What We're Reading: Dartmouth Research Dispute; The Force Behind Vitamin D; States Move on Pharma

AJMC Staff

Dartmouth Says Healthcare Researcher Plagiarized Work of Colleagues

A Dartmouth College investigation has concluded that H. Gilbert Welch, MD, MPH, a prominent healthcare policy researcher, committed research misconduct in connection with a breast cancer paper published in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) in 2016. NEJM is not retracting the paper, saying it is an issue of authorship dispute. According to STAT News and Retraction Watch, Welch plagiarized material from a Dartmouth colleague and another researcher at a different institution, according to a June letter from the college’s interim provost. Welch has denied the allegations.  

Boston University Doctor an Unknown Force in Helping to Create Vitamin D Industry, Investigation Says

A Boston University endocrinologist, Michael Holick, MD, who had a crucial role in drafting national vitamin D guidelines, has benefitted from the industry in the amount of hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to a Kaiser Health News investigation. The list includes drugmakers, the indoor-tanning business, and Quest Diagnostics. Holick helped create a billion-dollar vitamin D sales and testing industry, with supplement sales rising to $936 million last year, a 9-fold increase over the previous decade. Physicians have embraced his message, ordering more than 10 million vitamin D tests for Medicare patients in 2016, up 547% since 2007, at a cost of $365 million.

States Taking Action on Drug Prices, Pharmacy Benefit Managers

Twenty-four states have passed 37 bills this year to curb rising prescription drug costs as bipartisan efforts are forcing pharmaceutical companies to disclose and justify price increases, The New York Times reported. Drug makers are challenging the state laws as a violation of their constitutional rights. States are also trying to regulate pharmacy benefit managers. New York, Utah, Ohio, Connecticut, Nevada, California, Oklahoma, and Maryland are all trying different approaches in an effort to reduce out-of-pocket costs for consumers struggling to afford drugs that often cost thousands of dollars a month.
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