Cancer drugs approvals based on flawed research: study

Clinical benefit may have been exaggerated in almost half of the trials, say UK researchers

Around half of the trials used to support approvals for new drugs for cancer in Europe exaggerate the clinical benefit, an analysis suggests.

Vial and syringe

UK researchers analysed 39 randomised controlled trials used to support 32 cancer drugs approved by the European Medicines Agency between 2014 and 2016.

Nearly half (19) of the trials had a high risk of bias for their primary outcome, they report in the BMJ.

The main reasons for the bias were missing outcome data and measurement of the outcome, which in some trials “potentially favoured