News & AnalysisJapan

Tampered Data Cast Shadow on Drug Trial

Science  19 Jul 2013:
Vol. 341, Issue 6143, pp. 223
DOI: 10.1126/science.341.6143.223

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Summary

A clinical trial led by cardiologist Hiroaki Matsubara of Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine indicated that the blockbuster hypertension drug valsartan lowers the risk of stroke and angina for some patients. A university investigation, however, concluded that data had been manipulated; after reanalysis, the reduced risk of stroke and angina disappeared. The paper was retracted and Matsubara resigned from the university. But the fallout continues: The scandal has eroded confidence in Japan's biomedical research and raised concerns about cozy ties between researchers and drug companies.