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Massive Conflicts of Interest Reported in Major Cancer Study

Three oncologists say a major cancer study published in The Lancet, one of the world's most prestigious medical journals, may have been compromised by the drug company that funded the study.

Publication of the research boosted the perceived value of the drug MabThera (rituximab) to doctors and patients around the world, which helped the manufacturer, Roche, make billions of dollars. But 27 out of 32 authors of the research had potential conflicts of interest in the form of declared financial links to drug companies, including Roche. One of the authors was even a paid employee of the company.

According to The Age:

"The research examined the efficacy of Roche's drug ... for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) ... It concluded the drug improved survival rates for patients with the disease, causing the drug to be widely funded and adopted by doctors around the world."

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