Scientific Support for Requiring Publication of All Medical Studies Conducted by “IndustryR
Medical research often is "sponsored by industry," for obvious reasons. And, in general, more research is good. There are, however, said to be "controversies " about whether all medical study information should be required to be publicly published. The topic occasionally has been covered on this blog under the category of "sponsored research," which is available on the right side of the home page.
Now, we have scientists studying the subject and publishing objective data. The results? The authors call the results "stunning" in terms of a propensity to publish favorable data.
Conclusion? Seems like publishing all research data would be a much better practice. And, publishing all data certainly would make it harder for plaintiffs to later claim that "industry" suppressed "data."
Here are key excerpts from the ScienceDaily article:
"Overall, allowing for a three-year lag time from the completion of the trial, two-thirds of the trials had published results. The industry-funded trials reported positive outcomes 85 percent of the time, as compared with 50 percent for government-funded trials and 72 percent for trials funded by nonprofits or non-federal organizations. In addition, among the nonprofit/nonfederal trials, those that had industry contributions (nearly half) were more likely than those without to report positive outcomes (85 vs. 61 percent). These differences were all statistically significant.
The researchers acknowledge that the pharmaceutical industry was probably more selective in which trials it funded, helping to account for their greater proportion of favorable outcomes. "Industry is very good at knowing what they want to study, and industry-sponsored studies are more efficient and well funded," says Bourgeois, the study’s first author. "But despite these potential biases, this is a stunning result.""