Avandia Papers Influenced by Financial Relationships, Study Says

Authors of <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/topics/overview/avandia">Avandia papers who had financial ties to the drug industry were more likely to write favorably of the controversial diabetes drug, and report that it did not increase the risk of heart attacks, says a new study. The study was published last month in the British Medical Journal.

To reach their conclusions, researchers performed a review of 202 articles that addressed the possible association between the risk of heart attacks and use of Avandia in diabetes patients. Two reviewers who were blinded to the authors’ financial relationships evaluated each article and classified it as being favorable (supporting the argument that the drug does not increase the risk of heart attack), neutral, or unfavorable (questioning Avandia’s safety). Of the articles reviewed, 107 (53%) included a conflict-of-interest statement and 90 (45%) had a conflicting financial relationship.

Ninety-one percent of the authors who reached favorable conclusions on Avandia and heart risks had financial relationships with antihyperglycemic agent manufacturers. What’s more, 86% had a financial relationship with GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of Avandia. Contrast this with the authors who presented unfavorable conclusions: Only 5% had financial relationships with antihyperglycemic agent manufacturers and 18% had such a relationship with Glaxo that was disclosed.

However, the researchers also found through an online search that some authors listed financial conflicts in other publications that were not disclosed in their Avandia paper.

The study reached no conclusions about Avandia’s safety.

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