Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Empire Strikes Back

More Markingson Stonewalling 

I have just received this email.

 Tue, Nov 19, 2013 at 10:44 AM
subject: Important update on recent media coverage

Dear Medical School community,

Over the weekend, our local Fox affiliate ran a story taking yet another look at the case of Dan Markingson, a young man who participated in a clinical drug trial in 2003-2004 before committing suicide in May of 2004.

The story covered no new ground, and unfortunately the piece was full of inaccuracies and unsubstantiated claims. The University provided numerous documents to Fox outlining the facts of the case. These facts were ignored in the Fox report.

As we’ve reiterated in the past, Mr. Markingson’s case has been investigated many times, including reviews and assessments by:

The Food and Drug Administration

Hennepin County District Court

The Board of Medical Practice

The University and its General Counsel’s Office

None of these reports found a link between the clinical drug trial and Dan Markingson’s unfortunate death. None found fault with the University or our faculty. In recent years there have been calls to conduct additional investigations. The matter has been thoroughly investigated. Ten years later, it is time for closure, and time to move forward.

There are many regulatory processes in place at the University to ensure compliance with federal and state laws, to protect patient safety and ensure proper patient care. Beyond that, the University of Minnesota has a deep commitment to conducting high quality, ethical research.

In the area of psychiatric research, Dr. Stephen Olson and Dr. Charles Schultz are two of the nation’s leading experts, looking for new ways to help patients facing severe schizophrenia. This is a difficult illness and it has a high mortality rate, but our researchers are committed to finding new treatments that will save lives.

I remain proud of the work that we do to tackle some of the most difficult health issues and questions of our time. Thank you for your continued pursuit of discovery on behalf of the patients and families we serve.

Aaron Friedman, M.D.
Dean of the Medical School


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