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Influence of drug company authorship and sponsorship on drug trial outcomes

  • Tongeji Tungaraza (a1) and Rob Poole (a1)
Summary

Studies of drug treatments are more likely to report favourable outcomes when they are funded by the pharmaceutical industry. We compared drug trials reported in three major psychiatric journals to investigate these influences. Independent studies were more likely to report negative findings than industry-funded studies. However, the involvement of a drug company employee had a much greater effect on study outcome than financial sponsorship alone.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Dr Rob Poole, Pwll Glas Resource Centre, Pwll Glas Road, Mold, Flintshire CH7 1RA, UK. Tel: +44(0) 1352 750252; email: eliphaz@doctors.org.uk
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

T.T. has accepted sponsorship to attend conferences from Janssen-Cilag and Eli Lilly. R.P. has accepted speakers' fees from Lundbeck, Eli Lilly and Pfizer; he has also accepted sponsorshipto attend conferences from Wyeth, Astra Zeneca and Eli Lilly. No fundingwas obtained for the present study.

Footnotes
References
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Bekelman, J. E., Li, Y. & Gross, P. C. (2003) Scope and impact of financial conflict of interest in biomedical research. A systematic review. JAMA, 289, 454465.
Bodenheimer, T. (2000) Uneasy alliance. Clinical investigators and the pharmaceutical industry. New England Journal of Medicine, 342, 15391543.
Djulbergovic, B., Lacevic, M., Cantor, A., et al (2000) The uncertainty principle and industry-sponsored research. Lancet, 356, 635638.
Henry, D. A., Kerridge, I. H., Hill, S. R., et al (2005) Medical specialists and pharmaceutical industry-sponsored research: a survey of the Australian experience. Medical Journal of Australia, 182, 557560.
Komsaroff, P. A. & Kerridge, I. H. (2002) Ethicalissues concerning the relationship between medical practitioners and pharmaceutical industry. Medical Journal of Australia, 176, 118121.
Lexchin, J., Bero, L. A., Djulbegovic, B., et al (2003) Pharmaceutical industry sponsorship and research outcome and quality: systematic review. BMJ, 326, 11671170.
Procyshyn, R. M., Chau, A., Fortin, P., et al (2004) Prevalence and outcomes of pharmaceutical industry-sponsored clinical trials involving clozapine, risperidone or olanzapine. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 49, 601606.
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Influence of drug company authorship and sponsorship on drug trial outcomes

  • Tongeji Tungaraza (a1) and Rob Poole (a1)
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eLetters

A Basic Statistics Perspective on Tungaraza and Poole, 2007

Allan Abbass, Director of Education
01 August 2007

Dear Sir:

I appreciate the BJP for publishing this study examining the influence of industry involvement on outcomes and publication.

I wish to add a simple way to describe the outcomes. The industry-authored papers were 34 times (74/2) more likely to report results in favour of the drug while independant authored papers were only 1.75 (28/16) times more likely to. Thus, industry-authored papers were a staggering 21 times or 2100% more likely to report results in favour of the drug! Using the same rudimentary approach, industry sponsored studies were a mere 43% (2.5/1.75) more likely to report positive findings, a difference that would reach significance with a larger sample.

This obviates the need for us all the scrutinize studies and take note of conflicts of interest in our clinical decision-making.

Sincerely Yours,

Allan Abbass
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Conflict of interest: None Declared

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