Without admitting wrongdoing, Dr. Alexander Neumeister, previously a professor of psychiatry and radiology at New York University School of Medicine, accepted a two-year governmentwide debarment for “knowingly, and/or recklessly falsifying and/or fabricating data in the clinical records of research” funded by a half-dozen National Institute of Mental Health grants, the HHS Office of Research Integrity (ORI) announced in the Jan. 7 Federal Register. The misconduct resulted in “inclusion of falsified and/or fabricated research methods and results” in four publications appearing in 2013 and 2014, ORI said in a rare finding that applies to misconduct in a clinical trial, rather than in basic research.
ORI said Neumeister, whose research included studying the use of opioids and cannabis-like drugs for anorexia, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, enrolled subjects in “experimental and control groups who did not meet the criteria for entry…rendering the data and/or published results invalid” in the papers, which he agreed to retract or correct. Following the two-year debarment period, which began Dec. 13, 2019, Neumeister also agreed to have his research supervised for two years should he be involved in Public Health Service-funded studies. Neumeister, who previously pleaded guilty to embezzlement related to personal use of research funds, told Medscape what ORI called examples of misconduct were “unintentional…regulatory issues.” In an interview, Neumeister said he “wanted to advance science, and therefore [the finding is] particularly sad and devastating for me personally, because I never intended to do anything wrong or act against any regulations or anything.”