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Private-sector physicians run clinical trials mostly for the money, study finds

MinnPost, August 1, 2012

A study published this month in PLoS Medicine offers more troubling insight into how big money, rather than scientific inquiry, is driving and shaping much of our current medical research. This time, researchers examined the motives of the ever-increasing number of private-sector physicians—ones not affiliated with academic institutions—who serve as principal investigators, or PIs, for clinical trials funded by the pharmaceutical industry. By 2005, more than 70 percent of U.S. clinical trials were being done by nonacademic physicians. In fact, the number of private-sector physicians involved in these studies climbed from 4,000 in 1990 to a staggering 20,250 in 2010.