Losing his lucrative and prestigious career as chief of the acute pain clinic at Bay State Hospital in Springfield, Massachusetts pales in comparison to Dr. Scott Reuben’s loss of liberty after being sentenced last week in federal court for health care fraud. U.S. District Judge Ponsor sentenced the anesthesiologist to six months imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release, plus more than $400,000 in fines, forfeitures, and restitution. According to a guilty plea, Reuben admitted to taking money from pharmaceutical companies for bogus studies and falsifying the research. At the plea hearing, prosecutors stated that they had evidence to prove that Reuben:
- obtained research grants from pharmaceutical companies for the purpose of performing research on pain management, including one from Pfizer in 2005 regarding the use of multi-modal analgesia for patients having and recovering from anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction surgery.
- entered into contracts by which pharmaceutical companies funded his research and provided free drugs for the studies without actually performing certain studies, including one funded by Pfizer on the topic of “Perioperative Administration of Celecoxib as a Component of Multimodal Analgesia for Outpatient Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction Surgery”; and
- Caused medical journals, including Anesthesia and Analgesia to publish articles touting his multi-modal analgesia therapy despite knowing that he had falsified the research.
Read the press release from the Massachusetts United States Attorney here.