As pharma companies began to provide more money to back the development of new breast cancer therapies in recent years, the trials were increasingly more likely to report a successful outcome, according to a new review of the cancer studies. Lead author Jeffrey Peppercorn, a cancer specialist at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, says that the increase in positive data in association with pharma-funded studies raises questions about the trials' integrity and reporting methods. In 2003 84 percent of industry-supported studies were positive, compared to the 54 percent of independent trials conducted without industry support that reported a positive outcome. One possible reason for the difference, Peppercorn says, is that the drug companies may be hiding negative results. Other possible explanations include industry's preference to test compounds that are more likely to succeed in trial or a preference to design a trial so it will succeed.
- check out the release on the pharma-funded studies
- here's the report on the study of studies from USA Today