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Do patients have the most appropriate medicines for the best health outcomes?

Over the last 100 years clinical trials have been undertaken, although most have probably not been published. Mainly humans publish evidence that proves their theory is right, not that their theory is unproven or even incorrect (makes me wonder about the evidence on global warming). Many papers no doubt did not get published because of non outcomes or negative outcomes that don’t help the payers, represented in this debate as the Pharma companies.

This was by necessity a very dry debate, there is the very serious issue of whether patients have had the most appropriate medicines for best health outcomes. I think few are in any doubt that 50 years ago medicines came onto the market with selected data that would have been unacceptable today. What raises eyebrows is that one major Pharma company submitted a new medicine to the German market on “selected data”. The German authorizing body demanded all the data, eventually gained this, and then reviewed and rejected the product. Another major Pharma company currently has a financially large product on the market, there is much speculation on the “overall product benefit” and at this time the Pharma company refuses to release all data from all the clinical trials.

Pharma companies are placed in a difficult position, virtually all have “improving health” in their vision statements; to GSK's credit they have moved their position and are doing a “timed” rollback of all clinical trial data, starting with current marketed products.

Here lies the difficulty of a solution; inevitably some evidence will come to light that “best medicine” was not used, that there will be bodiesindividuals then seeking compensation. Indeed I asked this question to “Ben Goldacre" and he said words to the effect - "there probably needs to be some timelines beyond which there is some protection for the Pharma companies". However I’m not aware of any authority that would pass a “world” law that would effectively allow such protection, and as such a Pharma company publishing all the trial data may well be the cause of it’s own downfall for a drug sold 50 years ago! I for one am not convinced that digging into the past and potentially financially crippling our current Pharma companies is going to help the spend on research and development of new medicines. It seems to me that the release of all clinical trial data on currently marketed and new medicines is a healthy starting point.

Mark Denton
Managing Director

14th May 2013

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Zenopa Ltd

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Do patients have the most appropriate medicines for the best health outcomes?
Over the last 100 years clinical trials have been undertaken, although most have probably not been published. Mainly humans publish evidence that proves their theory is right, not that their theory is unproven or even incorrect (makes me wonder about the evidence on global warming). Many papers no doubt did not get published because of non outcomes or negative outcomes that don’t help the payers, represented in this debate as the Pharma companies.
Zenopa Ltd