Big pharma funding biases drug trials in favour of a sponsor’s product: review

Big pharma funding biases drug trials in favour of a sponsor’s product: review

Drug and device trial studies that are sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry are more likely to reveal statistical results and conclusions that favour a sponsor’s product, a new Cochrane Library review has found.

From the design of a study, to the framing of questions and selective reporting of favourable results, the review outlined some of the most common ways industry sponsors can influence the outcome of a study.

“We found that drug industry-sponsored studies were about 30 per cent more likely to have results and conclusions that favoured the sponsor,” said senior author Lisa Bero of the Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney.

“Currently, we have no validated way to detect or evaluate these subtle but systematic biases.”

The review added 27 studies to update a previous Cochrane review (taking the total number of studies to 75), providing “definitive evidence” that pharmaceutical industry funding of drug studies biases results.

“We are definitely advancing pharmacotherapy by having drug industry-funded studies, but what our findings argue is that the evaluation of the drug should be separate from the companies manufacturing them,” Dr Bero said… Read More>>

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

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