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Invited Commentary
June 12, 2011

Seeding Trials and the Subordination of Science: Comment on “Study of Neurontin: Titrate to Effect, Profile of Safety (STEPS) Trial”

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Medicine, MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, Center for Health and the Social Sciences, University of Chicago Hospitals, and Department of Pharmacy Practice, University of Illinois at Chicago School of Pharmacy.

Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(12):1107-1108. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.232

The biomedical enterprise depends on good science for its foundation, and good science requires transparency of methods and integrity of purpose. Industry plays a major role in supporting biomedical science, supplying nearly half of the estimated $94 billion devoted to such investigations in 2004.1 While industry support for clinical research is essential, commercial bias may be introduced in a variety of ways. These range from trial design to nonpublication of negative findings and aggressive marketing.2 These distortions have a substantial negative impact on scientific knowledge and clinical care.

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