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 Medicine—are funded by the industry .
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.