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Considerable effort from many parties has gone into the recent drive to ensure ALL clinical trail data is published and is accessible to all. The European Medicines Agency's decision to publish all clinical trail data it holds once a drug has been approved should come as a great victory to all those who have campaigned for such transparency.
It had appeared that the pharmaceutical industry was resigning itself to this reality, but it now seems that several firms are not so keen on total transparency.
Dirk Van Eeden is reported to be contesting the EMA's disclosure of data relating to Humira “to protect AbbVie’s confidential and commercially sensitive information.” Despite pledging his support to transparency of data that benefit patients and doctors, he added, "We do not support the disclosure of confidential clinical information that does not meaningfully contribute to the scientific review or evaluation of our products."
Thus, it seems, AbbVie's interpretation of what constitutes transparency differs from the EMA's, amongst others'. Can the concept of transparency be open to interpretation, and can there be varying degrees of it? If so, the quest for total disclosure may be entering murky waters...
No competing interests
17 March 2013
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