In the research fraud case at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Reserach (PGIMER), Chandigarh, director YK Chawla has asked institute dean Savita Malhotra to conduct an inquiry into the matter and submit a report within 10 days.
The action comes after the director had asked for records from the pharmacology department (the three doctors, including the department head, are involved), pertaining to the forged research report in September and had then gone easy on the case, for some inexplicable reason, following which HT had highlighted the inaction.
Sources said Dr Amitava Chakravarti, the corresponding author of the study, has given a long representation to the PGI administration claiming that he was innocent.
In two reports on July 28 and 30, HT had highlighted that the Drug Information Unit (DIU) at the PGIMER, run by the pharmacology department, received just one call in three years from 2011 to 2013, but three doctors from the pharmacology department, including the head Dr Chakravarti published a paper research in a peer-reviewed journal claiming that the unit received 56 calls in one month. Interestingly, the telephone line of the DIU had been defunct for the past few months.
The unit addresses queries of doctors related to various drugs and their adverse reactions over the phone.
The study was published in a peer-reviewed journal last year.
After the issue was brought to light, the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, that had published the study, said that these doctors had indeed managed to dupe the editorial staff of the journal and tarnished the journal’s image. The paper was also retracted.