MS news articles for Nov 2001
journals take a stand against the pharmaceutical industry
25 November 2001
Thirteen leading medical journals
have published a joint article accusing the pharmaceutical industry of
jeopardising clinical research, by putting financial interests first. The
evidence suggests that:
Trials funded by companies are more
likely to generate positive results.
Negative results are less likely to
be published by companies.
Companies run their own trials because
it is cheaper than paying academics, and because it also allows them to
control the trials in ways that are not always in the best interests of
the participants, investigators or scientific research itself.
To prevent this unethical practice,
many journals are adopting the following measures:
Researchers often accept the situation
because if they donít, the commercial sponsor will find someone else who
They will only publish papers if the
researchers, not the commercial sponsor, decide what gets published.
The authors will be asked to sign a
statement, declaring that they accept full responsibility for the way the
trial has been carried out and itsí results.
The pharmaceutical industry has responded
positively, generally supporting the policies set out by the journals.
The main message from these findings is that:
Clinical trials will registered on the
web so that they can be monitored as they go along, making it harder for
facts to be changed at a later date.
Research should be carried out to high
Results should be published whether
they are good or bad.
Journals who participated in this joint
editorial included The Lancet, NEJM, BMJ, and JAMA.
The public should not be mislead by
the results of research.