Can Drug Studies Be Trusted When the Drug Makers Have So Much Influence over the Research and Funding?
- Ennis & Ennis News
11/29/2012 - The next time your physician prescribes you a new medication, it may be a good idea to research what types of studies have been performed on that medication and exactly who funded the studies. Drug studies traditionally have been government-funded, however that changed in the mid-1980s, reports The Washington Post. In fact, last year pharmaceutical companies spent $39 billion on research in the United States, while the government spent $31 billion. While drug makers want consumers to think their primary concern is public health, the sad reality is profits are on their mind.
Look at GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) diabetes drug, Avandia. In December 2006 a study was published in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) comparing three diabetes medications, Avandia, Metformin and Glyburide Monotherapy, and concluding Avandia performed best. GSK’s senior vice president, Lawson Macartney, commented, “We now have clear evidence from a large international study that the initial use of Avandia is more effective than standard therapies” reports The Post. Yet readers of the study would never know the study was funded by GSK, and all 11 authors of the study received money from GSK. Now is it six years later and Avandia if off the market and GSK is the subject of thousands of lawsuits because the drug increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. According to Steven Nissen, a Cleveland Clinic cardiologist, the data was there all along. In fact, in June 2007, Dr. Nissen published his own analysis of the Avandia clinical trial stating that Avandia increases the risk of heart attack by 43%. Yet GSK denied this Avandia risk because Avandia was its top-selling drug, generating $2.5 million in sales in 2006. Since then numerous other studies have confirmed the same, ultimately prompting its removal from the market.
Now look at the journals that publish such studies. NEJM is a reputable medical journal known throughout the world that publishes new medical research and review articles. From August 2011-August 2012 NEJM published 73 articles on original studies of new drugs, according to The Post. Of those 72 articles, 60 were funded by a drug company, 50 were co-written by dug company employees and 37 had a lead author who had previously accepted outside compensation from the sponsoring drug company. Because some researchers have a vested interest, it is no wonder that potentially fatal risks associated with certain medications are completely downplayed.
If you or a loved one has suffered from medication side effects or defective medical device problems you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the lawyers of Ennis & Ennis, P.A. today by completing the online form on this page or calling toll free (800) 856-6405 for a free confidential consultation.
Ennis & Ennis, P.A. has been investigating Avandia claims since 2007 and concentrates its practice in mass torts, representing individuals against pharmaceutical companies and medical device makers.
Medication Side Effects Lawsuits
If you or a loved one have been injured by medication side effects you may be entitled to compensation by filing a medication side effects lawsuit. Contact the medication side effects lawyers of Ennis & Ennis, P.A. today: 1.800.856.6405.