Last week I told you how drug companies suppress trial evidence. In many cases, trials never see the light of day. Nobody hears word one about them.
It’s no mystery why.
Drug companies conduct many trials without fanfare. If one of these trials produces disappointing results, the drug maker has the option to shelve it. Then they can mount a new trial. And they can redesign it to promote better results.
This is why registering ALL trials is important. That way, nothing gets swept out of sight.
But there’s another reason this is important.
One of my colleagues reminded me of this gem from an FDA guide. It regards evidence for dietary supplement claims.
The agency insists on considering the entire body of evidence.
“Conflicting or inconsistent results raise serious questions as to whether a particular claim is substantiated.”
So, it doesn’t matter how strong your supporting evidence might be. The agency also considers studies that are outright turkeys.
And by “turkeys,” I mean trials that use an inferior supplement form. Or a dose that’s much too low. Or a brief intervention period.
Of course, these lousy studies establish “inconsistent results.”
That’s one of the reasons the FDA allows so few health claims for supplements.
Meanwhile, a drug maker has to produce two favorable studies. That’s it. They might have buried half-a-dozen studies with inconsistent results. But who would ever know?