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Readers may have seen the recent sting operation on Coast IRB, an institutional review board company that’s in the business of monitoring clinical trials. They signed off on a trial of a nonexistent product from a bogus company, which doesn’t make them look very good, to put it mildly. Admittedly, they probably weren’t expecting things to be faked from top to bottom, but still.
Now, according to the Wall Street Journal‘s Health Blog, it turns out that the congressional committee that ran this one also was checking out the Department of Health and Human Services to see if they were checking up on IRBs in general:

Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., criticized Health and Human Services officials for failing to catch the fictitious IRB and registering it despite numerous red flags. “Nobody picked up on names like Phake Medical Devices, April Phuls, Timothy Witless and Alan Ruse — in the town of Chetesville, Ariz.?” he asked department reps.

Maybe someone should send some identical manuscripts to various peer-reviewed journals, co-authored by Witless and Phuls, and see how many of them get through. . .

7 comments on “Sheesh”

  1. RB Woodweird says:

    Some of their other staffers: (Sorry, Car Talk guys):
    401K Statement Analysts
    Douse and Burnham
    Class Attendance Monitor
    Julie Verley
    Director of Preventive Maintenance
    Oscar Ruitt
    Director of Vengence
    Ewell Rudy Day
    Ponzi Scheme Operato
    Shirley W. Money
    Seasonal Adjustment Disorder Specialist
    Mahmoud S. Bleak
    Snowboarding Instructor
    Soren Dekeester
    Used Car Salesperson
    Meg Meehan Hoffa
    Werewolf Studies Specialist
    Harriet Knight

  2. Anne says:

    In computer science the SCIgen guys have it covered. They’ve had their computer-generated research papers accepted to at least one conference…

  3. MattW says:

    This kinda sounds like something JJLC might do. But this time to make money, not spend it on $3k a g SM.

  4. Jose says:

    ““With only a few exceptions, what the genomics companies are doing right now is recreational genomics,” Dr. Goldstein said in an interview. “The information has little or in many cases no clinical relevance.”
    Ouch, but so damn true….

  5. damien bove says:

    From some of the regulatory documents I have seen over the years, I think some pharma companies use computers to generate their IND’s and CTA’s

  6. damien bove says:

    looking forward to your insight into this breaking story, GSK/Pfizer HIV merger.

  7. Fungus says:

    RIP John Maddox.
    “people should know what second-rate science is and that there is a lot of it about.”

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