Florence T. Bourgeois, MD, MPH; Kenneth D. Mandl, MD, MPH; Srinivas Murthy, MD
Potential Conflicts of Interest: Disclosures can be viewed at www.acponline.org/authors/icmje/ConflictOfInterestForms.do?msNum=M10-0087.
Bourgeois F., Mandl K., Murthy S.; The Effect of Funding Source on Outcome Reporting Among Drug Trials. Ann Intern Med. 2011;154:138. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-154-2-201101180-00021
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2011;154(2):138.
We appreciate the opinions and comments on our article, which reflect an important debate over explanations for the higher rate of favorable findings reported among industry-funded trials. Dr. Turner points out that the median anticipated sample sizes were larger among trials funded by industry than among those funded by noncommercial sources and questions whether the increased statistical power alone explains our finding of more favorable results among industry-funded trials. Dr. Turner is correct that in general, larger, more adequately powered trials are more likely to yield statistically significant results. Our multivariate model demonstrated an effect of primary funding source on the reporting of positive results (P < 0.001) even after adjustment for drug class, age of the study population, and characteristics of the trial design (including study sample size). In the article, we did not explicitly mention that sample size was included in the model. Sample size was not associated with trial outcomes (P = 0.22).
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