Underrepresentation of Elderly People in Randomised Controlled Trials.

 The Example of Trials of 4 Widely Prescribed Drugs

Plosone.org: March 30, 2012.

We aimed to determine the representation of elderly people in published reports of randomized controlled trials (RCTs). We focused on trials of 4 medications—pioglitazone, rosuvastatin, risedronate, and valsartan—frequently used by elderly patients with chronic medical conditions.

Methods and Findings

We selected all reports of RCTs indexed in PubMed from 1966 to April 2008 evaluating one of the 4 medications of interest. Estimates of the community-based “on-treatment” population were from a national health insurance database (SNIIR-AM) covering approximately 86% of the population in France. From this database, we evaluated data claims from January 2006 to December 2007 for 1,958,716 patients who received one of the medications of interest for more than 6 months.  Read More