Falsified Data Not Included in AIDS Study, Officials Say; Lawmaker Angry at Delay in Report of Misconduct

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), December 9, 2003 | Go to article overview

Falsified Data Not Included in AIDS Study, Officials Say; Lawmaker Angry at Delay in Report of Misconduct


Byline: Robert Stacy McCain, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine says that fake interviews taken for an AIDS-prevention study were discovered and discounted before the study was published.

"All of the falsified data collected by these employees was removed from the study," Dr. Donald E. Wilson, whose school conducted the study, said in a statement. "The misconduct was discovered by a University of Maryland research coordinator and reported immediately."

But the chairman of the House panel that oversees such grants said yesterday that despite Dr. Wilson's statement, there are still major flaws in reporting of problems with research.

"Public disclosure [of the fabrications] did not occur for nearly 21/2 years," said Rep. Mark Souder, Indiana Republican and chairman of the House Government Reform criminal justice, drug policy and human resources subcommittee.

Mr. Souder said he was considering measures to require that any future misconduct in federal research is "reported directly to the [congressional] oversight committees."

The Washington Times reported Friday on the faked interviews in the study, which received more than $1 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

In his statement, Dr. Wilson said officials at the University of Maryland at Baltimore detected in August 2001 the fabrications by "three part-time, temporary employees" who are no longer with the university.

Dr. Wilson said that after the fabrications were found, "the study was temporarily halted, and all data was systematically scrutinized by a panel of experts. No other problems were found, and the study resumed."

The fabrications were first reported by the journal Research USA. …

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