The pharmaceutical industry has signalled its willingness to open up the vast reservoirs of research data held by its companies this week. But campaigners and researchers pushing for more access to clinical trial data say the moves are little and late.
In a statement released yesterday, two of the world’s leading trade bodies said they would “dramatically increase the amount of information available to researchers, patients, and members of the public”.
Europe’s trade body, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) and its north American equivalent the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) said they would make information on trials down to patient level available to researchers. They also pledged to make available the detailed ‘clinical study reports’ which some scientists have been demanding.
Medical research is in a critical period at the moment, with an increasingly vocal group of doctors and scientists demanding greater access to drug company data. These campaigners say that access to these data is vital to prevent the industry burying results that are unfavourable to their products, as has happened in past scandals. Some want drug companies to put all their data on clinical trials into the public domain, while others think researchers should be able to request information from trials that could be released to them after READ MORE