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Science forced to retract article on “ecstasy”

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.327.7415.579-a (Published 11 September 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:579
  1. Stephen Pincock
  1. London

    The US journal Science this week published a retraction of a researcharticle that it published last year on the drug 3,4-meth-ylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA,or “ecstasy”) (Science 2002; 297: 2260-3), a move that has prompted questions about the peer review process.

    In this week's issue of Science (12 September), researchers from Johns Hopkins University admitted the results of their paper—“Severe dopaminergic neurotoxicity in primates after a common recreational dose regimen of MDMA ('ecstasy')”—were invalid.

    Nine of 10 animals in the study had been given the wrong drug—methamphetamine instead of MDMA—owing to the incorrect labelling of a bottle, Dr George Ricaurte …

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