Don’t Believe Drug Studies: Most Are Funded By Big Pharma (and the Numbers Are Growing!)

Written by on March 28, 2016 in Big Pharma, CDC, EPA & FDA, Health with 15 Comments


By Christina Sarich | Natural Society

New research shows a 43% increase in clinical trials funded by drug companies during 2006-2014. Can you say “conflict of interest?”

Concerns have been expressed over the past few years about the independence of clinical trials, due to the funding of some trials by corporations with vested interests. New data from Johns Hopkins University suggests that this is now the norm rather than the exception. The clinical trials that allow a drug to go to market are most often funded by the pharmaceutical industry.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandates clinical trials of safety and efficacy for all drugs intended for sale to Americans. Current regulations require that trials start with testing on laboratory animals and culminate with tests on human subjects.

Related Article: How Pharma Lobbyists Have Locked in One of the Biggest Corporate Ripoffs Ever

The problem is that – with millions and sometimes billions of dollars at stake – there’s no requirement for these tests to be done by a third party. The drug industry is basically ‘policing itself.’

Clinical trials funded directly by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) are considered independent. However, a large proportion of trials done by the NIH are now funded by major pharmaceutical corporations. The Johns Hopkins report indicates that the number of independent NIH trials has fallen and the number of pharma-funded NIH trials has risen each year since 2006.

The number of NIH-funded trials fell by 24% from 2006 to 2014, from 1,376 trials to 1,048 trials. During the same period, pharma-funded NIH trials increased by 43%, from 4,585 in 2006 to 6,550 in 2015. These data are from, a U.S. government repository with information on various human clinical trials performed since 2005.

Big Pharma companies aren’t required to register clinical trial data with However, most academic journals accept and publish such data only from studies that are held by the U.S. government.

This ‘preference’ of the journals has led Big Pharma to register more studies, and also has allowed an interesting look into just how conflicted the industry is. Fewer independent trials means that drug corporations are not acting with impartiality, nor is the FDA.

One scientist responsible for this new research, Stephan Ehrhardt, noted:

“. . . given that the industry has a vested interest in the outcome of those trials, we don’t get good data to inform the health of the public.”

Ehrhardt also explained that NIH-funded trials look at wider health impacts than pharma-funded trials do. NIH’s budget doesn’t depend on FDA’s approval of a drug. In contrast, the pharmaceutical corporations stand to profit immensely, so they have a narrower focus. They just want the data that will get them the FDA’s approval.

Related Article:This Doctor Says Prescription Drugs Are Killing Us – and He’s Not the Only One

It’s also noteworthy that NIH has less money for running independent studies because Congress has cut its funding. Big Pharma is willing to fund the clinical trials, however, and is not held accountable for transparency in drug testing.

This research has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) as “Trends in National Institutes of Health Funding for Clinical Trials Registered in”



About Christina Sarich:
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Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.

Read more great articles at Natural Society.

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  1.' Love and relationship quotes says:

    , I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel all alone.”

  2.' Love and relationships quotes says:

    “With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.”
    ― Wayne W. Dyer

  3.' Lure de Fink says:

    You don’t want to know what i think :’D

  4.' Deborah Herriage says:

    The FDA isn’t for the interests of the people, but for pharm companies.

  5.' Debra Lewis Anderson Allen says:

    Has anyone really been paying attention to all the ads for these drugs? People are afraid that they are going to get cancer from foods. What I coorelated with many of the ads for these chemicals is that many side effects are reporting that they CAUSE CANCER. I see a vicious circle….doesn’t anyone else notice this too?

  6.' Medina Sav-alnetz says:

  7.' Laura Hellowell says:

    Live a raw organic life. Vaccination free! No disease can touch you. Look to herbs and plants to heal your body. Never trust a doctor.

  8.' Michael Young says:

    Follow the money,that tells the truth..

  9.' Christie Ley says:

    The fact that these companies are allowed to advertise on TV is horrendous. They are blood sucking leeches whose ethics and morals have gone by the wayside in favor of profits for their shareholders. Patients suffer because they promise good health and charge outrageous amounts for their miracle drugs….I so hope their lack of ethics comes back to haunt them and their greedy shareholders.

  10.' Sheree Collette says:

    I’m going to go ahead and guess that the people complaining about pharmacy companies funding drug trials are the same people who would be outraged by an increase in taxes to fund academic research……..

  11.' Gary Lim says:

    No shit!

  12.' Steve Monkiewicz says:

    BIG PHARMA + BIG MEDICINE = BIG MONEY. They look out for their fiscal health not your physical health…

  13.' Judy Nordlund says:

    Read anything by Robert Whitaker!

  14.' Warren Gene Gilfus says:

    Are you trying to drive insane people who depend or may need medications to survive and live longer?

  15.' Tim Douglas-Denton says:

    Nothing new here!

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