Reporting and dissemination of industry versus non-profit sponsored economic analyses of six novel drugs used in oncology

K. S. Knox, J. R. Adams, B. Djulbegovic, T. J. Stinson, C. Tomori, C. L. Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Our prior study found that pharmaceutical-sponsored and non-profit sponsored analyses differed in their published assessments of the economic value of six new oncology drugs. In this study, we expand on our earlier findings and evaluate the association between funding source and 1) characteristics of the published study report and 2) journal type for dissemination of the previously evaluated economic studies. Methods: We reviewed the published cost-effectiveness literature for hematopoietic colony stimulating factors, 5-HT3 antagonist antiemetics, and taxanes. Two blinded investigators rated specific aspects of study reporting based on the US Public Health Service Panel on Cost-effectiveness in Health and Medicine criteria. Dissemination strategies were evaluated using impact factor scores from the Science Citation Index. Results: The operational aspects of pharmaceutical-sponsored study reporting were better overall than those associated with non-profit sponsored studies. Specifically, pharmaceutical-sponsored studies were more likely to be reported based on data obtained from randomized clinical trials or detailed cost-models (90% vs. 70%), to include descriptions of the source of cost differences (90% vs. 79%), to state whether the study was carried out from a societal, governmental, or insurer perspective (70% vs. 42%), and to clearly indicate the time-period over which costs were evaluated (65% vs. 50%). Nonprofit sponsored studies were more likely than pharmaceutical sponsored studies to report the generalizability of the findings, including being more likely to include information about how the data could be extrapolated to other clinical settings (58% vs. 35%), to include statements on the statistical significance of the findings (38% vs. 20%), and to clearly outline the cost per unit and data sources for the cost analyses (67% vs. 45%). A similar percent of pharmaceutical and non-profit sponsored studies reported background and conclusions with about 80% providing literature comparisons of the results (about 80%) and two thirds to three fourths discussing the limitations of the finding (75% for pharmaceutical-sponsored and 67% for non-profit sponsored studies). Most studies were published in low impact factor peer-reviewed journals, and journal impact factor scores were similar between pharmaceutical and nonprofit sponsored studies. Conclusions: Upon reviewing the entire pharmacoeconomic literature for six new oncology drugs, we identified differences in study reporting, but not in types of journals where studies were published, between pharmaceutical-sponsored and non-profit sponsored studies. These results, particularly the observed differences in data generalizability, may account in part for our previous finding of lower likelihood of reporting unfavorable conclusions in pharmaceutical-sponsored studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1591-1595
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Economic analyses
  • Pharmaceutical sponsorship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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