According to WaPo, when the pharmaceutical giants conduct research, they tend to find their own products the most effective.
Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Co. recently funded five studies that compared its antipsychotic drug Zyprexa with Risperdal, a competing drug made by Janssen. All five showed Zyprexa was superior in treating schizophrenia.
But when Janssen sponsored its own studies comparing the two drugs, Risperdal came out ahead in two out of three.
In fact, when psychiatrist John Davis analyzed every publicly available trial funded by the pharmaceutical industry pitting six new antipsychotic drugs against one another, nine in 10 showed that the best drug was the one made by the company funding the study.
Who’da ever thunk it?
Now we get to the really scary part:
Reliance on industry-sponsored studies is not limited to psychiatry, but experts say the problem is exacerbated in areas of medicine where the goal of trials is not to demonstrate cures but to measure symptomatic relief, which allows more latitude in how the results are interpreted and marketed. Now a growing chorus of experts is asking whether the research establishment needs to be reoriented toward publicly funded studies that might better guide clinical decisions and the billions of tax dollars the government spends on treatment.
“A perfectly independent agency has to be set up that says, ‘Here are the areas where trials must be done,’ ” said Drummond Rennie, deputy editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association. “There will be two classes of trials — the believable ones and the non-believable ones.”
I have no problem with independent studies, but this sure smells of government studies — which will never be independent.