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Drug Company-Funded Studies Lead to Positive Results

A good reason the mega-pharmaceuticals often foot the bill for drug trials should be no surprise to you: A Journal of the American Medical Association report found studies funded partially or completely by drug companies and other for-profit entities favored the newer treatment, meaning more cash in their own coffers.

One interesting set of numbers that, all by themselves, proves the point: Of more than 200 trials conducted for new drugs, about two-thirds of the for-profit-funded studies recommended newer treatments, compared to just 54 percent of trials funded jointly by for- and non-profit organizations and about 40 percent of strictly non-profit trials.

And, among some 40 trials critiquing cardiovascular devices, more than 82 percent of the studies funded by for-profits ruled in favor of newer devices.

A reason why drug trials probably turn out the way they do: Negative results usually aren't followed up with more studies, researchers said, unlike positive trials, which is why we haven't heard enough about the recent drug debacles beyond ones reported in the UK and Japan.

Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 295, No. 19, May 17, 2006: 2270-2274

Yahoo News May 16, 2006

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