A U.S. doctor has agreed to plead guilty to health care fraud in connection with faked research on painkillers that was published in medical journals.
Anesthesiologist Dr. Scott Reuben, the former chief of acute pain at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Mass., agreed to plead guilty in exchange for a more lenient sentence that includes up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and forfeiture of assets worth at least $50,000 that he received for the research, according to court documents, the Associated Press reported.
It's alleged that Reuben applied for and received research grants from drug makers but never performed the studies. Instead, he made up some or all patient data contained in 21 studies published in anesthesiology journals between 1996 and 2008.
The ruse was discovered after the hospital launched a routine review last year. Baystate Medical Center has asked the journals to retract the studies, the AP reported.