been under examination for more than a year by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration over alleged manufacturing and records violations at the Branchburg factory. […]
The Justice Department inquiry follows a Reuters report in March that a Lilly human resources officer alleged she had been forced out of her job at the factory after undertaking internal investigations of employee complaints about manufacturing lapses, falsified or destroyed records and staff shortages.
The sacked HR employee is now suing Eli Lilly, as a recent Reuters article reported. This is what this and other whistleblower uncovered:
“In April, employees accused a factory executive of altering FDA-required documents in order to downplay problems, according to an unsigned internal complaint reviewed by Reuters. […]
In November 2019, FDA inspectors arrived at the Branchburg plant for an inspection and found that quality control data had been deleted and not appropriately audited, Reuters has reported. The plant produced blockbuster diabetes drug Trulicity as well as several cancer medications.[…]
Inspectors returned in July and found several more problems. Among them: Batches of drugs had been discarded because of manufacturing mistakes and quality control problems were not being properly investigated by the company to prevent recurrence.”
Now, criminal fraud is most certainly not rare in pharma industry, what is rare is the criminal investigations. Or any consequences at all, read the next short.
Peter Wilmshurst is a British cardiologist and whistleblower who has been sued for libel by the now bankrupt NMT Medical, and Wilmshurst won. He now fights to take down Paolo Macchiarini‘s legacy at The Lancet.
Wilmshurst wrote a blog post about bad pharma and the bad doctors it works with. First, the German pharma giant Bayer:
“On 11th September 1986, James Erlichman reported in the Guardian newspaper that Bayer UK Pharmaceutical Co bribed doctors with money, colour televisions and trips to the USA in return for them prescribing its drug Adalat Retard (nifedipine) for patients in “bogus” research. The more patients a doctor started on Adalat the greater their reward. A company employee revealed that doctors were asked to collect data on the patients they recruited for so-called “research”, but no scientific analysis of data collected was performed.”
Because of news coverage, Bayer was mildly admonished, and renamed its UK subsidiary to “Bayer UK Ethical Pharmaceutical Co”.
Wilmshurst article is however about a different scandal he himself uncovered as a cardiology fellow at St Thomas’ Hospital in London: that of the company Sterling-Winthrop (eventually subsumed by Sanofi), and their failed heart failure drug Amrinone.
“We informed Sterling-Winthrop that we were unable to find evidence that Amrinone injections increased cardiac contractility in patients with heart failure and we reported our experience of serious side effects with the oral preparation of the drug. […]
Senior company employees met us the week after we had sent them details of our findings. They initially asked us to exclude some patients from the analysis. They were the patients in whom there was a downward trend in contractility after they were given the drug. The effect of excluding them would have been to entirely alter the statistical analysis by producing an apparent but spurious increase in contractility in the remainder. My supervisor, Dr Michael Webb-Peploe and I refused because that would be research fraud. We were then offered money if we did not publish any of our findings. I would have received the equivalent of two year’s salary. The company representatives could not conceal their surprise when we refused their money. Next they threatened us with litigation.”
Wilmshurst and his boss Webb-Peploe however agreed to meet before publication a US professor of cardiology:
“He was an opinion leader in the treatment of heart failure and a consultant to Sterling-Winthrop. He assured us that we alone were getting the results we had reported. He said that if we published, other cardiologists would think that we could not do the research properly and our department would be discredited. That troubled my boss more than me – he had spent years building up a reputation for research. Nevertheless we went ahead and published. As soon as we did, I was contacted by professors of cardiology at three different universities in the USA. They each said that they had got results similar to us and when they told Sterling-Winthrop, the company had brought the same professor of cardiology to see them. He told them exactly what he told us. He said that they alone were getting those results and if they published their departments they would be discredited. As a result they did not publish.”
The company kept sending their shills to discredit Wilmshurst and Webb-Peploe, including of publicly accusing them of research fraud. Or this:
“Subsequently Sterling-Winthrop used various tricks to try to discredit our finding. Often when I presented our findings at medical meetings, a professor of cardiology that I knew was a consultant to Sterling-Winthrop would claim that he had tried to replicate our findings and failed. After that had happened repeatedly over two years, I responded at a meeting by saying that he had been claiming that he had failed to replicate our findings for two years but he had not published his findings. I suggested that as a result of his failure to publish his claims, some people might wonder whether he had been lying all the time. He never challenged me again. Forty years later, he has still not published his failure to replicate.”
Eventually, Wilmshurst even found out that the company lied to UK authorities about the drug’s dangerous side effects, “submitted false documents in the Netherlands“, and that his clinical studies were illegal: “Sterling-Winthrop had not obtained a Clinical Trials Certificate for oral Amrinone“.
The company was never prosecuted or sanctioned otherwise. They were even allowed to sell the drug in Africa after it was banned in Europe and US, up until in 1986 Wilmshurst reached out to Erlichman and The Guardian reported. Amrinone was withdrawn worldwide right after.
Wilmshurst now understands why Sterling-Winthrop were untouchable: the perpetrators were white. British authorities, including the General Medical Council (GMC) are just plain racist.
“During the 1980s and 1990s, I reported a number of doctors to the GMC, but until 1998 the GMC repeatedly refused to take action against any of them. In 1998, I reported Dr Anjan Kumar Banerjee. He was the first doctor that I reported to the GMC that was not white and he was the first that the GMC agreed to investigate. […]
I have reported more than 25 doctors to the GMC. Other than Banerjee, all were white. In my opinion, some doctors that I reported and who the GMC refused to investigate were a greater risk to patients than Banerjee.[…]
Over the years, I have learnt that there is clear racial bias in dealing with dishonest doctors. Non-white doctors receive severe punishments, while senior white doctors who commit egregious misconduct often get away without a sanction.”
This racist policy seem to be true, also from my (admittedly limited) experience.
News in Tweets
- “A group called “For Justice in College Applications,” cited multiple instances of alleged plagiarism by Madeline Choi and Annabelle Choi, siblings “accepted to the highly-selective 7-year bio-dental program at UPenn.” […] The Chois’ uncle, Han Dong-Hoon, is the attorney general of South Korea” (The College Fix)
- What a surprise (not). Gabelica et al 2022, “Many researchers were not compliant with their published data sharing statement: mixed-methods study“
- Well done, Elsevier. Correction for Li et al 2017: “In the original manuscript, there was an inadvertent mistake on Fig. 3B that has been appeared similar particles which may cause readers’ doubt. We re-performed the entire set of the TEM experiment to rectify this mistake. […] This correction does not alter the conclusion of this manuscript.“
- Frontiers’ famous AIRA, which is a proprietary AI supposed to detect image manipulation, plagiarism, conflicts of interests and all other bad science, seems to be working like a charm since it was deployed in 2020. Behold, Riaz et al 2021:
- US clinics sell stem cell therapies with non-existing VSEL cells (invented in the literal sense of the world by Mariusz Ratajczak).
- Science from Serbia. Turini et al, “The Plant Consciousness: Understanding and Developing Proto-languages Between Plants and Humans” (2022), published in the perfectly trustworthy journal Acupuncture & Electro-Therapeutics Research from the predatory publisher Cognizant (which was apparently bought by Ingenta Connect). Some authors are in the business of acupuncture, some declare as academic affiliation “University of Pristina in Kosovska Mitrovica, Serbia”, also Kosovo is not Serbia anymore.
- Jane Goodall calls for straightening efforts for protection of Persian leopards as well as of the scientists who study them. Some scientists have been imprisoned in Iran for many ears for alleged espionage, because they installed camera traps. (Mongabay)
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