A leading health activist in Kerala has called for a government probe into an Uttar Pradesh-based doctor, in the dock for research fraud by reputed publications, The Lancet and the British Medical Journal.
"The credibility of the medical research community of our country will be questioned unless the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) or a government-appointed body investigates the entire scientific activity of (Dr. Ram B.) Singh, which might either clear him or support a case of scientific fraud," said C.R. Soman.
He was referring to the latest issues of the two British medical journals in which they have expressed concern on research papers by Singh, a private practitioner in Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh.
Alleging fraudulent activity, The Lancet referred to Singh's publication, 'The Indo-Mediterranean diet heart study', published by them in 2002. And the British Medical Journal to Singh's scientific paper 'Randomised controlled trial of cardio protective diet in patients with recent acute myocardial infarction' published in their journal way back in 1992.
Both papers have been frequently cited in medical literature as classics in beneficial intervention in cardiac patients.
Action against Singh has been long overdue, said Soman, who had written to the editors pointing out numerous inconsistencies, data errors and discrepancies suggesting scientific fraud.
His letter to the editor of The Lancet in 2004 regarding Singh's 2002 paper is also published in the current issue.
According to Soman, Singh runs a 15-bed hospital in Moradabad and has designated himself professor of medicine at Halberg Hospital and Research Institute, Moradabad.
Soman said it is impossible for any honest scientist to publish over 20 scientific articles involving thousands of patients with heart attacks and other related diseases from a small private hospital with no research facilities except through inventive journalism.
Indo-Asian News Service