Medical Journals on the Ropes

Posted: May 29, 2015 in -
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journal.pmed.0020138.g001

Medical Journals Are an Extension of the Marketing Arm of Pharmaceutical Companies

The evidence is strong that companies are getting the results they want, and this is especially worrisome because between two-thirds and three-quarters of the trials published in the major journals—Annals of Internal Medicine, JAMA, Lancet, and New England Journal of Medicineare funded by the industry [9].

If you missed the scathing critique by the Lancet editor go here. The scam is being exposed in publication after publication. Big Pharma buys favorable coverage, including so-called favorable “peer review.”

Examples of Methods for Pharmaceutical Companies to Get the Results They Want from Clinical Trials

  • Conduct a trial of your drug against a treatment known to be inferior.
  • Trial your drugs against too low a dose of a competitor drug.
  • Conduct a trial of your drug against too high a dose of a competitor drug (making your drug seem less toxic).
  • Conduct trials that are too small to show differences from competitor drugs.
  • Use multiple endpoints in the trial and select for publication those that give favourable results.
  • Do multicentre trials and select for publication results from centres that are favourable.
  • Conduct subgroup analyses and select for publication those that are favourable.
  • Present results that are most likely to impress—for example, reduction in relative rather than absolute risk.
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