Doctors warned over 'fake news' issue with medical research

Trial data identified as potentially fraudulent is being used in meta-analyses, US researchers say

The danger of ‘fake news’ being amplified is not limited to the media, according to a study that shows potentially fraudulent research can be repeated in the medical literature for years.

The problem is the result of medical journals’ failure to flag research that's been identified by drug regulators as potentially fraudulent, says research published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

It is compounded by the fact that these studies can be used in meta-analyses, which then perpetuates the error or fraud

The researchers examined the effect of ARISTOTLE, a clinical trial of apixaban (Eliquis).

The US Food and Drug Administration had found one site in the trial’s China arm had apparently altered patients' records.

The flawed data was then used in 22 meta-analyses evaluating apixaban between 2012 and 2017.

The researchers, led by Dr Craig Garmendia (PhD) of Florida