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Boehringer plans to open trial data back to 1998

Will partner with Sanofi, GSK, Roche, Novartis and ViiV Healthcare on online platform

Boehringer Ingelheim headquarters 

Boehringer Ingelheim has announced that it intends to make drug data from clinical trials stemming back to 1998 accessible as part of efforts to improve research transparency within the industry.

The move is part of a collaboration with fellow pharma companies Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Roche and ViiV Healthcare on an online platform to handle requests from researchers for trial data.

Boehringer's chairman Dr Andreas Barner made the announcement at Boehringer's annual company meeting yesterday, following up from a commitment to transparency announced at the same meeting in 2013.

Dr Barner, who also heads R&D at Boehringer, explained that the online platform - available at clinicalstudydatarequest.com - currently contained 50 trials available for which to request patient-level data, but the plan is to reach 500 from all involved parties.

“That's quite a job to achieve. but we have to do it in interest of what data and information can be shared with others,” said Dr Barner.

“We have always argued in favour of transparency and now want a more scientific discussion on the level of trial data and have therefore joined up with several research-based pharmaceutical companies in order to make clinical trials data and documents available to a wider public.”

This platform was spearheaded by GSK, but the other partners, including Boehringer, joined at the beginning of 2014, coinciding with new data sharing policies announced by the trade bodies European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).

By attaching itself to this platform, Dr Barner said that Boehringer and its partners were “way ahead” of other companies in terms of abiding by new legislation on trial transparency recently voted for by the European Parliament and expected to take effect in 2016.

“What's being discussed at EU level is something we are in process of handling on a broad basis and in a decent way,” he said. “We are happy to have taken steps. It's expensive but it's the way pharma should move.”

The announcement comes the same week that Roche - one of Boehringer's partners in the data sharing platform - was heavily criticised for not sharing data that questioned the effectiveness of its flu drug Tamiflu, meaning governments had potentially wasted hundreds of millions of pounds stockpiling the drug in preparation of a swine flu pandemic.

Roche has dismissed these claims made by the Cochrane Collaboration, saying it “stands behind the wealth of data for Tamiflu and the decisions of public health agencies worldwide”.

Article by
Thomas Meek

16th April 2014

From: Research

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