Current Events – March 9–11

It’s been a busy week in the world of research ethics, and we wanted to take a minute to provide you with a list of a few news outlets where you can find out more about these current events.

On Monday, President Obama signed an executive order to lift the ban on embryonic stem cell research.

  • The New York Times provided a “News Analysis” on the subject;
  • Blogger Nancy Walton (The Research Ethics Blog) wrote an excellent overview of what this means to for research; and
  • CNN commented on President Obama’s move to “separate politics and science.”

Then, on Tuesday, it was alleged that Scott S. Reuben, a Massachusetts anesthesiologist, fabricated 21 medical studies, some of which were funded by Pfizer, involving major drugs.

  • Anesthesiology News first reported the retractions of the studies from several anesthesiology journals;
  • The Wall Street Journal provided a brief overview of the story in their Health Blog; and
  • WBUR, Boston’s NPR station, invited Jerome Kassirer, former New England Journal of Medicine editor, to speak on their program this morning (interview available via RealAudio).

Finally, today it was reported that the Obama administration has determined a leading candidate to fill two top posts at the FDA.

  • The Wall Street Journal reported that the Margaret “Peggy” Hamburg is the leading candidate to become FDA commissioner, while Baltimore health chief Joshua Sharfstein is in line to become a deputy commissioner.
  • In addition, the Wall Street Journal Health Blog provided a bit more information about Dr. Hamburg.

Photo credits: Ron Edmonds, AP (Obama); U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (Hamburg)