GSK to publish clinical trial data for drugs

Pharmaceutical giant shocks medical world by opting to reveal findings of all tests on patients

Britain’s largest pharmaceutical company has stunned the medical world by announcing it would back a campaign to publish all clinical trial results to preserve the safety of medicines.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced the move eight months after it was hit with a record $3bn (£1.9bn) fine in the US last July, in part for withholding safety data about its best selling diabetes drug, Avandia.

In all, 26 drug companies – including eight of the 10 biggest global players – have racked up fines of more than $11bn (£7bn) in the last three years after having been found to have acted dishonestly.

The results of clinical trials, most of which are funded by the drug industry, are frequently withheld when they deliver disappointing results. This distorts the evidence base and raises doubts about the safety of medicines that are available on the market.

GSK said in a statement it would sign up to the alltrials.net campaign which is seeking the registration of all clinical trials, the reporting of all summary results and for full Clinical Study Results – the detailed findings – to be made public.

Campaign organisers who include Ben Goldacre, best-selling author of Bad Pharma, Fiona Godlee, editor of the British Medical Journal and Sir Iain Chalmers, co-founder of the Cochrane Library, said it was a “cartwheel moment.” Dr Goldacre said he had met Andrew Whitty, chief executive of GSK, last week.

“It was clear they have spent a lot of time thinking about these issues. While I will always wait for proof of the pudding I do not believe this is mere lip service,” Dr Goldacre said.

“There is no serious defence for withholding information about clinical trials from doctors and patients. It is simply unethical and it harms patients.”

Observers said GSK had occupied the moral high ground by its move and rival firms would likely follow suit.

The alltrials.net campaign has grown rapidly since publication of Bad Pharma four months ago, winning the backing of the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust. The Commons Science and Technology Committee has announced an inquiry into missing trials.

The latest target of the campaigners is the Swiss multinational Roche, which has been accused by the British Medical Journal of sitting on trial data for its flu treatment, Tamiflu, which governments around the world have stockpiled against a possible pandemic at a cost of billions of pounds.

GSK also said it intends to publish details of trials for all approved  medicines dating back to its formation in 2000.

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
art
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

    Guru Careers: Software Developer

    £35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

    Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

    Day In a Page

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine