Industry-Backed Studies Yield More Favorable Results
Industry-sponsored medical research generated results favorable to experimental heart drugs or medical devices two-thirds of the time, according to a study published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Bloomberg/Arizona Daily Star reports.
For the study, researchers from Harvard Medical School examined 324 comparison studies of cardiovascular treatments published between Jan. 1, 2000, and July 30, 2005, in JAMA, the New England Journal of Medicine and the Lancet. In trials funded by not-for-profit sources, 49% were favorable to new products, and studies that combined funding produced favorable results 57% of the time.
Researchers found that tests of cardiovascular devices supported the experimental treatments 82% of the time when funded by for-profit companies, 50% when funded by not-for-profits and 69% of the time when funded jointly. For drugs, industry-funded research produced favorable results 66% of the time, 40% of the time in not-for-profit studies, and 54% when funded jointly.
According to Bloomberg/Daily Star, the findings "are the latest to indicate funding bias in medical journal articles" (Bloomberg/Arizona Daily Star, 5/17).
An abstract of the study is available online.