How pharmaceutical industry funding affects trial outcomes: Causal structures and responses
Sismondo S.
Queen's University, Philosophy,
John Watson Hall, Kingston, Canada.
Soc Sci Med. 2008 Feb 23


Three recent systematic reviews have shown that pharmaceutical industry funding of clinical trials is strongly associated with pro-industry results. This article builds on those analyses, situating funding's effects in the context of the ghost-management of research and publication by pharmaceutical companies, and the creation of social ties between those companies and researchers. There are multiple demonstrated causes of the association of funding and results, ranging from trial design bias to publication bias; these are all rooted in close contact between pharmaceutical companies and much clinical research. Given these points, most proposed measures to respond to this bias are too piecemeal to be adequate.
Big Pharma
'Publication bias'
Ghost authorship
Medical ghostwriting
The David Healy Affair
He who pays the piper...?
Ghostwriting in medical publications
Is antidepressant efficacy overrated?
Ghostwriting in peer-reviewed medical journals
Drug companies, doctors and medical corruption
The role of pharmaceutical company gifts to doctors
Medical writers in the pay of pharmaceutical companies
Ghost marketing and ghostwriting in peer-reviewed medical journals
Ghost authorship, gift authorship, non-disclosure and conflicts of interest
Are commonly prescribed "new generation" antidepressants little better than placebos?
Selective publication of clinical trials leads to unrealistic estimates of antidepressant efficacy

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