February 12 2013, 2:01 pm PT | Posted in: ACell
Hello Dr Rassman, I have a question about Acell. No it is not in regards to the effectiveness of the compound, or whether other physicians are still trying to get it to clone hairs. It is in regards to whether the claims made about Acell constitute fraud.
The physicians who popularized the product claimed that it cloned or duplicated plucked hairs. You claimed that you had a in depth discussion with the doctors about their claims where they “retracted” their initial statements about the product be capable of duplicating plucked hair follicles. Is that not distorting experimental results? Is that not illegal?
This whole situation kind of reminds me about Dr Wakefield, a well known researcher notoriously acknowledged for making the outrageous claim that vaccines for measles and mumps cause autism. Vaccines clearly dont cause autism and Wakefields journal entry was retracted by the publishers (something rare I thought). While the situation with Acell maybe a little bit different, doesnt the fact still remain that scientific data was misrepresented here?
I know this blog is not some place to criticize other surgeons/researcher and I am aware that you do not slander other physicians here (an obvious and ethical choice), but I know I am not the only one who thinks that the whole Acell things was borderline fraud. The claims about it were just not scientifically valid. Im out of line here?
Sometimes doctors jump the gun and get excited about something before it becomes vetted properly in scientific journals, where it can be reviewed by experts in the field. Consumers pay the price as they read hyped Internet advertisements. I said it many times — it is a buyer beware market — and this case is no different. What you read in the Internet is not always the truth.
We tried to adhere to the scientific method and attempted to duplicate the claim by getting approval from the medical board. When we offered it to select patients, we got approval from an institutional review board and never profited from these trials. We actually lost out with the expense from the application fees, materials cost, and our time.