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Do drug companies suppress unfavorable results from academic journals?

In short: yes.  A study by Rising, Bacchetti, Bero (2008) compares mandatory trial submissions to the FDA with information on trials which appear in academic journals.  The authors find that “Discrepancies between the trial information reviewed by the FDA and information found in published trials tended to lead to more favorable presentations of the NDA drugs in the publications.  Thus, the information that is readily available in the scientific literature to health care professionals is incomplete and potentially biased.”

  • Hat Tip: The Economist.
  • Rising K, Bacchetti P, Bero L (2008) Reporting Bias in Drug Trials Submitted to the Food and Drug Administration: Review of Publication and Presentation. PLoS Med 5(11):e217  doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050217

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