Are Doctors Too Wary of Drug Companies? – NYTimes.com

A somewhat different take on the relationship between doctors and drug companies, suggesting that the pendulum may have swung too far in the other direction. Worth reflecting upon. Quote:

Dr. [Aaron] Kesselheim and his collaborators believe what is needed in biomedical research is even greater transparency. Such openness would include more independent third-party statistical reviews to ensure that data is not being manipulated or misleading and wider use of public Web sites like ClinicalTrials.gov, regardless of the source of funding.

ClinicalTrials.gov lists study details like objectives, design and data gathered, providing doctors and patients alike with a way to confirm that no data is being selectively reported or distorted. But participation on the site is voluntary, and pharmaceutical, medical device and biomedical companies are often hesitant to share what they consider proprietary data, choosing instead to list only selective details, or no information at all.

Until full transparency is achieved and such details are available to all on the Web or for independent statistical reviews, Dr. Kesselheim and his collaborators suggest that both doctors and patients remain alert to potential biases — Big Pharma’s, and also their own.

“Excessive skepticism,” Dr. Kesselheim observed, “is as much a bad thing as naïveté.”

Are Doctors Too Wary of Drug Companies? – NYTimes.com.

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