On the 21st of January, I published on Biomed Central’s Blog network on marketing trials: Are clinical drug trials more marketing than science?
Classic Trust The Evidence work this piece summarises the factors that influence the design of a clinical trial. The article is based on a long running piece of research published in Trials, which examined reports of randomized trials to deduce what characteristics appear to be influenced by marketing in the design of a clinical trials as opposed to the considerations over science.
This study concluded that a fifth of drug trials published in the highest impact general medical journals in 2011 had features suggestive of being designed for marketing purposes. Each of the marketing trials appeared to have a unique combination of features reported in the journal publications.
To find out about marketing trials we examined reports of randomised controlled trials of drugs published in six general medical journals in 2011 and then examined them independently for pre-defined characteristics.
What Forbes say: Does Marketing Have Too Much Control In Big Pharma Clinical Trials?
‘The editors have it right. Clinical trials are crucial in understanding the risks and benefits of any clinical drug. Furthermore, EVERY clinical trial carried out by the biopharmaceutical industry always has input from the company’s commercial division. It would be foolish not to seek such guidance.’
That because the editors wouldn’t engage in the project. It’s now time for open peer review and full transparency over what actually happens in the design and conduct of a trial.
What’s also needed, is someone to take up the mantel and have a go at replicating our findings. Good Luck!
Want to read more on marketing trials:
Hill KP, Ross JS, Egilman DS, Krumholz HM. The ADVANTAGE seeding trial: review of internal documents. Ann Intern Med. 2008;149:251-8.
Wikipedia: A seeding trial or marketing trial is a form of marketing, conducted in the name of research, designed to target product sampling towards selected consumers.