'Concealed' drug trial data putting lives at risk
Wednesday 04 January 2012
Patients' lives are being put at risk and public money wasted on ineffective medicines because researchers are concealing the results of clinical trials amid a "culture of haphazard publication and incomplete data disclosure".
Papers published in the British Medical Journal say researchers who conceal trial results are failing patients who agreed to participate in clinical trials because they believed they would further science.
One BMJ paper, by researchers at the Universities of California and Copenhagen, re-examined conclusions from reviews for nine drugs, including anti-psychotics, an antibiotic and treatments for dementia and migraine, after adding the results contained in unpublished reports provided to the US Food and Drug Administration.
They found that 46 per cent of the positive outcomes had been overestimated, 46 per cent had been underestimated and only 7 per cent were identical when the missing data was considered. The anti-psychotics fared worst: all were less effective and more harmful when unpublished data was included.
An earlier study found that by concealing negative results, the benefits of 12 commonly prescribed antidepressants had been over-egged by an average of 32 per cent.
The BMJ also highlights how researchers conducting systematic reviews often fail to mention missing data in their conclusions, which could further mislead clinicians.
Dr Kate Law, the director of population and clinical research at Cancer Research UK, said some companies deliberately "parked" results they considered to be a "commercial disaster", hoping the drug would later prove effective for a different tumour or a different disease stage.
Life & Style blogs
What marriage would look like if we actually followed the Bible
iPhone 6s photos leak shows new phone will be thicker than iPhone 6, could make cases defunct
Women really are more attracted to men who make them laugh, study finds
What do the emojis on Snapchat mean?
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
- 1 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 2 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
- 3 Bob Geldof offers to take four refugee families into his home 'immediately' as he condemns humanitarian crisis as a ‘f**king disgrace'
- 4 Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
- 5 Bryan Cranston speaks candidly about wealth
£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...
£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...
£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...
£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...