Document Detail

Evaluating solutions to sponsorship bias.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18667655     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
More than 40 primary studies, and three recent systematic reviews and meta-analyses, have shown a clear association between pharmaceutical industry funding of clinical trials and pro-industry results. Industry sponsorship biases published scientific research in favour of the sponsors, a result of the strong interest commercial sponsors have in obtaining favourable results. Three proposed remedies to this problem are widely agreed upon among those concerned with the level of sponsorship bias: financial disclosure, reporting standards and trial registries. This paper argues that all of these remedies either fail to address the mechanisms by which pharmaceutical companies' sponsorship leads to biased results-design bias, multiple trials with predictable outcomes, fraud, rhetorical effects and publication bias-or else only inadequately address those mechanisms. As a result, the policies normally proposed for dealing with sponsorship bias are unable to eliminate it. Only completely separating public clinical research from pharmaceutical industry funding can eliminate sponsorship bias.
M Doucet; S Sismondo
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Evaluation Studies; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of medical ethics     Volume:  34     ISSN:  1473-4257     ISO Abbreviation:  J Med Ethics     Publication Date:  2008 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-07-31     Completed Date:  2008-11-10     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7513619     Medline TA:  J Med Ethics     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  627-30     Citation Subset:  E; IM    
Department of Philosophy, John Watson Hall, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Bias (Epidemiology)
Conflict of Interest
Disclosure / ethics*
Drug Industry / economics,  ethics*
Registries / ethics
Research Support as Topic / ethics*

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