Pharma Should Publish Its Trial Results

I recently listened to a panel discussion on the future of biomedical science. The standout participant, an urbane and knowledgeable contributor, was the CEO of a major pharmaceutical company. He won the audience over with his optimistic vision for the future of drug development, his conviction of the necessity of collaboration between academia and industry, and his characterization of the high ethical standards that his company and the industry in general have met.My interest piqued by this and

Richard Gallagher
Apr 25, 2004

I recently listened to a panel discussion on the future of biomedical science. The standout participant, an urbane and knowledgeable contributor, was the CEO of a major pharmaceutical company. He won the audience over with his optimistic vision for the future of drug development, his conviction of the necessity of collaboration between academia and industry, and his characterization of the high ethical standards that his company and the industry in general have met.

My interest piqued by this and by our reporters' work on clinical trials (see the Feature on p. 20), I dug out the ethical principles1 adopted by PhRMA (the Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America), the representative body of the industry. Among the provisions:

"There will be timely communication of meaningful study results, regardless of the outcome of the study. The results must be reported in an objective, accurate, balanced, and complete manner, with...