End-stage renal disease is a devastating condition that, according to the United States Renal Data System, plagued approximately 406,000 individuals in the United States in 2001 and is projected to increase to a prevalence of approximately 725,000 by 2010. Furthermore, it is a major public health issue, given the overall poor outcomes and high costs for this chronic condition.
Sources of funding for pharmaceutical research has come under scrutiny in the last decade as academic and government sources of funding have become increasingly scarce and the pharmaceutical industry has become the main source of research dollars. But the issue of objectivity has been raised, and some have even suggested that negative studies, that is studies that show a drug in an unfavorable light, may never be published. The American Medical Association has recently tackled this issue and has asked the department of Health and Human Services to establish a public registry of all clinical trials in United States.