ANESTHESIOLOGIST PLEADS GUILTY TO HEALTH CARE FRAUD
BOSTON, MA - The former chief of the acute pain clinic at Bay State Hospital in Springfield, Massachusetts was convicted today in federal court of falsifying medical research studies, including a studies that were published in medical journals regarding post-surgical pain management.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Mark Dragonetti, Special Agent in Charge of the Food & Drug Administration - Office of Criminal Investigations; Susan Waddell, Special Agent in Charge of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General - Office of Investigations; and Warren T. Bamford, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation – Boston Field Division, announced today that SCOTT REUBEN, age 51, of Longmeadow, Massachusetts, pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Ponsor to once count of health care fraud.
At today’s plea hearing, the prosecutor told the Court that had the case proceeded to trial the Government’s evidence would have proven 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. Despite entering into contracts by which pharmaceutical companies funded his research and provided free drug for the studies, REUBEN did not actually perform 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.” However, Reuben knowingly caused medical journals, including Anesthesia and Analgesia to publish articles touting his multi-modal analgesia therapy, despite the fact that he had falsified the research.
Judge Ponsor scheduled sentencing for May 24, 2010. REUBEN faces up to 10 years imprisonment, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.
The case was investigated by the FDA, HHS-OIG and the FBI. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremy Sternberg of Ortiz’s Health Care Fraud Unit.