Marcia Angell, Harvard Medical
former Editor In Chief of the New England Journal Of Medicine
[podcast interview “Angell On Big Pharma by Russ Roberts at, November 26, 2012]

“And one of the worst forms of bias is that the drug companies will not permit researchers to publish negative results. If the drug doesn’t look good, it’s not published. It’s buried. Now the really shocking thing about that is that all of the clinical trials that are done, in order to get approval for a new drug to come on the market, must by law be submitted to the FDA. So the FDA receives all of the data, from all of the clinical trials. And a company will do many, many trials in order to get its drug on the market. And then the FDA will look through all of these trials, and if two are positive–that is, they show the drug is reasonably safe and effective–then they’ll usually approve that drug; and the drug goes on the market.”
“But there may be, for these two studies, there may be an additional 10 studies or 15 studies that are negative. The drug doesn’t look good, or it doesn’t look as safe as you would hope. But they will not release the negative trials. The FDA will not release the negative trials–because they say it’s proprietary. They only release the trials that the company agrees to release. In lots of cases the negative results are hidden; the positive results are published; and the negative results are hidden within the agency that is supposed to be insuring the safety and effectiveness of drugs. So, that’s pretty shocking.”