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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

AllTrials vs PhRMA

The AllTrials campaign asks for all trials to be registered and their results published. Ben Goldacre says we need the evidence to make informed decisions about medicines. John Castellani says mandatory disclosure could affect patient privacy, stifle discovery, and allow competitors or unscrupulous actors to use the information.
There is a very interesting battle taking place between AllTrials and  PhRMA.

PhRMA Mission Statement:

PhRMA's mission is to conduct effective advocacy for public policies that encourage discovery of important new medicines for patients by pharmaceutical and biotechnology research companies. To accomplish this mission, PhRMA is dedicated to achieving these goals in Washington, the states and the world:

  • Broad patient access to safe and effective medicines through a free market, without price controls;
  • Strong intellectual property incentives;
  • And transparent, effective regulation and a free flow of information to patients.

It's time all clinical trial results are reported.
Patients, researchers, pharmacists, doctors and regulators everywhere will benefit from publication of clinical trial results. Wherever you are in the world please sign the petition:
Thousands of clinical trials have not reported their results; some have not even been registered.
Information on what was done and what was found in these trials could be lost forever to doctors and researchers, leading to bad treatment decisions, missed opportunities for good medicine, and trials being repeated.
All trials past and present should be registered, and the full methods and the results reported.
We call on governments, regulators and research bodies to implement measures to achieve this.

AllTrials logo
The Cargo Cult Scientist is pretty transparent with opinions on the honesty of the pharmaceutical industry. I think we need help being honest. It's not that we're bad people, just that we are in bad situations. Specific outcomes make or break our careers. We have an incentive to highlight the good and hide the bad. In science however, we have to leave our hopes and dreams at the door. What we perceive as good and bad should not effect our judgement. The problem is that we are all human beings. The solution is transparency. 
If you've made up your mind to test a theory, or you want to explain some idea, you should always decide to publish it whichever way it comes out. If we only publish results of a certain kind, we can make the argument look good. We must publish both kinds of results. - R. Feynman 

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