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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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Busted! Couple Imprisoned for Faking Data
8 September 2000 7:00 pm
In what scientific misconduct experts say is an unusual crime, a federal judge has sentenced a former drug company executive to 3 years in prison for falsifying data in a clinical trial. His co-conspirator was sentenced to 2.5 years.
Prosecutors charged that Harry Snyder, a former vice president of BioCryst Pharmaceutical in Birmingham, Alabama, and his wife, nurse Renee Peugeot, conspired to make BCX-34, a drug developed to treat psoriasis and T cell lymphoma, appear effective. The couple planned to cash in by selling stock in the company when the share price rose on news of the drug's success, prosecutors alleged. But BioCryst abandoned the drug several years ago after informing regulators about study irregularities. Last month a jury convicted the couple of conspiracy, mail fraud, and making false statements to the Food and Drug Administration.
Snyder and Peugeot's lawyers have appealed the verdict, maintaining that the pair made only record-keeping errors. Criminalizing research mistakes is "unprecedented," says Mark White, Peugeot's lawyer.
Although the government routinely prosecutes stock manipulators, researchers don't often face criminal charges for falsifying data, agrees Chris Pascal, director of the Office of Research Integrity at the Department of Health and Human Services. Scientific misconduct cases, he says, typically end up in court only if the researcher appeals government disciplinary action.