Processing Magazine

Review Suggests Bias in Drug Studies

August 3, 2010
A new review has found, drug studies paid for by the pharmaceutical industry are more likely to publish favorable results than those funded by sources with no financial interest in the findings, reports Bloomberg. Children''s Hospital Boston researchers reviewed 546 drug trials that were conducted between 2000 and 2006 and listed with ClinicalTrials.gov, a Web-based U.S. government registry of clinical trials. The studies included five types of drugs: cholesterol-lowering medicines, antidepressants, antipsychotics, proton-pump inhibitors, and vasodilators. The drug industry-funded studies reported positive findings about the drug in question 85 percent of the time, compared with 50 percent for government-funded trials and 72 percent for those funded by nonprofit or nonfederal organizations, according to the report published in the Aug. 3 issue of the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. The researchers called for more public disclosure at the start of clinical trials in order to reduce the possibility of bias in their findings.