Medico-Legal Group

Member Article

Dangers of corruption in medical research discussed

A pioneer in exposing misconduct in medical research has stressed the dangers of corruption in the industry to the region’s leading professionals.

Cardiologist Dr Peter Wilmshurst famously faced a six-figure libel action by American firm NMT Medical over comments he made to the press questioning the findings of a clinical trial of one of their products.

NMT Medical eventually collapsed, ending Dr Wilmshurst’s ordeal, but his case has since been used to spearhead a campaign for a change to the libel laws as it was the company’s collapse, and not the laws, that saw him cleared.

He is committed to exposing research misconduct and has reported more than 20 doctors to the General Medical Council, and shared his experiences with the Warwickshire Medico Legal Group at its latest meeting.

Jeanette Whyman, President of the Warwickshire Medico Legal Group, is a clinical negligence specialist at Midland law firm Wright Hassall, which hosted the event.

Jeanette believes it is important that professionals working in and around the industry are aware of such corruption and what they must do, should they encounter it.

“The results of medical research can be very lucrative for companies that provide medical supplies so there is always a chance of corruption in the area,” she said.

“Dr Wilmshurst’s story demonstrates the lengths to which such companies will go so it is important that people working in the industry understand what happens in this situation.

“Doctors must be held to account by the General Medical Council and whistleblowers such as Dr Wilmshurst are vital to ensuring this happens.

“The Warwickshire Medico Legal Group aims to promote stronger links between the legal and medical professions and communicating on this type of issue will only help us to achieve this.”

The Warwickshire Medico Legal Group meets three times a year with specialist speakers invited to discuss topics relevant to its members.

For more information call Jeanette Whyman on 01926 883019 or visit www.warwickshiremedicolegal.co.uk

Picture caption: (left to right) Dr Peter Wilmshurst and Jeanette Whyman, President of the Warwickshire Medico Legal Group

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Joe Hewison .

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