Conflicts of Interest, Selective Inertia, and Research Malpractice in Randomized Clinical Trials: An Unholy Trinity

TitleConflicts of Interest, Selective Inertia, and Research Malpractice in Randomized Clinical Trials: An Unholy Trinity
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsBerger, V
JournalScience & Engineering Ethics
Date Published2015
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number13533452
KeywordsClinical , Conflict , incentives , Institute , Medical , RANDOMIZED , SELECTIVE , technology
AbstractRecently a great deal of attention has been paid to conflicts of interest in medical research, and the Institute of Medicine has called for more research into this important area. One research question that has not received sufficient attention concerns the mechanisms of action by which conflicts of interest can result in biased and/or flawed research. What discretion do conflicted researchers have to sway the results one way or the other? The authors address this issue from the perspective of selective inertia, or an unnatural selection of research methods based on which are most likely to establish the preferred conclusions, rather than on which are most valid. In many cases it is abundantly clear that a method that is not being used in practice is superior to the one that is being used in practice, at least from the perspective of validity, and that it is only inertia, as opposed to any serious suggestion that the incumbent method is superior (or even comparable), that keeps the inferior procedure in use, to the exclusion of the superior one. 
NotesBerger, Vance 1; Email Address:; Affiliation: 1: National Cancer Institute and University of Maryland Baltimore County, Biometry Research Group, National Cancer Institute, 9609 Medical Center Drive Rockville 20850 USA; Source Info: Aug2015, Vol. 21 Issue 4, p857; Subject Term: MEDICAL research; Subject Term: CONFLICT of interests; Subject Term: RANDOMIZED controlled trials; Subject Term: CLINICAL medicine -- Research; Author-Supplied Keyword: Conflict of interest; Author-Supplied Keyword: Incentives; Author-Supplied Keyword: Selective inertia; Author-Supplied Keyword: Technology transfer; Company/Entity: INSTITUTE of Medicine (U.S.); NAICS/Industry Codes: 541712 Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences (except Biotechnology); Number of Pages: 18p; Document Type: Article