Sunday, June 11, 2017

Dozens of recent clinical trials may contain wrong or falsified data, claims study; Guardian, June 5, 2017

Stephen Buranyi and Hannah Devlin, Guardian; Dozens of recent clinical trials may contain wrong or falsified data, claims study

"The analysis was carried out by John Carlisle, a consultant anaesthetist at Torbay Hospital, who previously used similar statistical tools to expose one of the most egregious cases of scientific fraud on record, involving a Japanese anaesthesiologist who was found to have fabricated data in many of his 183 retracted scientific papers.

In the latest study, Carlisle reviewed data from 5,087 clinical trials published during the past 15 years in two prestigious medical journals, Jama and the New England Journal of Medicine, and six anaesthesia journals. In total, 90 published trials had underlying statistical patterns that were unlikely to appear by chance in a credible dataset, the review concluded.

“This raises serious questions about data in some studies,” said Carlisle. “Innocent or not, the rate of error is worrying as we determine how to treat patients based upon this evidence,” he added.

Dr Andrew Klein, the editor-in-chief of Anaesthesia, which has published the new analysis, called for the studies identified as potentially flawed to be reviewed urgently.

“It’s very scary that we may be treating patients based on false evidence.” he said. “It may be the case that certain treatments may need to be withdrawn from use.”"

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