Promoting transparency in pharmaceutical industry-sponsored research

Am J Public Health. 2012 Jan;102(1):72-80. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300187. Epub 2011 Nov 28.


Strong, evidence-based practice requires that objective, unbiased research be available to inform individual clinical decisions, systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and expert guideline recommendations. Industry has used seeding trials, publication planning, messaging, ghostwriting, and selective publication and reporting of trial outcomes to distort the medical literature and undermine clinical trial research by obscuring information relevant to patients and physicians. Policies that promote transparency in the clinical trial research process, through improved and expanded disclosure of investigator contributions and funding, comprehensive publicly available trial registration, and independent analysis of clinical trial data analysis may address these subversive practices by improving accountability among industry and investigators. Minimizing marketing's impact on clinical trial research and strengthening the science will protect medical literature's integrity and the public's health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research / ethics*
  • Biomedical Research / standards
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / ethics
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / standards
  • Disclosure / ethics*
  • Drug Industry / ethics*
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination / ethics
  • Publication Bias
  • Publications / ethics
  • Publications / standards
  • Registries
  • Research Support as Topic / ethics*
  • Research Support as Topic / standards