Product News and Recalls

Drug Makers Pushed Toward Increased Transparency

According to a story in the New York Times, a major effort is currently underway to push the world’s biggest pharmaceutical corporations to open up their records in an effort to help better understand the benefits and potential harms of the drugs that billions of people take every day.

This effort is being led by Dr. Peter Doshi, who adamantly believes that medicine “relies on hierarchies of trust,” the New York Times reported. Dr. Doshi and his associates say the current system is not working, mainly because the limited details of clinical trials that are published in medical journals are insufficient to the point of being misleading and are often done so by authors with financial ties to the companies whose drugs they are writing about.

Despite their uphill battle, headway is beginning to be made as a result of the efforts of Dr. Doshi and his associates. Last fall, the drug giant GlaxoSmithKline made an announcement that they would share detailed data from all of their global clinical trials conducted since 2007. This pledge was later expanded to include all of their products dating back to 2000.

Although that data has yet to be produced, it will be a significant first step from a major drug maker. Once GlaxoSmithKline honor’s their pledge, more than 1,000 clinical trials involving more than 90 drugs will become available to the public. These clinical trials, which are complex studies lasting for years and often involving thousands of patients, are loaded with data that researchers require to help them better understand the benefits and harms of the drug.

This level of transparency in the Pharmaceutical industry is uncommon but GlaxoSmithKline’s CEO, Andrew Witty, said in an interview that his promise to provide detailed clinical data had grown out of a companywide effort. This companywide effort may or may not be coupled with the fact that last year GlaxoSmithKline pleaded guilty to charges and agreed to pay $3 billion in fines for failing to report safety data about its diabetes drug Avandia and other allegations. Whatever the reason, transparency in medical research is a welcomed concept.

The law firm of Lopez McHugh has been involved in major pharmaceutical litigations concerning drugs and medical devices for over 30 years. If you have significant injuries, contact a Lopez McHugh attorney for a free and confidential evaluation.