A German anesthetist, Dr. Joachim Boldt carried out research which was published in several reputable academic journals - 16 of these journals have now retracted articles related to his studies because they are thought to be "unethical". Dr. Boldt carried out research on medications used in the United Kingdom, including colloids, which increase blood volume in patients during surgery.
Over 100 studies Dr. Boldt was involved in are currently being investigated. He used to work in Ludwigshafen, Rhineland, Germany at the Klinikum Ludwigshafen hospital.
In a public statement (PDF), the Editors-in-Chief of the British Journal of Anaesthesia wrote:
"Based on today's announcement, LÄK-RLP (Landesärztekammer Rheinland-Pfalz, the State Medical Association of Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany) has reviewed 74 scientific articles describing clinical trials subject to the requirements of the German Medicinal Act. This includes the article by Professor Boldt recently retracted by Anesthesia & Analgesia and an article submitted by Professor Boldt to Anaesthesia but not published. By law these studies required IRB approval. Although the articles typically stated that IRB approval had been obtained, LÄK-RLP could not find evidence of approval for 68 of these articles.
LÄK-RLP also identified 30 published articles that describe research that did not fall under the jurisdiction of the German Medicinal Act but physicians performing such human research must conform to the Code of Deontology, which includes a requirement for IRB review. Some articles describing epidemiological studies with non-identifiable data did not require IRB review. For six articles LÄK-RLP was able to document IRB approval. For the remaining articles LÄK-RLP has not been able to document IRB approval."
According to two journals, the British Journal of Anaesthesia and Anaesthesia, eighty-nine of 102 studies Dr. Boldt published had no apparent approval from Germany's institutional review board.
They said that IRB (Germany's institutional review board) approval was "misrepresented" in the articles that were published. Misrepresented does not mean fraudulent.
Staff at Klinikum Ludwigshafen hospital are examining Dr. Boldt's research and comparing them to laboratory records to see whether anything does not match.
Any cases of misrepresentation, forgery or fabrication will be reported to the academic journals' readers, the editors state.
Dr. Boldt claimed that he had demonstrated that colloids were as safe as other similar drugs, even though earlier studies indicated that they were more dangerous.
According to Wikipedia, Joachim Boldt is a German anesthesiologist, and a leading colloids researcher. He was suspended from Klinikum Ludwigshafen, Germany, on November 10th, 2010 for a publication in Anesthesia & Analgesia without proper background research. In February of this year he was stripped of his professorship at the University of Giessen for failing to deliver teachings.
Sources: British Journal of Anaesthesia, Wikipedia
Written by: Christian Nordqvist