Review Outlines Biases in Drug Studies

A recent analysis of drug trials published on Monday has claimed that drug trials funded by the pharmaceutical industry bear greater chances of posting favorable and positive results compared to those paid by government sources.

The researchers from Children's Hospital Boston reported to have analyzed nearly 546 drug trials under the review process. The trials considered were all listed ones, conducted between 2000 and 2006.

The study was centered on cholesterol-lowering drugs, anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, proton-pump inhibitors and vasodilators.

The study findings outlined that the trials funded by drug industry posted favorable outcomes in 85% of the time in contrast with 50% positivity found in trails conducted by government funds.

For the trials funded by non-profits or non-federal organizations, the accuracy rate was found to be 72%.

In addition, the report issued in the Aug. 3 issue of the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, claimed that the relative favorability for non-profit or non-federal studies that witnessed drug-maker assistance for funds against those having no association with the drug industry stood at 85% versus 61%.

The study lead, Dr. Florence Bourgeois, from the division of emergency medicine, quoted, "Publication bias is likely a contributing factor, but there may be many more, including biases in study design, patient selection, data analysis and results reporting".