University of Minnesota defends drug study

Published On: Mar 21 2013 12:54:31 PM CDT
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -

University of Minnesota officials say there's no foundation for concerns that its psychiatrists might have "rubber-stamped" vulnerable schizophrenic patients into a drug study.

Professor Carl Elliott raised that concern in a blog last month, citing documents he said raised the specter that patients weren't actually evaluated for their wherewithal to consent to participate.

University General Counsel Mark Rotenberg tells the Star Tribune they investigated Elliott's claim by reviewing patient records from one of the studies he mentioned, a project called CAFE that compared the effectiveness and side effects of three antipsychotic drugs. He says they found nothing amiss.

The dispute is the latest regarding Dan Markingson, who committed suicide at age 26 in 2004 while participating in the CAFE study. Markingson's mother has questioned whether he was coerced into participating.