Pharma-Funded Trials Biased Toward Positive Results for Industry

John Ioannidis reviewed the most highly cited clinical trials, revealing extent of pharma influence on science.


A new study from prominent Stanford researcher John Ioannidis looked at the 600 most highly cited recent clinical trials to determine the influence of the pharmaceutical industry. About two-thirds of the trials had industry funding, and more than half had industry authors. Studies with such conflicts of interest almost all found positive results—results that supported the company sponsoring the research.

“Industry involvement in the most influential clinical trials was prominent not only for funding but also authorship and provision of analysts and was associated with conclusions favoring the sponsor,” the researchers write.

Besides Ioannidis, the other authors were Leonardo M. Siena, Lazaros Papamanolis, Maximilian J. Siebert, and Rosa Katia Bellomo, all at Stanford. The study was published in JAMA Network Open.

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  1. Oh, damn , John Ioannidis is in on this ! I still remember reading Jordan Ellenberg’s How Not To Be Wrong the Power of Mathematical Thinking and Ellenberg tried to tear apart Ionnadisis’ Why Most Published research Finding’s are False with some lame genetics maths Kung-Fu for ‘Schizophrenia’. Ellenberg’s lame-brain analysis, was indirectly refuted by Bruce E. Levine, using simpler maths, in his book : A Profession Without Reason: The Crisis of Contemporary Psychiatry—Untangled and Solved by Spinoza, Freethinking, and Radical Enlightenment.

    …and I am the only human being to ever have that thought before , because I am one of those eccentric geniuses that psychiatry can’t seem to leave alone.

    Anyway, Ionnadis seems smarter than Ellenberg and was a high school maths star. It should be a good read but I am about to eat lunch first.

    Thanks, for pointing this article or study out !

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  2. just astonishing and terrifying that this continues to happen, its surely criminal?

    Neoliberalism takes our worst human parts and explodes them into giant profit and status seeking monsters, feeding on other people at every opportunity.

    I’d love to see Ioannidis do a similar review on clinical psychology and psychotherapy research since the replication crisis came to light. The research base for clin psy and psychotherapy is also complete garbage, riddled various with biaes, small samples, attrition, mixed measures, subjectivity, misrepresentation of the data and an inability to actual discern or agree on what they are actually ‘treating’ or design a placebo and on and on.

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