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US government is funding fewer trials as number of industry sponsored trials grows

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h6893 (Published 18 December 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h6893
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. 1Montreal

The number of registered clinical trials funded by industry each year has grown by 43% since 2006, an analysis in the Journal of the American Medical Association has found. Meanwhile the number of trials funded annually by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has declined by 24% over the same period.1

A steady erosion in NIH funding, which has not kept pace with inflation, has meant that NIH sponsored trials, which were outnumbered three to one by industry funded studies in 2006, were outnumbered more than six to one in 2014.

The number of studies registered on ClinicalTrials.gov, which became a precondition for publication in the major medical journals in 2005, nearly doubled between 2006 and 2014, from 9321 to 18 400. During this time the overall number of studies paid …

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