I am writing to you in order to bring an urgent issue to your attention. As you know, Dr. Barry Rubin is a member of CIHR’s expert working group to study CCSVI. According to CIHR’s website, the working group’s mandate is: “The scientific expert working group will make recommendations on further studies including, if appropriate, a pan-Canadian interventional clinical trial that would evaluate the safety and efficacy of venous angioplasty in patients with MS, and will provide advice on the protocols to expedite such a trial (e.g. inclusion/exclusion criteria).”
Dr. Rubin is the fourth author on an article, ‘The “Liberation Procedure” for Multiple Sclerosis: Sacrificing Science at the Altar of Consumer Demand’, in the May, 2012 Journal of the American College of Radiology, Volume 9, Issue 5 , Pages 305-308.
Alain, you and I have discussed conflict of interest numerous times before-both at committee and in correspondence. Surely, a member of the scientific expert working group publishing such a paper questioning clinical trials is in conflict with the group’s mandate.
It is absolutely imperative that all members of the expert working group be independent, but equally important, be seen as independent, and not to have taken a position. Dr. Rubin can no longer be seen to be an independent judge of the scientific literature, as demonstrated by the conclusion of the paper.
She has much more to say, and it is all well said.
Dr. Rubin has a conflict of interest and should be removed from the CIHR expert working group to study CCSVI.