A “Seeding” Clinical Trial is Under Investigation 12 Years Later

Both Reuters and the New York Times reported on a clinical trial performed 12 years ago that presumably tested the efficacy and safety of an FDA approved anti-epileptic drug Neurontin.   Instead, the clinical trial’s major purpose was to recruit 700 physicians so that they could gain experience using the drug in the hope that they would then prescribe the drug, thus increasing its sales. This type of clinical trial is labeled a ‘seed trial’ in the pharmaceutical world.

A team led by Dr Joseph Ross of Yale University School of medicine was investigating the marketing of Neurontin and found enough evidence in the published results, marketing reports, and communications among the employees to incriminate the company, Pfizer. The true purpose of the study was kept secret from Institutional Review Boards, which raises the question of how informed were the enrolled subjects when giving their consent to participate in the trial.

Pfizer representative stated that Neurontin was an extensively prescribed drug for seizures and had been in the market for more than 2 decades with enough publications to support its efficacy and safety.

You can read more about the study by clicking on the following links:



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