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First Prison Sentence for Falsifying Research

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Jailed for 3 months at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on April 17, 2013, Steven Eaton, 47, from Cambridge, became the first person in Britain to be jailed under scientific safety laws after being convicted of falsifying test results.[1][2]

Eaton had faked research data for experimental anti-cancer drugs, and Sheriff Michael O’Grady QC said his sentencing powers were "wholly inadequate" as he told Eaton he could have caused cancer patients "unquestionable harm".

The court heard how the researcher had been working at the Edinburgh branch of US-based pharmaceutical firm Aptuit in 2009, when he came up with the scam. Executives at the company became suspicious about what he was doing and reported him to the MHPRA (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency). Investigators discovered that he had been selectively reporting research data since 2003, and manipulated data to ensure an experiment was deemed successful when it had actually failed.

Details of the case emerged after the researcher had been convicted in March, under the Good Laboratory Practice Regulations 1999.[3]

He became the second person to be prosecuted in the UK under the law, but the first to be convicted.


1 Scientist jailed for faking research data - Top stories - Scotsman.com Retrieved April 17, 2013.

2 Scientist Steven Eaton jailed for falsifying drug test results Retrieved April 17, 2013.

3 The Good Laboratory Practice Regulations 1999 Retrieved April 17, 2013.


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