Abstract

We know that clinical trials sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry are likely to exaggerate benefit and minimise harms. But do these biases extend to their sponsorship of non-human animal research? Using systematic review and meta-analysis Bero and colleagues show that, in the case of statins, things are a little more complicated. While the conclusions of industry-sponsored studies were indeed more enthusiastic than warranted by their data, the data themselves painted a picture more conservative than was seen in non-industry-sponsored studies. This behaviour is consistent with maximising the return on investment, seeking robust data before embarking on a clinical trial, and, once that investment has been made, making every effort to "prove" that the drug is safe and effective if this is at all credible. The findings suggest that there is something different about industry-sponsored non-human animal research, perhaps reflecting higher standards than is the case elsewhere. Perhaps the academic community can learn something from our colleagues in the commercial sector.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e1001768
JournalPLoS Biology
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2014

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