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Big Pharma's off-label pay-offs kept secret
About the author: 

Off-label drug use is big business for Big Pharma

Off-label drug use is big business for Big Pharma. It's using drugs for diseases for which they were not originally intended to treat - and doctors and researchers are paid big bucks to give their approval in medical journals.
That's bad enough, but new research has discovered that the academics aren't even revealing their special relationships with the drug company, or the pay-off they're getting.
Without this connection being revealed, doctors may think the research is honest and objective - and so start prescribing it to their patients.
Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston have discovered that just one in seven authors who marketed off-label drug use had revealed their connection to the drug company that benefited from the positive study.
They discovered that many off-label studies are authored by the same, small bunch of academics: 91 'experts' had 'written' 404 off-label studies. Only 15 per cent had proper disclosures of the drug company connection; of the rest, 43 per cent had no disclosure at all, and 4 per cent even denied a connection that was there!
(Source: PLoS Medicine, 2012; 9: e1001280).

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