Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

OA to clinical trial data working as intended

GlaxoSmithKline's own OA Clinical Trial Register was a major source of data for a new study showing that Avandia, GSK's drug for diabetes, increases the risk of heart attack.  For details see yesterday's Wall Street Journal.  (Thanks to Ari Friedman.)

Update. Apparently scientists studying Avandia risks don't have access to all the GSK data they'd like. See Jonathan Eisen's post about a radio discussion of the problem and his own phoned-in contribution.

Update. Cory Tomsons warns that the role of open data in this case doesn't mean that we can relax efforts to regulate and improve drug safety. Excerpt:

Open access to the data is a good idea, but it is not enough. Public health cannot take place voluntarily or in a legal vacuum. We need regulation to enforce that open access, we need regulation to uncover harmful effects and screen for snake-oil Ďalternative therapiesí, and we need regulation to free doctors and patients from biased sales pitches. Absent this, informed choice about medical treatment is a myth.