Conflicts of interest in big pharma

My work on this topic covers various aspects of innovation in the pharmaceutical industry as well as marketing and engagement with civil society actors (e.g., patient groups).

With Arianna Gentilini, I have looked at the financial relationship between the pharmaceutical industry and UK patient groups. It is the first to document the concordance between pharmaceutical company interests and industry funding of UK-based patient groups. We show that companies overwhelmingly invest in patient groups supporting conditions for which companies have a product on the market or in development. We also show that a disproportionate share of industry funds is directed to rare disease-focused patient groups. Finally, patient groups targeting rare diseases receive funding from fewer companies but of higher value compared to groups focusing on non-rare diseases, making them potentially more susceptible to influence from industry.  

With Leeza Osipenko and Elias Mossialos, I have looked at the origin and clinical benefit of drugs given a first-in-class designation from the FDA. By triangulating several publicly available datasets, we found that the vast majority of these drugs originated in the pharmaceutical industry (rather than academia). Notably, we also found that more than half of first-in-class drugs have no additional clinical benefits (compared to existing clinical alternatives).

Academic journal publications: