Do Commercial Interests Influence Drug Trials?

The old adage “follow the money” can be true with drug research outcomes, too. U.S. and Canadian researchers examined more than 500 drug trials to find out whether their source of funding had any affect on the outcome.

Researchers found that drug trials funded by the pharmaceutical industry, even after adjustments for trial phase, reported 85% positive outcomes compared to 50% positive outcomes reported by government-funded studies. The publication of research findings during the first 24 months after completion was also the lowest for industry-funded trials.

PositiveTip: When your physician recommends a new medication, ask if the research was funded by the industry. You may benefit from taking the drug, but the more knowledge you have, the better.