Saturday, December 29, 2012
Friday, December 28, 2012
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Friday, December 21, 2012
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Another excellent report by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's John Fauber, this time on treatment guidelines. (If only we could get this kind of sustained reporting here in the Twin Cities.)
Posted by Carl at 6:54 AM
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Maggie Koerth-Baker blogs on the Dan Markingson case at BoingBoing.net.
Posted by Carl at 10:42 AM
legal action against Mary Weiss by the University of Minnesota demanding $57,000 in 2008. It seemed like a good time to revisit this blog post, "When University Attorneys Play Hardball," from the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Posted by Carl at 5:58 AM
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Harrison Pope: Markingson case "one of the most important and meritorious malpractice suits I have ever seen"
Just posted on Scribd: the second affadavit by Harvard Psychiatrist Harrison Pope in the lawsuit by Mary Weiss against the University of Minnesota. Read it here.
Posted by Carl at 2:20 PM
Stone on the Markingson case: "There are so many obvious conflicts of interest that it is hard to know quite where to start."
Read it here.
Posted by Carl at 6:58 AM
Monday, December 17, 2012
Because of the blog posts by Judy Stone and Matt Lamkin, the case of Dan Markingson has been getting renewed attention in other places, mainly on Twitter. But it's not clear that the message is getting through to university officials, such as the president of the university, Eric Kaler. So if you tweet about the case -- or, in fact, if you re-tweet posts from the weekend -- be sure to include his Twitter handle, @PrezKaler, so that he sees it.
Posted by Carl at 7:33 PM
The always-interesting Richard Smith, former editor of the BMJ, reviews Ben Goldacre's Bad Pharma.
Posted by Carl at 5:29 AM
Man, this sounds really unpleasant. I'll stick with wrinkles.
Posted by Carl at 5:13 AM
Sunday, December 16, 2012
"After Markingson killed himself, the university denied any wrongdoing and any responsibility for his death, hid behind statutory immunity from suit, and then sought to make Markingson’s mother pay the university $56,000 for its troubles."
Read about it on the Stanford Law and Biosciences blog: "How Not to Run a Drug Study: the University of Minnesota Puts on a Clinic," by Matt Lamkin
Posted by Carl at 4:18 PM
Saturday, December 15, 2012
"The University of Michigan, where he was a professor for decades, has erased any trace of him on its Web sites, and is now reviewing its consulting policy for employees, a spokesman said."
More from the New York Times on the Dr. Sidney Gilman insider-trading case at the University of Michigan.
Posted by Carl at 3:50 PM
Friday, December 14, 2012
You can read it here.
Posted by Carl at 10:54 AM
a new Cochrane review in MinnPost.
Thursday, December 13, 2012
"The thing that I am most appalled by in reviewing this tragic case is that nothing—absolutely nothing—has happened to Drs. Olson or Schulz, the IRB responsible for overseeing the trial, or the University of Minnesota."
Read Part 2 of Dr. Judy Stone's series of Scientific American blog posts on the case of Dan Markingson. (Part 1 is here.)
Posted by Carl at 6:57 AM
Maria Bradshaw is a New Zealander whose son committed suicide after taking an antidepressant. On the Mad in America blog, she writes about her recent encounter with the manager director of the company whose drug caused her son's death. It did not go well.
Posted by Carl at 5:56 AM
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Dr. Judy Stone writes, "The suicide of Dan Markingson, a 26 year old man participating in a psychiatric trial, has again made the news, and will serve us for a life-time of study and discussion of research ethics, along with the TeGenero and Jesse Gelsinger cases." The first of her series of posts on the case has just come out on the Scientific American blog network.
Monday, December 10, 2012
Friday, December 7, 2012
this terrific post by Kelly Hills on the stem cell stand-off in Texas.
Posted by Carl at 12:46 PM
See this post by Stanford's Matt Lamkin, on the recent off-label ruling.
Posted by Carl at 5:09 AM
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
If you are considering filing a complaint to the Minnesota Board of Social Work about Jean Kenney and the CAFÉ or CATIE studies, here is a guide to how you might proceed, based on Mike Howard’s successful complaint.
Start by gathering records from Fairview Hospital and/or the Ambulatory research Center. If past experience is an indicator, however, chances are that they will refuse your request. Don’t be bullied; you have a right to these records. Contact the Minnesota Attorney General’s office and have them send a letter ordering the release of the records to you.
You should ask for all records pertaining to your or your family member’s medical care and the study in which they were enrolled, but here are some special requests that you should specifically include:
- Jean Kenney’s handwritten case notes
- All CAFÉ or CATIE study visit logs
- Signed consent forms for the CAFÉ or CATIE study
- Medical records from Fairview Hospital if the patient was hospitalized
- Records from any outside caseworker or therapist who may have been involved
- Records of any interaction with Stephen Olson, with special attention to how often the patient was seen by Olson
- Records of any family meeting with the study team
- Records of Kenney’s phone logs and any emails involving the CAFÉ or CATIE study between Kenney or Olson and AstraZeneca, Quintiles, the University of North Carolina or the National Institutes of Mental Health
Second, read the depositions by Jean Kenney and Stephen Olson from the lawsuit by Mary Weiss. Many of the things that are discussed in those depositions may be relevant to your case.
Third, look at the Minnesota statutes governing social work and see if any of them were violated in your case. If they were, cite the statutes in your letter. Statutes that might be especially relevant include the following:
In addition, see this:
When you begin writing the complaint, here are some general areas you might cover.
Topic 1: Medical competence
Mike Howard’s complaint successfully challenged Kenney’s competence. The “corrective action” found that Kenney was medical unqualified to do many of the tasks she was assigned as study coordinator, such as dispensing study drugs and assessing their side effects. You should start by looking through the records with an eye towards answering these questions.
Did Kenney dispense a study drug to you or your family member?
Did Kenney take a medical history or sign off on any medical history forms?
Did Kenney sign off on any “adverse event” forms? (The phrase “adverse event” is medical jargon for anything that goes medically wrong for a subject in a research study, such as a side-effect from a drug or an abnormal laboratory finding.)
Did Kenney sign off on any “rating scales” for psychiatric symptoms or drug side-effects? Examples might include the Barnes Akathisia Rating Scale, the Simpson-Angus Scale, the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), or the Clinical Global Impressions (CGI) scale.
Did Kenney make any mistakes about your or your family member’s medical diagnoses, medications or dosage?
Topic 2: Informed consent
All of the atypical antipsychotics used in the CAFÉ and CATIE studies have been linked to hyperglycemia, diabetes, and weight gain. During the period when the CAFÉ and CATIE studies were in progress, the drugmakers issued warnings about these problems to doctors and clinical investigators. All subjects in the CAFÉ and CATIE studies should have been told about these new risks and offered the opportunity to drop out of the study or continue. If they decided to continue, the subjects should have been asked to sign a new consent form which included the risks of hyperglycemia, diabetes and weight gain.
So look carefully at the informed consent form. Note whether it includes these risks. If it doesn’t -- and if it is the only consent form in the chart -- this suggests that you or your family member was never informed of the new risks. This is a serious ethical breach. As the Board of Social Work “corrective action” points out, the failure to inform subjects of these risks would effectively invalidate their consent.
Topic 3: Privacy
The sponsors of the CAFÉ and CATIE studies did not have a legal right to see the medical records of anyone they planned to recruit into a research study unless that person gave them authorization by signing a HIPAA form. (HIPAA, or the Health Information and Accountability Act, is a federal law protecting the privacy of health information.) But the depositions from Olson and Kenney in the lawsuit brought by Mary Weiss suggest that Olson and Kenney may not have always asked subjects for authorization.
So be sure to look through the medical records for a signed HIPAA form. Examine the signature carefully and make sure that it matches that of your family member. If there are irregularities, make a note of this in your complaint.
Topic 4: Falsified study entries and fraudulent initials and/or signatures.
The “corrective action” noted that Kenney had signed clinical documents with the initials of a physician, presumably Stephen Olson. Look carefully through the records of study visits and any other relevant documents to see if there is evidence of falsification. Look at any documents that your family member should have signed (informed consent form, HIPAA authorization, etc.) and make sure that his or her signature is genuine. Be sure that the records of any study visits, family meetings, etc. match up with your own records or recollections of what happened.
Topic 5: Standard of practice for a clinical social worker
The “corrective action” for Kenney noted a number of instances where Kenney failed to meet minimal standards of practice for a social worker, such as failing to respond to warnings by family members, and the failure to document any treatment goals. Look carefully through the study records for anything that strikes you as inadequate medical care and make a note of them in your complaint.
Posted by Carl at 4:21 PM
Tamara Piety explains on Pharmalot.
Posted by Carl at 6:11 AM
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Monday, December 3, 2012
In the weeks since the “corrective action” against Jean Kenney was issued by the Minnesota Board of Social Work, I have been contacted by the families of several patients who were harmed or mistreated in psychiatric studies at the University of Minnesota. Some of them plan to file their own complaints to the Board of Social Work. This is an excellent idea, which is why I posted Mike Howard’s complaint to the Board about Kenney, so that others can use it as a model.
But the Board of Social Work is not the only place to file a complaint. If a person has evidence that wrongdoing has occurred in a federally funded study, he or she has another avenue: the federal Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP). OHRP has jurisdiction over research funded by federal bodies such as the National Institutes of Health, and it has genuine power. In fact, in 1990s, its predecessor office, the Office for Protection of Research Risks, temporarily suspended medical research at major medical centers such as Duke and Johns Hopkins after serious ethical wrongdoing was revealed.
Judging from the alarming problems outlined in the “corrective action” against Kenney, I believe there are grounds for complaints to OHRP about the CATIE (Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness) study. The University of Minnesota was a site for the CATIE study as well as the CAFÉ study, and Kenney was the study coordinator for both. The principal investigator, Stephen Olson, was recruiting subjects for both studies in 2003.
I would be glad to help anyone interested in filing a complaint. I am ashamed of the way that my university has handled the egregious ethical violations in the CAFÉ study, and I am willing to do whatever I can to make sure that justice is done. You can find me here, and I can be reached at my gmail address, ellio023.
Posted by Carl at 11:14 AM