A methodological review of Population-Adjusted Indirect Comparisons reveals inconsistent reporting and suggests publication bias
We conducted a review of Population-Adjusted Indirect Comparisons (PAICs) published in the literature. PAICs are used to perform an adjusted comparison of two treatments assessed in two different clinical trials, when individual patient data (IPD) are only available for one trial (only aggregated data are available for the other trial).
The results show a clear increase of the number of publications using this method in recent years, as well as heterogeneous reporting regarding key criteria.
The results reported in these publications clearly favor the treatments evaluated with IPD: 56% of the comparisons reported a significant benefit for the treatment evaluated on IPD, only one comparison reported a significant benefit for the treatment evaluated on aggregated data. Typically, the treatment evaluated on IPD represents the treatment promoted by the study sponsor.
These results suggest a major publication bias and an urgent need to improve the transparency of PAICs.
Publication link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2023.09.004