The AllTrials transparency campaign says it is at a crossroads and is looking to take the next step into becoming a larger force against the restriction of clinical trial data by pharma.
Sir Iain Chalmers – co-founder of the Cochrane Collaboration – said this week that transparency has been “mired in 25 years of false promises and failed initiatives” and backs the AllTrials initiative, which has been set up by the BMJ, Bad Science and Sense about Science.
It has gained big names and big backing – including over 80 patient groups, NICE, IQWiG, the BMA and, most importantly GlaxoSmithKline (although no other pharma firm or lobby group, at time of publishing). In all, 40,000 people have now signed the AllTrials register.
But despite its success, Sense about Science says that the “impetus for change could now go either way” in a new statement released this week.
It continues: “There are many who hope that AllTrials will fizzle out and go away, as previous efforts have done - what happens next is up to all of us. We need your help to grow internationally, and to push for a decisive and permanent change.”
Specifically, the campaign wants 1 million signatures on the register, adding that with every 10,000 new signatures, the campaign will send the petition to health ministers in every country, and to regulators.
It also wants more international groups backing AllTrials and is asking those who have already signed to write to medical associations in every country to get them to sign up to the campaign.
Lastly, it is asking for £40,000 in order to “keep going” as it says it has, so far, worked with “almost no budget”.
“We need funds to produce a website that keeps everyone updated on the campaign, to spread news and to organise events,” Sense about Science said in a statement.
“We need the time to work with policy makers who are being aggressively briefed by organisations spending vast sums on lobbyists. Please donate whatever you can, even very small amounts make a difference,” it added.
But it concludes, perhaps ominously for pharma, that: “Over the coming weeks we’ll be making sure that the world hears a lot more about this issue.”