On Tuesday my industry presented our commitments on data sharing at a conference “A roadmap for sharing clinical trial data”. It was important for us to get these out to the public. It has taken time to get here and we know we have come slowly to the debate. However, we strongly feel that our commitments will answer a lot of the shortcomings of the current draft EMA position on clinical trials. Our commitments mean we will be sharing much more information than before, and this is about doing that big time- while making the processes manageable. We will also share the results of clinical trials with those who participate in them; while continuing to publish the results to all the trials we undertake both positive and negative.
We know that this could have been done a year or two years ago, but nevertheless, we believe it’s not too late. We still have work to ensure that these commitments stand the test of time, and we will be working with all our stakeholders to ensure that we get the right balance in each of our commitments.
We also know that everyone does not agree. We saw that at the conference, through Professor Goldacre but also with other panelists and attendees. Yet, this is where the discussion starts for us and we want to openly discuss with all stakeholders. This is not only about us; but about how our industry interacts with its stakeholders, and how we can best deliver for patients and get the information that researchers need to them.
There is still a long way to go before we find a solution that will make everyone happy: we may never find one that does. However, we as an industry want to be held accountable for the commitments we are putting forward. And we look forward to the road ahead.
As for the conference this was not just another industry meets industry meeting. It was a great intersection of the health sector. There were some brilliant panels, ideas and people. That is what makes this industry so great: the people that are in it. Even if we do not agree on everything there is more that brings us together than separates us.