GlaxoSmithKline To Make Clinical Trial Data Available To Other Researchers

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) CEO Andrew Witty “said on Thursday detailed data from its clinical trials would be made available to other researchers,” Reuters reports, adding, “That would include anonymized patient-level results that sit behind clinical trials of approved and failed drugs” (Hirschler, 10/11). In a speech to the Wellcome Trust in London on Thursday, Witty said that “openness to the public and active collaboration with scientists and firms outside GSK are essential to finding new drugs to treat the diseases plaguing the world, from novel antibiotics to cures for malaria and tuberculosis,” the Guardian writes (Boseley, 10/10). “The initiative will enable researchers to examine the data more closely or combine data from different studies to carry out further research and learn more about how medicines work, the company said,” according to the Wall Street Journal (Falconi, 10/11).

“Researchers contacted about the plan on Wednesday expressed a mix of enthusiasm and skepticism, citing the recent $3 billion settlement by GlaxoSmithKline with the federal government over charges that the company had misrepresented trial data for popular drugs like Avandia and Paxil,” the New York Times writes. “Still, the company is taking a step in the right direction, the researchers said, and might set a precedent in an industry that could use more transparency,” the newspaper notes, adding, “Whether more disclosure might lead to safer, more effective drugs remains to be seen” (Thomas, 10/11). “Witty also pledged to seek publication of the results of all clinical trials that evaluate Glaxo’s medicines — regardless of what they say — to peer-reviewed scientific journals,” the Wall Street Journal notes (10/11).