Industry-authored studies showed more favorable results about the efficacy of hyaluronic acid injections for patients with knee osteoarthritis compared with academically authored studies, which were about evenly split, according to a recently published study.
“On the basis of our findings in the present review that the qualitative conclusions in studies on hyaluronic acid injections for knee osteoarthritis were commonly associated with industry authorship, clinicians should be aware of the potential financial conflicts of interest of the authors reporting on this topic and carefully evaluate the recommendations from these studies based on the objectivity of the study design,” the wrote in their study.
They analyzed 48 single- or double-blind, prospective, randomized controlled trials that compared the effects of intra-articular hyaluronic acid (HA) with intra-articular injection of a placebo to treat osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee for funding source and qualitative conclusions. Thirty of the 48 studies were industry-funded, three were not and 15 studies did not identify a funding source.
Overall, researchers found an association between reported potential financial conflict of interest of the authors and the qualitative conclusion. Studies with a reported financial conflict of interest of at least one author all had favorable conclusions, while studies with no affiliated authors indicated that HA injection for knee OA was no more effective than a placebo injection.
Disclosure: The researchers reported no relevant financial disclosures.