The study is published in this week's issue of JAMA - here's a link to the abstract.
Couple of thoughts:
- They only looked at articles in the six top-ranked general medicine and internal medicine journals. If I were going to try to publish a comparative effectiveness study, I would think it probably wouldn't get in to a top-ranked general journal (JAMA, NEJM, etc.), so I'd probably target it to a specialty journal.
- Pharma company-sponsored research often seems to be less favorably reviewed than academia-sponsored research, plus companies are often in a hurry and don't want to go through the excruciatingly long review processes at the top journals.
- They point out the lack of cost-effectiveness (CE) studies. Again, if I were going to try to publish a CE study, JAMA and NEJM would be my last choice for a target journal unless I thought I had a real blockbuster... they just don't publish many CE studies.
In short, I think this study is majorly confounded by the conventions of the medical publishing world.