The relationship between drug companies and medical researchers is under scrutiny because of possible conflict of interest. The issue that started the controversy was a 1995 case control study that suggested that the use of calcium-channel blockers to treat hypertension led to an increase risk of heart disease. This led to an intense debate both in technical journals and in the press. Researchers writing in the New England Journal of Medicine (“Conflict of Interest in the Debate over Calcium Channel Antagonists,” January 8, 1998, p. 101) looked at the 70 reports that appeared during 1996–1997, classifying them as favorable, neutral, or critical toward the drugs. The researchers then contacted the authors of the reports and questioned them about financial ties to drug companies. The results were recorded in the following way:
Column 1: Results of the scientific study; 1 = favorable, 2 = neutral, 3 = critical
Column 2: 1 = financial ties to drug companies, 2 = no ties to drug companies Do these data allow us to infer that the research findings for calcium-channel blockers are affected by whether the research is funded by drug companies?

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