In February 1991 the Royal College of Physicians produced a report entitled ‘Fraud and Misconduct in Medical Research’. Most of the cases documented have come from the United States but by the end of 1988 five cases had been formally reported in Britain. One of these was a financial fraud perpetrated by a psychiatrist who worked in a district general hospital in the Northern Region and who forged data for a drug company. He was subsequently reported to the General Medical Council by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry and had his name removed from the medical register. Informal investigations, however, suggest that fraudulent research might be more widespread and as a result the Royal College of Physicians established a working party to look at this issue in detail. They recommended that a twin track approach of prevention and thorough management of complaints of misconduct be adopted. The report was kindly forwarded to the Research Committee of the Royal College of Psychiatrists which felt that a summary of these recommendations should be widely published among researchers in psychiatry.
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