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New Book Claims Big Pharma Sweeps Bad Results Under the Rug for Seeking Drug Approvals

Posted on October 1, 2012

In his new, yet-to-be-released book Bad Pharma, Dr. Ben Goldacre makes the accusation that published drug trials funded by pharmaceutical companies tend to be skewed and come out overwhelmingly positive, while big pharma-sponsored studies that aren’t positive tend to get buried.

In a personal anecdote, the author describes prescribing a patient an anti-depressant after reading about overwhelmingly positive trials of the drug in academic literature. However, he was shocked when researchers later revealed the results of seven trials conducted on the drug.

Maybe not so surprisingly, only the positive trials had been published in peer-reviewed journals. The rest of the studies — which showed that the drug’s efficacy was about on par with a placebo and that most of the patients involved in the trials had side effects — had not been published.

Frighteningly, this institutionalized bias is entirely legal. Pharmaceutical companies have no legal obligation to publish any results of drug trials if they choose to not do so. They can also supervise trials and can stop them at any time for any reason.

According to Medical Daily, one study found that 85 percent of company-funded drug studies were positive. In comparison, only 50 percent of government-funded drug studies yielded positive results. While regulators do get most of the information relating to a drug before approval, that information does not have to be revealed to public, making it exceedingly difficult for consumers and doctors to gauge whether the information they eventually do receive is accurate.

Unfortunately, when it comes to big pharma, profits can often trump patient safety. If you or a loved one has been injured due to harmful drug side effects, you may be entitled to compensation for damages. The Florida pharmaceutical litigation attorneys at Farah & Farah will fight on your behalf to see you get the justice you deserve. Call us at (800) 533-3555 for a free, no-obligation review of your case.

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