Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

UoM board agrees to suspend enrollment in human psychiatric drug studies

Author:

The Board of Regents at the University of Minnesota has backed President Eric Kaler's decision to suspend enrollment in psychiatric trials after a report criticized the U's handling of a patient who took his own life.

State auditor Jim Nobles identified "serious ethical issues and conflicts of interest" in his report into the 2004 suicide of Dan Markingson, who was enrolled in a human subject research trial testing anti-psychotic drugs.

Nobles findings followed a similarly critical report from the U's own Faculty Senate.

In a statement released Friday, Board of Regents chair Richard Beeson backed steps taken by Kaler in the wake of the criticism, saying that "recent independent reports have made it clear that we must improve our current practices."

The board on Friday approved the following actions:

  • Suspending enrollment in all 17 current Department of Psychiatry interventional drug studies that are either active or waiting approval, until they are reviewed by an external and independent Institutional Review Board.
  • Develop a plan of action by May 15 to review and implement recommendations from the Faculty Senate.
  • Examine other clinical studies that target vulnerable populations.
  • Appoint a community oversight board of external experts in human subjects research and research ethics to ensure best practice.

Markingson, a 27-year-old who suffered from schizophrenia, took his own life in May 2004 while participating in a university clinical drug study funded by pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca.

Nobles concluded in his report that it is not possible to know whether Markingson’s suicide could be connected to his participation in the trial. But concerns were raised over how he was recruited into the trial, and the report was heavily critical of the U’s response to the case, and its unwillingness to acknowledge the ethical issues and conflicts it raised.

Efforts to address the problems are being welcomed by Leigh Turner, of the Center for Bioethics, but he argues the U isn't going far enough.

He told the Pioneer Press that concerns about aggressive recruitment of vulnerable research subjects and retaliation against whistleblowers will continue if psychiatry chair Charles Schulz and research Stephen Olson, who were both involved in the Markingson case, remain at the U.

Next Up

Kirill Kaprizov

Kirill Kaprizov's slow start is a thing of the past

A potential sophomore slump has been erased with a three-point night against the Devils..

mpd aldi incident screengrab

Video shows MPD officer grab, throw Aldi customer

The department says the matter was referred to the Office of Police Conduct Review.

US Sec Defense Flickr - Joe Bide Nov 11 2021

Biden lays out wintertime plan to curb COVID's spread

It comes as the U.S. reported its second case of the omicron variant.

Willow River DOC

MN Dept. of Corrections offering $5K bonuses as it seeks to hire 200

The DOC is offering hiring bonuses for new employees and for referrals.

covid

3rd federal medical team to join COVID-19 fight in Minnesota

There are more than 1,500 people with COVID-19 admitted to Minnesota hospitals.

hospital, emergency room

Driver killed after other motorist crosses into opposite lane

The head-on crash occurred early Thursday, just north of the Twin Cities.

shot clock

MSHSL approves shot clock for Minnesota varsity basketball

Shot clocks will be required at all varsity games beginning in 2023-24.

Redmons Popcorn Colbert screengrab

Popcorn shop featured on 'The Late Show' has to close 2 days later

A county inspection after the national TV appearance found code violations.

Related