The BMJ this week published a re-analysis of infamous paroxetine trial – Study 329. The re-analysis found differing results, and came to different conclusions versus the original manuscript article. The BMJ re-analysis can be found here: http://www.bmj.com/content/351/bmj.h4629. A YouTube video about the re-analysis can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_ryCVmjzCk
Various news articles have since been written about this analysis. One, in The Independent, states: “All Trials, co-founded by the BMJ and supported by 615 medical and research organisations, is calling for every clinical trial to be registered and all of their results published, ensuring comprehensive assessment can be made of all findings, and for trials to be subject to the scrutiny of the entire scientific community. Dr Godlee also calls for an end to clinical trials funded and managed by industry. These are ambitious goals and legitimate concerns around patient confidentiality in an era of open data will have to be addressed. But there can be no argument that such a model would be supremely preferable to the current situation, in which the very people who stand to profit from positive findings can control how the data – and even which data – is made public. Unfortunately GSK remains the only pharmaceutical company signed up to All Trials. If this final judgement of the infamous and outrageous Study 329 carries lessons for anyone, it is for its Big Pharma competitors. The truth will out eventually. You owe it to medicine, to science and most of all to patients never to stand in its way.”
This type of news story highlights the importance of the pharmaceutical industry adhering to good publication practice. In this respect, the latest Good Publication Practice guidelines have recently been published.
Ryan co-runs Aspire Scientific, a dynamic, forward-thinking medical writing agency. Ryan has a passion for innovation, science and ethical communication.