The uncertainty principle and industry-sponsored research.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Lancet, Volume 356, Issue 9230, p.635-8 (2000)


Bias (Epidemiology), Drug Industry, Humans, Multiple Myeloma, Patient Selection, Probability, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic, Reproducibility of Results, Research Design, Research Support as Topic, Uncertainty


Reporting of pharmaceutical-industry-sponsored randomised clinical trials often result in biased findings, either due to selective reporting of studies with non-equivalent arms or publication of low-quality papers, wherein unfavourable results are incompletely described. A randomised trial should be conducted only if there is substantial uncertainty about the relative value of one treatment versus another. Studies in which intervention and control are thought to be non-equivalent violates the uncertainty principle.