Drug researcher up to ten retractions

A pharmaceutical researcher has received his tenth retraction. The reason, once again: duplicating his previous work.

Giuseppe Derosa, based at the University of Pavia in Italy, lost a 2011 paper this month after journal editors identified “substantial duplication of an earlier published paper.” According to the notice, the authors failed to cite the previous work and to disclose that the manuscript had been published or was under consideration elsewhere.

Derosa has a habit of reusing clinical trial data in multiple papers. He received his first four retractions in 2015 for publishing the same clinical trial results six times—two of those papers were retracted over the summer and two more several months later. By 2016, a fifth from the bunch was retracted (one of the six still stands). Derosa received another retraction, citing duplication (which we covered here and which was not related to the six clinical trials).

Derosa has argued that, even though the data came from a single clinical trial, each of the six papers involved “different endpoints and different parameters.” And, he explained, “it was impossible” to combine all the different aspects of the trial into one paper.

Derosa and his co-authors also issued three additional retractions in 2016; we covered one for a 2010 paper, in which the authors published the same data in a 2011 paper. We’ve just uncovered the other two, which are detailed below (1, 2).

By our count, that brings Derosa’s tally to ten retractions.

Here’s the notice for the most recent retraction in Journal of Diabetes and its Complications:

This article has been retracted at the request of the Editor-in-Chief and Associate Editor. The article is a substantial duplication of an earlier published paper by the same group of authors (below), to which no reference was made during the manuscript submission or review process: Acarbose actions on insulin resistance and inflammatory parameters during an oral fat load. Giuseppe Derosa, Pamela Maffioli, Ilaria Ferrari, Elena Fogari, Angela D’Angelo, Ilaria Palumbo, Sabrina Randazzo, Lucio Bianchi, Arrigo FG Cicero. European Journal of Pharmacology 651 (2011) 240–250. http://doi:10.1016/j.ejphar.2010.11.015 The authors had declared during the editorial process that the article had not been published or was under consideration elsewhere. The article is being retracted per journal policy and academic standards.

Acarbose on insulin resistance after an oral fat load: a double-blind, placebo controlled study” has been cited 13 times since it was published in 2011, according to Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science, formerly part of Thomson Reuters.

We reached out to Derosa, who is first and corresponding author on the 2011 paper, as well as the last author — Arrigo Cicero at the Universita di Bologna — who is a co-author on many of the other retracted papers. We will update the post if we hear back.

We’ve also found a slightly older retraction for Derosa in Pharmacological Research. The retraction notice for the paper — published in 2013 and retracted in 2016 — again calls out the authors for publishing the same study multiple times. Here’s the notice:

This article has been retracted at the request of the editor.

The article reports the same clinical study as references [1] and [2], creating the false impression that the body of evidence of the effects of vildagliptin is greater than it actually is, by triplicate publication of the same study without citing the other articles, is a serious form of publication misconduct.

Table 5 is a duplication of Table 5 and Figure 2 in reference [1], and of Table 4 and Figure 2 in reference [2].

Evaluation of the positive effects on insulin-resistance and β-cell measurements of vildagliptin in addition to metformin in type 2 diabetic patients” has been cited 14 times since it was published in 2013.

Derosa also had a 2014 paper retracted in Diabetic Medicine last year, again for duplication. Here’s a link to the notice for “Comparison of vildagliptin and glimepiride: effects on glycaemic control, fat tolerance and inflammatory markers in people with Type 2 diabetes,” which has been cited eight times (including by the notice).

Hat tip: Rolf Degen

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