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Trial Transparency: Big Pharma Pressured to Reveal Hidden Data

23 JAN 2014
Career Path : Healthcare

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A recent AAPS blog post, Trial Transparency: Big Pharma Pressured to Reveal Hidden Data, raises the issue of disclosure with regard to drug testing – and how a lack of information can result in patient injury. Recently, the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee urged the UK Department of Health to establish stricter laws for drug companies. They want patients and doctors to gain access to a complete range of data from all stages of drug trials. The Committee maintains that the historical lack of disclosure is a regulatory failure that must be redressed in the interest of consumer safety. Health Canada has recently overhauled its own policies with regard to pharmaceutical transparency, creating ways for patients to understand more about the drugs they use. The post explains that:

In May of 2013, the Canadian government launched its Clinical Trials Database, which will provide Canadians with access to information regarding new drug research and testing. The database is mandatory for industry and will include data on phase 1, 2 and 3 clinical trials. The new system is valuable for medical professionals and patients engaged in selecting a new drug therapy, as well as potential trial participants who want as much information as possible before signing up for a new study.

The user-friendly portal invites patients to learn more about available drugs, advocate for themselves, and choose the therapies that best match their unique histories and health needs. The database also demands that pharma companies come clean about both positive and negative results obtained during studies; information that will help improve the accuracy of physician recommendations. And now that citizens have the option to sign up for paid clinical trials, access to a complete drug profile is critical in helping them decide whether or not to participate in testing.