Thursday, September 18, 2014

Clinical Trials and Data: What's the disconnect?

A survey of 37 clinical trials conducted in the past 64 years was recently conducted to see what the results were after the trials data had been re-analyzed.  What the Journal of the American Medical Association found was that two scientists looking at the same data came to differing opinions 35% of the time.  According to the Wall Street Journal, of those 37 trials mentioned above, when re-researched with the data collected in the clinical trial, thirteen of the trials researchers came to completely different conclusions than the original.

John Ioannidis, director of the Stanford Preventative Research Center and the senior author of the study, calls for data to be made available publicly for scrutiny and analysis from different parties.  Trust of clinical trials has been questioned over the years - and data analysis from multiple parties could solve that.

The Wall Street Journal is not the only news source pointing towards a more open clinical data sharing future.  The Pharma Letter lists many of the government organizations that are calling for the sharing of clinical trial data including the World Health Organization, the US National Institute of Health, US Congress, the European Commission and others.  In addition to scientists being allowed to review the studies, doctors could make interpretation for themselves.  Patients could as well.  New treatments could be developed by fresh sets of eyes looking at the data.

Clinical data sharing has been the topic of discussion for quite some time.  What do you think will be the catalyst for Pharma sharing their clinical trial data in the future?

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