January 30, 2013
Drug company publications found inaccurate when compared to internal company documents; reporters ignore story.
In a study published yesterday in PLOS Medicine, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health compared internal Pfizer documents to published studies on the drug Neurontin and found that "trial publication was not a transparent, or accurate...record for the numbers of participants randomized and analyzed for efficacy." In one case, "the description in the publication did not include data from 40% of participants actually randomized in the trial."
It's not the first time we've heard that drug-company sponsored studies might be suspect, but this study advances the story. And it was made possible only because of the unusual circumstance that the internal Pfizer documents became available through litigation.