Prison for cancer trial scientist who faked results

Markus MacGill


The first person to be convicted under the UK’s 1999 Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) regulations has been given the maximum sentence of three months in prison for falsifying data in a preclinical cancer trial.

Steven Eaton, 47, aroused the suspicion of his employer, US pharma Aptuit, which reported him to the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

Investigators found that Mr Eaton had been reporting research data selectively since 2003.

The court heard that Mr Eaton had hoped to secure further funding for clinical development in which cancer patients would have been given the drug on the basis of falsified preclinical results.

“You failed to test the drugs properly, you could have caused cancer patients unquestionable harm. Why someone who is as highly educated and as experienced as you would embark on such a course of conduct is inexplicable.”

Michael O’Grady QC, Edinburgh Sheriff.

The Sheriff reportedly criticised the restriction on sentencing under the GLP regulations, meaning he could pass down no more than three months’ imprisonment.



Related news:

Medical researcher, Steven Eaton, who faked cancer data jailed for three months (The Independent)

Scientist jailed for faking tests on rats in hope of testing experimental drug on patients (The Telegraph)

Reference links:

Good Laboratory Practice: Guidance and legislation (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency)

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