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Research Misconduct – Irresistible Temptation

Temptation is ever-present in the clinical testing environment, and a conflict of interest can turn that temptation into an unacceptable moral act. Impropriety may also take the form of outright fraud as a researcher tries to profit from the lucrative medical research field. When it comes to safeguarding subjects in a clinical trial, the most important body that can insist on ethical behavior are Institutional Review Boards, which review and monitor research studies involving human subjects. There has always been concern over the relationship between clinical investigators and pharmaceutical companies. With all the complex financial relationships between drug companies and researchers, concerns about imprudent behavior cannot be overlooked. A series of case studies show how personal greed can disgrace the proud research profession. The brilliant academic who authored numerous articles in very good journals until it was discovered they were based on fabricated and falsified data. The successful entrepreneur in California who was caught conducting fraudulent research, exposed by his own employees. The phony physician overseeing clinical trials charged and convicted of fraud and criminal negligent homicide, ending up with a six-year jail sentence.

Keywords

Confl ict of interest ethics fraud misconduct whistleblower 

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Chapter 23 — Research Misconduct

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© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2009

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