A group of UK and US investors who hold more than €3.5 trillion (£2.5 trillion, $3.8 trillion) in assets are asking the pharmaceutical companies they invest in to make all the results of drug tests they do in public. Them AllTrials site Report that 85 pension funds and asset managers support its plans of requiring pharmaceutical companies to organize their plans to have past, current, and future clinical trials registered and their results reported .
Them advertising hopes to force pharmaceutical companies to release all their clinical trial results, regardless of whether they are successful or not, to allow independent researchers to verify the results and the treatments that are good in order to improve improved health and lower maintenance costs. Uncovering the obvious deception is another key decision. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal on new show: “The fines paid by 21 pharmaceutical companies for marketing misconduct between 2007 and mid-2015 were $40 billion (£26 billion), and 43% were directly related to the reduction of side effects identified during home trials -healing but not reporting well.”
As well as avoiding harmful side effects on patients, requiring drug companies to report all of their clinical trial results—failures and successes—has benefits for investors. Helena Viñes Fiestas, Head of Sustainability Research at BNP Paribas Investment Partners, one of the asset managers who joined the call for the opening, is said: “With the company’s prices and incoming cash flows we hope is a key component of the product selection process, it is important that companies publish complete and accurate information on test results so that investment decisions can be fully informed.”
Investors are writing to companies in which they have an interest, asking them to take the following steps:
- Registering past and ongoing clinical trials, and registering all future trials before they start.
- Publication of methods and full results of all trials, including information on adverse events.
- Submitting an objective summary of results within one year of completing the trial, following the guidelines on ClinicalTrials.gov.
- Support efforts to provide independent researchers access to anonymized individual patient data.
AllTrials was established in January 2013, but efforts to bring greater transparency to drug trials have a much longer history. In 2008, Ars wrote about the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) Amendment Act of 2007 that required clinical trials conducted in the US on drugs currently licensed after 2009 to be registered on the site clinicaltrials.gov, and for results to be reported within one year of their completion. But like those AllTrials FAQ notes, this did not achieve the results we had hoped for: “An independent audit in 2012 found that only 22% of tests were in compliance with the law (2007). However no fine has been collected against any company or seeker.”
In 2014, the European Parliament passed it new process require all clinical trials conducted in Europe to be registered before they start and for their results to be reported within a year. However, this will only come into effect in 2016, and may be adversely affected by the results of judicial review on the UK’s Health Research Authority and its work to further inform clinical research.
Against an uncertain legal background, the announcement that investors will tackle the problem from a different angle is welcome news. It can’t be overstated how important it is, and the life-saving data that would be available if Big Pharma were to launch and release the results from all of its clinical trials.
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