A “small portion of this otherwise reliable published article contains clinically inaccurate data”

exp opinionA rheumatology researcher in France is retracting a paper for errors in several sentences.

Here’s the retraction notice for “Odanacatib for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis, a paper originally published in October in Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy:

Unfortunately, due to an honest error from the author, a small portion of this otherwise reliable published article contains clinically inaccurate data. The publisher and author agree to retract the paper pending correction.

The author of the paper, Roland Chapurlat, tells us:

In paragraph 2.1, the sentence on lysosomotropic inhibition was inverted; also, in paragraph 3, the sentences regarding phase 3 results may have been misleading due to English error.
The paper is currently resubmitted and under re-review. I guess it should be republished early next year.

We don’t have access to the original article — and have better ways to spend $86, which seems like an awful lot – so we’re not sure how central those several sentences are. It does seem, however, that if there were errors in just those sentences, a correction might have done the job instead of a retraction. We’ve asked the editor of the journal for comment, and will update with anything we learn. [See update at end.]

Chapurlat is professor of rheumatology, chief of the department of medicine, division of rheumatology, and clinical research at INSERM UMR 1033, and director of the National Reference Center for Fibrous Dysplasia of Bone at the Hôpital E Herriot in Lyon, France.

Update, 12:30 p.m. Eastern, 12/20/13: Amina Abdel Latif, Commissioning Editor, Expert Opinion, tells us:

…the author had written the sentence “Because CatK acts in an acidic environment, lysosomotropic inhibitors may offer an advantage over non-lysosomotropic inhibitors” – where the sentence should have been inverted so that non-lysosomotropic inhibitors offer an advantage over lysosomotropic inhibitors.

The author had also written the compound odanacatib as L-873724, when it should be MK-0822.

There were also a number of smaller errors/missing words not used in sentences describing dosing, clinical trials etc.

I had asked the author if he would like to publish a correction, but he decided and made it clear for the paper to be retracted as he felt the inaccuracies were too important to warrant a correction.

The paper has since been corrected and resubmitted to the journal, and is currently under re-review.

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