Report clears researcher who broke drug company agreement

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: (Published 10 November 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:1085
  1. David Spurgeon
  1. Quebec

    A new report has urged Canada's federal government to do more to curb attempts by pharmaceutical companies to influence the conduct and publication of clinical studies carried out by researchers into their products.

    The report, commissioned by the Canadian Association of University Teachers, follows a four year dispute at the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children, centring on attempts by a drug company to prevent publication of results of a trial that were unfavourable in relation to one of its products.

    The dispute began after researcher Dr Nancy Olivieri decided to break a confidentiality agreement with Apotex, a Toronto based pharmaceutical company that was sponsoring her research. She published results critical of the drug deferiprone, which she was testing in young patients with thalassaemia, in the New England Journal of Medicine (1998;339:417-23).

    Dr Olivieri, former head of the hospital's haemoglobinopathy programme, was threatened with legal action by Apotex and also removed from her hospital post, though she …

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