A new study conducted by Canada's Ottawa Hospital Research Institute found that pharmaceutical companies routinely hide bad clinical trial results – putting image, market share and profits over consumer safety.
The study, conducted by the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and in conjunction with researchers from Canada, France and England, found that major drug companies such as GlaxoSmithKline routinely hid negative clinical trial information on popular drugs such as Avandia and Paxil about 50 percent of the time.
According to a report in the Ottawa Citizen, the researchers said that drug companies generally use two methods to report positive drug trial results in medical journals, “The first method is to simply not mention tests which did not generate favorable results for a particular drug. The other method is to “cherry pick” data from a drug trial; playing up positive results and downplaying or simply not mentioning negative findings that were part of the same study.”
Unfortunately, this isn't the only study to expose selective reporting – and drug litigation lawyers say that consumers are the ones who ultimately suffer from these practices. Here are some other studies and articles addressing the issue:
New England Journal of Medicine. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) also reported that drug companies are selective in what they report. Researchers responsible for the study reported that nearly 86% of negative antidepressant clinical drug trial information was never reported to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), yet 94% of positive clinical trial information was reported.
Wall Street Journal. The Wall Street Journal's Health Blog reported that researchers evaluated 25 clinical cancer trials over a 10 year period which were terminated early as more and more negative results were discovered. Unfortunately, drug companies used nearly 75% of that “incomplete” data to obtain drug approval from the FDA and the EMA (the European Medicine's Agency – the FDA's European counterpart.
Annals of Oncology. A study published in the Annals of Oncology Journal reported that researchers reviewed over 10 years worth of clinical cancer trials which were terminated early and concluded that drug companies were more market driven than consumer safety oriented.