A study published in BMJ Open this month, concludes “the percentage of recent Cochrane meta-analyses on the effects of drug interventions that transparently reported funding sources and trial author–industry financial ties and employment for included trials far exceeds reporting in other journals.” Transparency of funding sources is particularly important for drug trials as the body of evidence may be dominated by studies funded by the makers of the drugs being tested.
In 2012, more rigorous reporting standards for Cochrane Reviews were introduced, including the reporting of trial funding sources and author–industry financial conflicts of interest. Reporting of funding sources for some or all included trials has now improved from 30% in Cochrane reviews of drug trials (as concluded in 2012) to 84% in recently published Cochrane meta-analyses.
Only 15% of non-Cochrane reviews reporting funding sources for included trials, according to the recent study.
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