Industry-funded clinical trials affect study findings

A New Way to Think About Conflicts of Interest in Medicine

Most of what we know about prescription drugs and medical devices comes from industry-funded clinical trials. Does the source of funding affect study findings?

The series, by Dr. Lisa Rosenbaum, a cardiologist, challenged readers to consider industry sponsorship in the context of many other sources of bias influencing clinical care, research results and the willingness to support a new drug.

Recent analysis suggests industry-sponsored drug and device studies show more favorable results than those sponsored by other sources.

Other work showed that Food and Drug Administration advisory panel members with financial ties to a drug company rendered judgments more favorable to it. Other ties to, or gifts from, drug companies, including paid travel to conferences, are associated with greater affinity for and prescribing of the drugs those companies manufacture.

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