Health Committee: Hidden Trial Data Should Be Opened Up

Maeve McClenaghan | The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BiJ) | January 16, 2013

The pharmaceutical industry should introduce a new code of practice, ensuring negative trial data cannot be hidden, according to the government’s Health Committee.

In a report published today the committee announced that the deliberate burial of results from clinical trials in order to skew opinion on new pharmaceutical drugs, should neither be ‘legal or considered ethical’.

According to the committee, chaired by MP Stephen Dorrell, ‘there should be both a professional and legal obligation to ensure that all regulators… have access to all the available research data about the efficacy and safety of pharmaceutical products… including negative information.’ It was also recommended that that this information should be publicly available.

The statements came in a report analysing the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), the body responsible for the choice of treatment and drugs on the NHS.