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Industry Outpacing NIH in Funding Research

Analysis finds studies paid for by private sector increasing, while U.S.-sponsored trials decline

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) — There’s been a sharp rise in the number of industry-funded clinical trials and a significant decline in those financed by the U.S. government in recent years, according to findings published in the Dec. 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Researchers looked at clinical trials registered in the United States between 2006 and 2014.

The number of newly-registered industry-funded trials rose from 4,585 in 2006 to 6,550 in 2014 — a 42.9 percent increase, the researchers found. At the same time, the number of trials supported by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) fell from 1,376 to 1,048 — a 23.8 percent decrease. That means there were six times more industry-funded trials registered in 2014 than trials funded by the NIH, according to the study.

“My concern is that independent trials are on the decline and that means we have less high-quality data to inform public health that are not influenced by commercial interests,” study leader Stephan Ehrhardt, M.D., M.P.H., an associate professor in the department of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, said in a school news release.

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