Intended for healthcare professionals

Editor's Choice

Open data: seize the moment

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e7332 (Published 31 October 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e7332
  1. Trevor Jackson, deputy editor, BMJ
  1. tjackson{at}bmj.com

One of the most popular videos on TED.com is a mini-lecture by the writer, doctor, and academic Ben Goldacre, called “What doctors don’t know about the drugs they prescribe” (http://tinyurl.com/9y8chac). In the video, Goldacre (whose latest book, Bad Pharma, does much to expose the damage caused by withheld and misreported data from clinical trials) says that in drug trials funded by pharmaceutical companies “positive findings are around twice as likely to be published as negative findings.” Since it was posted two months ago, the video has attracted over 387 000 views. Does this suggest that the public is waking up to one of the biggest scandals in clinical research: that big pharma does not make all the clinical trial data for all drugs in current …

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