Richard Eastell

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Richard Eastell MD, FRCP (London, Edinburgh, Ireland), FRCPath, FMedSci (born 12 February 1953) is a British medical doctor and Professor of Bone Metabolism at the University of Sheffield.[1] He was born in Shipley (West Yorkshire) and attended the Salt Grammar School, later graduating from the University of Edinburgh in 1977 with a MB ChB and in 1984 with a MD and achieved prominence as an expert in osteoporosis.


Eastell was the subject of a 2005 report in the Times Higher Education concerning allegations that he had incorrectly claimed to have had full access to data for a trial of the Procter & Gamble drug Actonel (used to treat osteoporosis). The report established that the analysis for the trial had been carried out by Procter & Gamble and that Eastell did not in fact have complete access to the data. Eastell wrote a letter in 2007 to the editors of the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, where the paper in question was published in 2003,[2] accepting that he had not disclosed limitations on data access as required by the journal and acknowledging certain errors in the paper.[3] At a General Medical Council "fitness to practice" hearing in November 2009, it was determined that Eastell's actions had not been "deliberately misleading or dishonest", although he may have been negligent in making "untrue" and "misleading" declarations; the council did not make a finding of misconduct.[4]

The THE's report on Eastell was in part the result of whistleblowing by another Sheffield academic, Aubrey Blumsohn, who was initially suspended by the university and subsequently left the university with a "six-figure" payout.[5][6] Other bone medicine academics, speaking on BBC Radio 4's programme "You and Yours", took the view that the paper in question had overstated the effectiveness of the drug.[7]

Aubrey Blumsohn's well-documented account of the controversy can be found at [8]

Eastell resigned as director of research at Sheffield National Health Service Trust in 2006 after allegations of "financial irregularities" related to charging the NHS for laboratory tests in connection with his university research. His resignation followed suspension by the NHS when the allegations were made in May 2005.[9][10] The NHS trust did not produce an investigation report, stating that this was pre-empted by Eastell's resignation.

In 2010 Eastell was involved in a further dispute with a colleague over a clinical trial and the right of that colleague to present commercially sensitive data.[11]

Awards and honours[edit]

  • Young Investigator Award, American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, 1988
  • Randall G. Sprague Award for outstanding achievement as a subspecialty trainee in Endocrinology, Mayo Clinic, 1989
  • Hospital Doctor of the Year (Osteoporosis Category), 1997
  • Corrigan Lecturer, Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, 1998[12]
  • Kroc Visiting Professor in Endocrinology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA, 1999
  • Member of MRC’s Physiological Medicine and Infections Board, 2002 to 2006
  • Visiting Professor in Endocrinology, University of Pittsburgh, PA, USA, 2002
  • Queen’s Anniversary Award team from the University of Sheffield, 2003
  • Kohn Award, National Osteoporosis Society, 2004[13]
  • Society for Endocrinology Medal, 2004[13]
  • PathWest Visiting Lecturer, Perth, Australia, 2005
  • Who’s Who, 2007
  • NIHR Senior Investigator Award 2009

Professional life[edit]

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