January 06, 2005

Drug Industry to Reveal More Trial Data

As anyone here who has read the ongoing news related to undisclosed drug trial information knows - the drug industry had been doing itself a big disservice in this area by not revealing important drug trial information to the public, and it had been destroying much of the group's credibility that was built up over many decades of good work.

Good news comes this weeek in that the global pharmaceutical industry unveiled plans on Thursday to publish more data about trials of medicines in a bid to reassure patients following recent alarms over drug safety.

The New York Times reported today that:

"Trade groups in the United States, Europe and Japan, in collaboration with major drugmakers, agreed an industry-wide code to publish detailed information about all clinical trials, other than exploratory Phase I studies, on the Internet.

The code will be voluntary, but companies are expected to be keen to take part, hoping to head off potentially more onerous legislation from governments in the wake of scandals over pain drug Vioxx and the use of antidepressants in adolescents.

``By publishing not just the results of the trials that have taken place -- whether positive or negative -- but also those that are just starting, the industry has made a major step toward achieving greater transparency,'' Richard Barker, Director General of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), told reporters."

We hope that results in some fundamental changes in the pharma industry's practices. If not, then we suspect that the public's response will be extremely harsh.

For more information see:

Drug Research Openness Promised (BBC)

Drugs Trials: Public to Get More Data

Pharmaceutical Companies to Make More Information Available About Clinical Trials (Press release)


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