Journal Article Reveals Undisclosed Conflicts Of Interest In Avandia Studies

Professor Alberto Bernabe’s Torts blog has a good round-up of the recent coverage of a British Medical Journal article revealing undisclosed financial ties between researchers who discounted a link between the diabetes drug and heart attacks and the drug’s maker, GlaxoSmithKline.
In 2007, the FDA issued a warning that Avandia may elevate a patient’s risks for a heart attack. Since that time, more than 200 scholarly articles have been published. In about 90 of those articles, the authors had a financial interest in Avandia. However, one-quarter of the time when authors had a financial conflict of interest, they did not disclose the conflict.
And in fourteen percent of the articles, the authors stated that they had no conflict of interest, when in fact, the authors of this new article say they did.
The authors of this new British Medical Journal say that the number of Avandia researchers who disclosed their conflicts of interest was “unexpectedly low.” They also found that 94 percent of researchers who had positive opinions of Avandia received industry funding.

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