05/16/2013 // Whistleblower Law Firm // Keller Grover, LLP // (press release)

Reports have been published in the national media about a U.S. federal agency’s finding that risks associated with a study on premature babies were not disclosed to families involved. The Office for Human Research Protections concluded that many of the academic institutions that took part in the study, including Stanford, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Yale did not adequately provide information to parents about the risks of blindness or death from participation in the study for the 1,300 premature infant participants. The babies, who were all born at 24-27 weeks of gestation, were placed into two groups, one in which high-oxygen level treatment was received, and another at a low-oxygen level. Numerous infants in both groups either developed serious eye ailments or died.

Although the legal repercussions of the government findings for the academic institutions involved are yet to be known, the Los Angeles whistleblower lawyers of Keller Grover note that the findings about the study provide a good segue into a necessary public discussion about clinical trial fraud.

The government funds millions in research initiatives every year. Medical research is a necessary endeavor for the advancement of health care in the U.S. and around the world. But the inherent conflict of interest that exists for a researcher who is being paid to do this research increases pressure to take shortcuts that could potentially harm study participants for the sake of money. Manipulating research data, hiding bad results and even putting trial subjects in harm’s way, as was shown by the premature baby study, don’t advance the government’s objectives in funding the research and ultimately waste valuable government funds.

Anyone who has information about possible clinical trial fraud should know that a claim may exist under the False Claims Act for fraud on the government. Helping to curb clinical trial fraud is important not just to preserve the government’s scarce funding dollars. It is also critical to assure that future decisions based on these studies are made using the best science available.

The Los Angeles whistleblower lawyers of Keller Grover are available for those who have information about fraud related to government funded clinical research trials, and want to learn more about their legal options and available protections. Individuals can contact the Keller Grover law firm today to request a free, confidential case evaluation.

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