Conflict Metrics Data & Methods

Source Data

Conflict Metrics source data has been drawn from the following sources:

  • is the US National Institutes of Health's public database of information on certain clinical trials required, by law, to participate in the registry. There are approximately 280,000 registered trials in the database.
  • Drugs@FDA is the US Food and Drug Administration's public-facing database of drug products. The database provides information on most prescription and non-prescription drugs approved by the FDA since 1939.
  • provides data on the most-used drug products drawn from the annual Medical Expenditure Panel Survey conducted by the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Clinical Trials Sponsorship Dashboard Methods

The Clinical Trials Sponsorship Dashboards provide access to sponsorship data from ClinicalTrials.Gov. The Drug Sponsorship Dashboard uses information from Drugs@FDA and in order to provide a sponsorship profile for most of the top 300 prescription drugs. The Disease/Condition Dashboard provides data on over 1600 of the most researched conditions.

  • The drug list was derived from's database of the top 300 drugs. Most long-approved over-the-counter drugs and vitamins were removed from the dataset. Drugs@FDA was then used to identify all additional trade and generic names for each product remaining.
  • The disease and condition list was derived using a custom instance of the database. An initial list of all 65,000+ conditions evaluated was drawn, but only conditions evaluated in over 25 registered trials were kept. Conditions entered under multiple names (e.g., Type II Diabetes; Type 2 Diabetes; and Diabetes, Type II) were combined before analysis. However subtypes (e.g. depression vs. major depression) were treated as separate conditions.
  • Drug and disease lists were submitted to the custom ClinicalTrials.Gov database to locate all registered trials for each product or condition. For each identified trial, the list of sponsors and co-sponsors were identified and classified using's agency type taxonomy: Industry, U.S. Federal Government or NIH, or Other.
  • Network visualizations were prepared using the igraph package for R. Network plots were created using appropriate force-directed algorithms. Fuchterman-Reingold was used for plots with fewer than 1000 nodes, and DrL was used for those with more than 1000 nodes. Users can experiment with additional layout algorithms using the Sponsorship Network Explorer.