, Volume 3, Issue 5, pp 410-413

Conflict of interest in industrysponsored economic evaluations: Real or imagined?

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Abstract

As industry sponsorship of pharmacoeconomic studies has increased, concerns have been raised about potential biases, owing to the conflicts of interest that this sponsorship creates. A review of the literature indicates that there are some causes for concern, given the fact that most pharmacoeconomic studies report positive findings for the sponsor’s drug. However, a more detailed analysis suggests that, although the methodologic quality of some published studies may be poor, the main reason for positive results is that companies only sponsor economic studies where a positive outcome is likely. Therefore, it is concluded that the best way of dealing with perceptions of sponsorship bias is not increased rhetoric, but rather increased public funding for economic evaluation of medicines, thereby creating a true mixed economy for research funding in this field.