Nippon Zoki Pharmaceutical, a
Japanese drug company, on April 1 charged the Regents of the University
of California with fraud, claiming that UCSD defrauded the company and
then engaged in "a whitewash campaign to sweep the embarrassing episode
of academic fraud under the rug."
The complaint, filed in federal
court in San Diego, said the company paid over $1 million to UCSD to
determine whether a pain medicine developed by the company is effective
in treating lower-back pains. The work was allegedly done by Dr. Koichi
Masuda of UCSD's Orthopaedic Surgery department. The company charges the
research was "not only objectively flawed, but likely outright
When Nippon Zoki demanded the
underlying data, "Dr. Masuda claimed that he did not have them,"
according to the suit. An internal investigation by the university found
that the research was incorrect, but the university concealed its
results to "protect its own reputation," according to the suit.
UCSD did not respond to a
request for comment within the allotted time frame. However, if the
university has a response of reasonable length, the Reader will print it.