June 23, 2005

Corporate Money Perverts Medical Studies

Here is the abstract of a study entitled "The prevalence of corporate funding in adult lower extremity research and its correlation with reported results." It's over two years old, but it never received any major coverage in the press at the time.


The author reviewed 603 consecutive articles and scientific presentations pertaining to adult lower extremity orthopedic research from 2 major American orthopedic journals and 2 major American orthopedic meetings. The prevalence of commercial funding in these studies was 50%. Clinical studies of total hip arthroplasty implants by American investigators were commercially sponsored in 75% of studies. Commercially funded hip research reported positive outcomes in 93% of studies, whereas independently funded researchers reported good results in only 37%. Funded clinical studies of total knee arthroplasty implants yielded good results in 75%; this is in contrast to the findings of independently funded investigators, who reported positive conclusions in only 20% of studies. Investigators receiving royalties reported no negative outcomes related to the respective devices. The source of research funding was strongly correlated with reported outcomes.


I love the way scientists are able to maintain their calm and objective perspective while at the same time reporting direct evidence that corporate money in medical studies results in huge discrepancies (inconsistencies? perversions? aberrations? irregularities?) in results. I wish I could find the right word.

Here is the entire study as reported in the Journal of Arthroplasty

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