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The link between funding and the disclosure of clinical trial results

There have been several conflicting reports in the medical literature about whether industry funding influences research findings and conclusions.

In this issue of CMAJ, Bhandari and colleagues state that their study of 332 randomized trials published between January 1999 and June 2001 shows that industry-funded trials were more likely to be associated with statistically significant pro-industry findings. They state this conclusion is not limited to trials of medical treatments -- it applies to trials of new surgical interventions as well.

In a related commentary, Laurence Hirsch, vice-president of medical communications at Merck Research Laboratories, argues that pharmaceutical companies can only undertake a finite number of trials, and consequently those considered more likely to yield positive results are given higher priority.


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Contact: Dr. Mohit Bhandari
612-333-0598
Canadian Medical Association Journal
16-Feb-2004


Page: 1

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