In the Everything Birth community, we have moms (and even dads) who know how to do their own research. You ladies (and even gentlemen) have understood the concept I am about to explain for a long time already. This post isn’t to inform you of a corrupt system, it’s to validate what you already know.
Thanks to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology in February this year, those of us who have claimed conflicts of interest in medical literature don’t have to look quite so paranoid anymore. The study was a massive analysis of 6,711 randomized controlled trials and 28,104 authors. The study began by outlining the design, “The directly industry-affiliated (DIA) authors were identified in the networks according to their published affiliations. Measures of influence (network centrality) and impact (citations) were determined for every author. Network-level measures of community structure and collaborative preference were used to further characterize the groups.”
The outcome? The facts point to the existence of a significant group of prominent authors that are partnered with pharmaceutical companies. The facts also indicate that within medical journals, these “preferred authors” indeed get preferential publishing treatment.
It explained how a mere six percent of authors listed a direct affiliation with the manufacturer of a drug and these same authors ended up receiving “significantly more citations and were significantly more central in the networks.”
This study in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology further explained that the authors who had direct affiliations with the drug industry enjoyed a greater reach in the networks. The study explains that problems with these findings may include publication bias, trial size issues, and improper conclusions.
Not that that’s news to you.
Your common sense probably told you all of this a long time ago.