For too long the results of clinical drug trials have been subject to publication bias, caused by the tendency for drug companies to publish positive results but not negative results. This not only effects public opinion but also the conclusions drawn by independent reviewers who often rely too heavily on the assumption that the articles published in journals accurately represent the results of all clinical trials.
Luckily in the past few years there has been a small but growing band of determined academics and researchers who have had the brevity to stand up to some of the biggest and most powerful pharmaceutical companies in the world and demand that they share with the general public the details of clinical trials that are often kept shrouded in mystery.
Peter Doshi of John Hopkins University in Baltimore is one such person. Despite strong opposition from companies that have a huge financial incentive to keep this sort of information quiet he has managed to force the drug giant GlaxoSmithKline into sharing details of all global clinical trials it has conducted since 2000. The data has not yet been produced but when it is this will be a first for a major drug maker.
To read a recent New York Times article about Peter Doshi go to www.nytimes.com/2013/06/30/business/breaking-the-seal-on-drug-research.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&