It’s no secret that “Big Pharma” works by taking advantage of sick people, but a recent study in the British Medical Journal quantified the data–and to shocking results.
According to the recent study from the University of California San Francisco, 58% of drug trials have a financial tie to the drug that is currently undergoing tests.
They also report that ties between the principal investigator and the drug company occurred 67.7% of the time.
This new data corroborates a study performed in 2010 by researchers from Harvard and the University of Toronto, who examined data from five major drug category trials.
If there was an industry tie to the drug, researchers gave it positive results 85% of the time.
Independent and government researchers only saw positive outcomes of the same drugs 50% of the time.
“Relationships with industry are common among investigators, raising concerns about the effect that financial ties between researchers and industry may have on the evidence base. In recent years, these concerns have led to calls for transparent reporting of these relationships. As a result, many journals now require authors to report their financial ties by using the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors’ (ICMJE) disclosure form of competing interests. The ICMJE recommends that all trials should be pre-registered in databases such as clinicaltrials.gov to minimize publication bias and increase transparency around trial conduct. However, not all journals enforce the recommendations. Even when trials are registered, the lack of publication of negative trials can diminish the effect of these policies.”
So even with disclosure, they found that a large amount of cherry-picking of data continues in order to ensure that drugs are given the all-clear.
It has also been found that when drugs from a sponsor and a similar drug that doesn’t have financial ties to the researchers are pitted against one another, the sponsor’s drug almost always wins.
The non-sponsor drug is only proven more effective less than 28% of the time.
The researchers concluded that more people within the industry need to hold drug companies accountable when testing these new medications.
Many other doctors and scientists agree, calling for data to be thrown out if the researcher is not 100% transparent on its financial ties and sponsorships.