KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Study Finds Financial Ties Between Clinical Study Leaders And Pharmaceutical Companies

Reuters reports that a new study has found "cancer researchers who design clinical trials, analyze or interpret the data, or play other key scientific roles are four times more likely to have financial ties to industry than their counterparts who have lesser roles in these studies, such as recruiting study subjects or collecting the data."

These clinical chiefs have the greatest influence on the outcome of studies, a report on the finding found. The authors, Dr. Steven Joffe of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and other colleagues, published their work in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. In the study, "(64) percent of the authors - 1,881 of 2,927 - said they performed at least one key role in the study and 842 (29 percent) reported at least one financial tie" leading to potential to bias, Joffe said.

"Last year, the Institute of Medicine, one of the National Academies of Sciences that advises U.S. policymakers, issued a report stating, in essence, that doctors need to distance themselves from industry by voluntarily swear off lunches, drug samples and strictly disclose research funding to strengthen protections against financial conflicts of interest" (Brooks, 1/11). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.