Document Detail

Multiple comparisons in drug efficacy studies: scientific or marketing principles?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15706692     Owner:  KIE     Status:  MEDLINE    
When researchers design an experiment to compare a given medication to another medication, a behavioral therapy, or a placebo, the experiment often involves numerous comparisons. For instance, there may be several different evaluation methods, raters, and time points. Although scientifically justified, such comparisons can be abused in the interests of drug marketing. This article provides two recent examples of such questionable practices. The first involves the case of the arthritis drug celecoxib (Celebrex), where the study lasted 12 months but the authors only presented 6 months of data. The second case involves the NIMH Multimodal Treatment Study (MTA) study evaluating the efficacy of stimulant medication for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder where ratings made by several groups are reported in contradictory fashion. The MTA authors have not clarified the confusion, at least in print, suggesting that the actual findings of the study may have played little role in the authors' reported conclusions.
Jonathan Leo
Publication Detail:
Type:  Editorial    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Ethical human psychology and psychiatry     Volume:  6     ISSN:  1559-4343     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2004  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-02-11     Completed Date:  2005-04-15     Revised Date:  2007-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101231408     Medline TA:  Ethical Hum Psychol Psychiatry     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  3-6     Citation Subset:  E    
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Florida, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Arthritis / drug therapy
Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy*
Clinical Trials as Topic / standards*
Combined Modality Therapy
Conflict of Interest
Disclosure / ethics
Drug Industry
Marketing of Health Services
Methylphenidate / therapeutic use
National Institute of Mental Health (U.S.)
Peer Review, Research / ethics
Pharmaceutical Preparations*
Publication Bias
Pyrazoles / therapeutic use
Research Design*
Research Personnel
Sulfonamides / therapeutic use
Treatment Outcome
United States
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Pharmaceutical Preparations; 0/Pyrazoles; 0/Sulfonamides; 113-45-1/Methylphenidate; 169590-42-5/celecoxib

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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