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Tide of lies

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Science  17 Aug 2018:
Vol. 361, Issue 6403, pp. 636-641
DOI: 10.1126/science.361.6403.636

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Summary

Japanese bone researcher Yoshihiro Sato fabricated dozens of clinical trials before a group of researchers from the United Kingdom and New Zealand exposed the fraud. The impact of his fabricated reports—many of them on how to reduce the risk of bone fractures—rippled far and wide. Meta-analyses that included his trials came to the wrong conclusion; professional societies based medical guidelines on his papers. Following up on the faked studies, researchers carried out large new trials that had enrolled thousands of real patients. Exposing Sato's lies, correcting the literature, and tracing the effects of the fake studies has been a bruising struggle for the whistleblowers. But the sprawling fraud case has also had a massive impact on those who worked with Sato and on Sato himself.