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Invited Commentary |

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

G. Caleb Alexander, MD, MS
Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(12):1107-1108. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.232.
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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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