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Avandia example: Underscoring the need for conflict of interest disclosure

As Reuters reports, “virtually all of the experts who wrote favorably about GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s troubled diabetes drug Avandia (rosiglitazone) had financial ties to drug makers, a finding that shows the need for reform of such relationships, U.S. researchers said on Thursday.”

The study appears in the BMJ.

Mayo’s Dr. Victor Montori told Reuters:

“It was almost three to four times more likely that somebody who had a relationship with a pharmaceutical company had a favorable opinion about the medication. If you were to look at the proportion of people with favorable opinions, 94 percent of them had a relationship with a pharmaceutical company. If you were to look at the folks with an unfavorable opinion, 28 percent had a relationship with a pharmaceutical company.”

Because the team found that a quarter of the scientific papers about Avandia did not disclose that the authors had financial relationships with the drug company, they wrote that the findings “underscore the need for further changes in disclosure procedures in order for the scientific record to be trusted.”

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