Nov 8, 2013

Stop Hiding Information

It seems that pharmaceutical companies could be forced to publish all the results of their research without any bias according to new European laws.

In this sense, dangerous or adverse results would be finally available to any of us and could be analyzed by any independent scientist. The disclosure rules being drawn up by the European Medicines Agency, an EU body, have been met with resistance from drug companies that only release a small amount of their research data from clinical trials, with critics claiming that negative results are only half as likely to be published.

In the last three years, 26 drugs companies have racked up fines of more than £7billion for acting dishonestly.

Britain’s largest pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline announced earlier this year that it would support a move for such legislation by publishing the results of all its clinical trials, something considerable criticized because in 2012 it was given a £1.9billion fine in part precisely for withholding safety data about Avandria, its best-selling diabetes drug.

News of the law comes as a leaked message from the head of a leading pharmaceutical industry body to company bosses revealed that patient groups would be used to try to block amendments to the clinical trials directive. But these groups are often funded by companies and could be a ‘front for the pharmaceutical industry’, something “incredibly ironic” for Tim Reed, from campaign group Health Action International, who thinks that this should be a transparency initiative a priori.

“Patient groups get traction because they are assumed to represent the voice of the suffering. But industry uses them to say we’re not going to get innovative medicines if the industry is deterred from investing by having to be transparent about their clinical trials.” The EFPIA said: “Knowing that some people want all data to be made available to everyone, EFPIA is engaging not only with patient groups, but also with the scientific community.”

A new step to end publications bias.


Written by Dr. BelĂ©n Suarez  for The All Results Journals

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