Last December, researchers involved with studying the use of antidepressants in children faced questions as federal regulators looked into evidence that the drugs increased suicide risks. The researchers tried "for months to gather all the test data," writes Barry Meier, but "could get only pieces of that information. Some drug companies refused to turn over data to the group, even though these researchers had helped come up with it. ... In other cases, they could not freely share their own data with colleagues who had not worked on a test." The incident highlights the growing problem with corporate-funded research. "Academic institutions and researchers are widely viewed as the impartial, independent heart of the system this country uses to test drugs and medical devices," Meier writes. "But that independence often comes with strings attached, sometimes making those institutions and their researchers obstacles to the exchange and discussion of test results."
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