LONDON, March 4 (UPI) -- Millions of surgery patients in the United Kingdom were given controversial drugs on the basis of fraudulent research, authorities said.
Guidelines for British anesthesiologists on the use of colloids -- drugs used to boost blood volume in patients undergoing surgery -- are being revised because four of the key studies on which they were based are to be formally retracted, The Daily Telegraph reported Thursday.
Joachim Boldt, considered one of the world's leading anesthesiologists, is the focus of a criminal investigation amid allegations he may have forged as many as 90 crucial studies on the colloid drugs.
He has been stripped of his professorship and fired from a German hospital following allegations about his research.
Boldt, 57, claimed his research proved colloids were as safe as other surgical drugs in spite of other studies suggesting they could increase the risk of death in surgery and cause kidney failure, severe blood loss and heart failure.
As chief anesthesiologist at Ludwigshafen Hospital in Germany, Boldt was the leading advocate of colloids, now commonly used across Europe, and published dozens of papers "proving" their benefits.
Boldt received funding from manufacturers of hydroxyethyl starch, the colloid he most strongly advocated, authorities said.
German medical authorities are examining 92 of Boldt's published papers amid allegations he forged documents, tested drugs on patients without their consent and fraudulently claimed payments for operations he never performed.
Twenty-nine of the 92 papers have been identified as "highly suspected" of containing forged or distorted data, authorities said.