Sunday, October 27, 2013

Ben Goldacre writes

Dear Friends

Yesterday the pharmaceutical company LEO Pharma announced its commitment to publish results of its clinical trials dating back to 1990. They are also going to provide access to anonymised patient-level data dating back to 2000 on request. Great stuff from LEO Pharma! GSK who joined the campaign in February have been sharing their approach with LEO Pharma and with other companies who are having these discussions. These companies are moving further and further away from the obfuscating attitude of the some of the industry trade bodies who seem to want to keep secrecy as the norm.

Also this week, the heads of the European Medicines Agency wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine about the benefits that will come with increased access to clinical trial information. These include using information from past trials to improve how future trials are designed and analysed, greater opportunities to compare the effectiveness of different medicines, and the potential to avoid exposing trial participants to health risks which have already been identified in previous trials.

We have the opportunity to make sure more clinical trial information will be available in the future as the EU Clinical Trials Regulation moves onto the next stage of discussions in Europe. Will you write to your health minister to urge them to keep in the very good progress made to the Regulation so far? We don't have much time as the next stage of the process starts in the first week of November. Write to your health minister this week. You'll find sample letters in many European languages and contact details of the Ministers here.

Around the world there are people waiting to take the campaign to their countries. We need to give them materials to help them do that. We think the best way of communicating our message is to create a video that captures the voices of patients, doctors and researchers, explaining why the information on what was found in clinical trials should be available. We will subtitle the video in many languages to maximise its reach. Please donate to make that happen and tell everyone you know about this fundraising appeal.

Best wishes


No comments: