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Majority of Fibromyalgia Drug Trials Are Industry Sponsored

Almost two-thirds of trials had one or more authors with financial conflicts of interest

FRIDAY, June 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Most fibromyalgia drug therapy randomized controlled trials (FM-RCTs) are funded by industry, and many authors have financial conflicts of interest (FCOIs), according to a study published online May 27 in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.

Winnie K. Pang, M.D., from the University of Southern California-Los Angeles County Medical Center, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study of original, parallel-group, drug therapy FM-RCTs to examine the correlation between FCOIs and characteristics, outcomes, and reported methodological quality.

Data were included from 47 RCTs, with the funding source reported as industry (55.3 percent), non-profit (17 percent), mixed (10.6 percent), and unspecified (17 percent). The researchers found that RCTs funded by industry were more likely to be multicenter and enroll a greater number of patients. There was no difference in reporting between industry and non-profit funded RCTs; reporting of key methodological measures was found to be suboptimal. Almost two-thirds (63.8 percent) of RCTs had one or more authors who disclosed FCOIs. There was a univariate association for industry funding and certain authors’ FCOIs with positive outcome; after adjustment for study sample size, the correlation did not persist.

“Continued surveillance of the potential influence of FCOIs on clinical trial outcomes, and policies to encourage transparent and adequate reporting of clinical trials will help to lessen concerns of industry bias in the study of drug therapies involving FM and other conditions,” the authors write.

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