New review finds drug, device study results affected by funding source

An updated and expanded review of clinical research papers on drugs and medical devices finds that industry-sponsored studies are more likely to lead to favorable results, including reports of greater benefits and fewer harmful side effects.

The analysis of 48 published studies, covering conditions ranging from heart disease to psychiatric illnesses, also found that industry-funded papers were more likely to report conclusions that were inconsistent with their own results sections.

The article, “Industry sponsorship and research outcome,” is co-authored by Lisa Bero, PhD, a faculty member in the UCSF School of Pharmacy’s Department of Clinical Pharmacy. It was published in the December 12, 2012 issue of the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Bero co-directs the UCSF-based San Francisco branch of the U.S. Cochrane Center.

As a follow-up to a 2003 analysis also co-authored by Bero, the new paper looked at more than double the number of studies, used more stringent methodology, and added medical device studies.


Industry Funding Changes Study Results, Research Shows

About the School: The UCSF School of Pharmacy is a premier graduate-level academic organization dedicated to improving health through precise therapeutics. It succeeds through innovative research, by educating PharmD health professional and PhD science students, and by caring for the therapeutics needs of patients while exploring innovative new models of patient care. The School was founded in 1872 as the first pharmacy school in the American West. It is an integral part of UC San Francisco, a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide.