2021 年 31 巻 7 号 p. 410-416
Background: Breaches of ethics undermine the practice of medicine. In Japan, two major scandals involving clinical research and drug marketing occurred after the publication of clinical trials. To study the effects of those scandals, we evaluated changes in the use of first-generation angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) after publication of relevant clinical trials and also after the subsequent scandals.
Methods: We conducted a quasi-experimental design of an interrupted time series analysis (ITSA) on nationwide monthly drug-market data covering 12 years (2005 to 2017) in Japan. The main outcome was the use of first-generation ARBs (valsartan, candesartan, and losartan). The two exposures were the publication of ARB-related clinical-trial results (October 2006) and subsequent ARB-related scandals involving research and marketing (February 2013). A generalized estimating equation model was fitted for ITSA with a log link, Poisson distribution, robust variance estimators, and seasonality adjustment.
Results: The publication of clinical trials was associated with 12% increase in the use of first-generation ARBs in Japan, and the subsequent ARB-related scandals was associated with 19% decrease. The decrease in the use of first-generation ARBs after the scandals was greater than the increase in their use after the publication of clinical-trial results. The net effect of the two exposures was a 9% decrease in the use of first-generation ARBs.
Conclusions: The scandals were associated with decrease in the use of first-generation ARBs, and that decrease was greater than the increase associated with the publication of “successful” clinical trials, making the net effect not zero but negative.