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Collaboration between academics and industry in clinical trials: cross sectional study of publications and survey of lead academic authors

BMJ 2018; 363 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k3654 (Published 03 October 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k3654

Linked BMJ opinion

Shining a light on industry collaboration

Editorial

Transparency in clinical trial reporting

Re: Collaboration between academics and industry in clinical trials: cross sectional study of publications and survey of lead academic authors

New drug trials are so cumbersome to conduct, are extremely costly and entail significant financial risk. The cost of developing a new drug has been estimated to be more than $1 billion.[1]. So a huge proportion of new drug trials are funded by Industry.[2] [3]. With significant monies involved, it is not surprising that all aspects of the clinical trials were influenced by the industry funder.

Publications relating to new drug trials are likely to be citation magnets and so favoured by top journals. It follows that academics wishing to publish in high impact journals cannot afford to stay away from industry funding. [4].

If we are going to limit industry involvement and significantly increase academic ownership of trials, the entire drug licensing system as well as patent protected pricing needs a thorough overhaul.

Anything else would be superficial tinkering and ways would be found to comply "In Letter But Not in Spirit" .

References.
1 Institute of Medicine (US) Forum on Drug Discovery D. Current Model for Financing Drug Development: From Concept Through Approval. National Academies Press (US) 2009. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK50972/ (accessed 4 Oct 2018).

2 Lexchin J, Bero LA, Djulbegovic B, et al. Pharmaceutical industry sponsorship and research outcome and quality: systematic review. BMJ 2003;326:1167.

3 Hakoum MB, Jouni N, Abou-Jaoude EA, et al. Characteristics of funding of clinical trials: cross-sectional survey and proposed guidance. BMJ Open 2017;7. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2017-015997

4 Rasmussen K, Bero L, Redberg R, et al. Collaboration between academics and industry in clinical trials: cross sectional study of publications and survey of lead academic authors. BMJ 2018;363:k3654. doi:10.1136/bmj.k3654.

Competing interests: Extensive involvement with industry funded trials and extensive work with multiple pharmaceutical companies

04 October 2018
Santhanam Sundar
Consultant Oncologist
Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust