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  • BMJ Announces New Publishing Commitment

    Beginning 2013, BMJ will publish articles on drugs and devices only if the clinical trial data is made available for independent scrutiny—whether industry funded or not.

    In an editorial published October 29, BMJ Editor in Chief Fiona Godlee says the recent "brave and benevolent" decision by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to allow access to anonymous patient level data from its clinical trials "really serves to highlight the rank absurdity of the current situation. Why aren't all clinical trial data routinely available for independent scrutiny once a regulatory decision has been made?"

    Under GSK's new policy, an independent panel will assess all requests and access will be granted on the basis of a reasonable scientific question, a protocol, and a commitment from the researchers to publish their results. Godlee says it will be "particularly important to know how many requests are turned down and for what reasons." 

    Godlee also writes that BMJ has intensified its efforts to help resolve a 3-year battle to gain access to full data on oseltamivir (Tamiflu). Taxpayers in the United Kingdom and around the world "have spent billions of dollars stockpiling a drug for which no one except the manufacturer has seen the complete evidence base," she says. 

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