Failed drug studies published less often
A review published in the Public Library of Science journal, PLoS Medicine, found that many studies of prescription drugs that found them to be ineffective were published less often in medical journals than sucessful studies were. "We found that there was indeed a pattern that favorable studies were more likely to be published than unfavorable trials," said Ida Sim, associate professor of internal medicine at UCSF and the lead author of the analysis. Failure to publish negative and positive results could skew doctors' opinions about a drug, the researchers said. While previous research has examined publication patterns of studies of antidepressants and pediatric drugs, this is the first to look at all drugs approved over a defined time span.