Friday, August 13, 2010

Ahem, could this be skewing of clinical trials?

Well, not the actual data but the releasing of the data. It turns out that more industry funded trials have better results than those run by non profits or government agencies. Then we learn that results of many trials are not made public, even into standard medical databases.

So if we take fact one that industry seems to be better at running clinical trials at face value - maybe its just because they are better at running trials since they developed the drugs or whatever. Then we take fact two that trial results don't always see the light of day. This has nothing to do with whether a drug is approved or not, the FDA takes the trial results and goes from there. It seems that non-industry run trial results, the ones that are less likely to be full of as many positives, are less likely to be published.

The problem lies in the fact that if the trial results are never published for doctors to read them and then are less likely to prescribe them to their patients. This is where the gap becomes problematic.

I think there should be a standard here. If all clinical trials are run to be a true test of A vs. B or A vs. B vs. C so they are equal. Then shouldn't their results be required to be equally available to all? I mean if a drug is approved for use for treatment for a specific disease or condition, shouldn't all the relevant clinical trials be equally available for doctors to review? And in an equal format so they can be easily reviewed and compared by the doctors. It just seems logical to me.

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Now this morning, I am running late. I was tired and I slept in. I wanted to be at the office by 830. Not happening. Well maybe if I rush. But I'm feeling lazy so probably not. I'm trying something new today - I am going to a Chronic Pain Support Group. Just to see what its like. Maybe I'm turning into a support group junkie.

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