GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) stands virtually alone among drugmakers in its drive to open its vaults of clinical trials data and provide new access to nitty-gritty details on results. When GSK made headlines for its open data effort in October, it was an easy prediction to say that other major pharma outfits wouldn't immediately follow the London-based drugmaker's lead.
Any such forecasts appear spot on this week, as thousands of clinical trials results remain a mystery due to lack of reporting and no other pharma chiefs have raised their hands and pledged go as far as GSK in providing access to data. More than three months after announcing the open data drive, GSK today endorsed the AllTrials campaign that has gathered thousands of signatures in support of requiring all trials to report results--good or bad--and register the studies.
Today Glaxo, which forked over $3 billion last year to settle charges regarding misleading info on its drugs, also revealed that it would go one step further on its own initiative and also publicly disclose clinical study reports, which shed light on the design, methods and results of trials.
The move appears to clash mightily with comments yesterday from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America's (PhRMA) executive vice president, Josie Martin, who took aim at two of the key proponents of the AllTrials effort and argued for the current system of clinical trials reporting that the campaign seeks to change. Pharmalot's Ed Silverman jumped on the divergent views on trial results disclosures from GSK and the U.S. industry group, noting that the drugmaker is a member. So are most of the major pharma companies in the world.
Basically, PhRMA is questioning the veracity of writings about the disclosure issue from AllTrials backers Dr. Ben Goldacre and the British Medical Journal at the same time one of its largest members, GSK, is supporting their cause. If PhRMA speaks for most major drugmakers, if not GSK, then the London-based drug giant might be feeling a bit lonely on the forefront of the open data movement today.