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Papers of the Week

Papers: 15 Apr 2023 - 21 Apr 2023

Ethical/Legal, Review

Pharmacology/Drug Development

2023 Apr 19

Reg Anesth Pain Med


Free academic discourse and the law: the case of liposomal bupivacaine.


Poeran J, Hong G, Memtsoudis SG


Liposomal bupivacaine has been the topic of intense academic debate over the past years culminating in an industry-initiated libel lawsuit against the American Society of Anesthesiologists and various other defendants. In this Daring Discourse, we first aim to provide a general overview of main themes in the ongoing controversy: (1) between-study heterogeneity, (2) the high number of negative high-quality reviews and meta-analyses, (3) publication bias in the context of an active role of industry and (4) difference between statistical and clinical significance. We then discuss the contents of the lawsuit, its potential implications and what the recent resolution of this lawsuit means for the future of research and the academic discourse on liposomal bupivacaine.