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Conflicts-Of-Interest In Drug Studies Sneaking Back Into Medical Journals

Posted Mar 09 2011 6:12pm

Hidden financial conflicts-of-interest are sneaking into published drug research through the back door, warns an international team of investigators, led by researchers from the Jewish General Hospital’s Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research and McGill University in Montreal.

More and more, policy decisions and what medications doctors prescribe for their patients are being driven by large “studies of studies,” called meta-analyses, which statistically combine results from many individual drug trials.

Led by Dr. Brett Thombs and McGill graduate student Michelle Roseman, the team found that important declarations of financial conflicts-of-interest in individual drug trials disappeared when those studies were combined in meta-analyses. Their results will be published in the March 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

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