Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

“Too much ownership of data and secrecy involved”

From the 21 March 2012 article by Gary Schwitzer at

That’s what one author writes in a series of papers published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes this month addressing issues involving the integrity of research data.

Yale’s Harlan Krumholz writes: “Patients facing a decision deserve information that is based on all of the evidence.”  Further excerpt:

Every day, patients and their caregivers are faced with difficult decisions about treatment. They turn to physicians and other healthcare professionals to interpret the medical evidence and assist them in making individualized decisions.

Unfortunately, we are learning that what is published in the medical literature represents only a portion of the evidence that is relevant to the risks and benefits of available treatments. In a profession that seeks to rely on evidence, it is ironic that we tolerate a system that enables evidence to be outside of public view. Those who own data, usually scientists or industry, have the choice of what, where, and when to publish. As a result, our medical literature portrays only a partial picture of the evidence about clinical strategies, including drugs and devices. Experts have recently drawn attention to this issue, including contributions in this issue of our journal, but there is resistance to change….

The article goes on outline how sharing of clinical trial and research data could be shared for the common good.

Read the entire article here

March 28, 2012 - Posted by | Medical and Health Research News | , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. This is an extremely important issue that few seem to know about. Data, indeed entire studies, are reportedly selectively withheld from the public and even the FDA, and there have been allegations that even in prestigious journals, published articles have been written by advertising agencies who pay a physician to falsely claim authorship. Corporate influence over medical science, especially that of pharmaceutic firms, has apparently greatly degraded the quality and credibility of our crucial scientific literature, to such an extent the it has become reasonable and perhaps prudent to dismiss reports about new medicines until corroborated by less biased data. The very notion of evidence-based practice collapses without a strong foundation of evidence: it becomes gullibility instead, allowing oneself to fall prey to Public Relations manipulation. We very much need to address the quality of our scientific data and the transparency of the scientific process; it is a human enterprise, and without the credibility such steps ensure, science loses all claim to the truth.

    Comment by gregmercer601 | March 28, 2012 | Reply

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