More than 90 percent of researchers who have published studies favorable to the controversial diabetes drug Avandia had a financial stake in the issue, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Mayo Clinic.
The Mayo Clinic is one of the few research organizations in the United States that does not accept corporate funding.
Sales of GlaxoSmithKline’s bestselling drug Avandia plunged in 2007, after evidence emerged linking the drug to an increased risk of heart attack and death. These reports sparked a debate over the drug’s safety that continues to this day.
In an analysis of more than 200 studies, articles, editorials and letters published in scientific journals since 2007, Mayo Clinic researchers have concluded that financial conflict of interest continues to play a major role in that debate. Fully 87 percent of all authors who expressed positive views about Avandia had financial ties to GlaxoSmithKline, while another 7 percent had ties to other pharmaceutical companies involved with diabetes. Among authors with financial conflicts of interest, only 30 percent “expressed unfavorable views” of the drug.