The Chair of NICE has told MPs on the House of Commons Health Select Committee that when clinical trial results are kept hidden, the contribution of patients gets ignored. NICE, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, is the UK public body which evaluates the benefits and cost effectiveness of medicines and treatments and makes recommendations about which the NHS should provide. Professor David Haslam was asked during a hearing on the work of NICE on Tuesday 2nd September 2014 whether pharmaceutical companies should be able to keep their data secret. He told MPs:

We were early signatories of the campaign. We ask for a signature from the UK medical director of pharmaceutical companies that we have all the data relevant to the topic – the drug that we’re considering. Again it’s an area we do take extremely seriously.

My personal view on this is I can see no reason whatsoever not to publish all the data, and I think there’s a moral imperative from the point of view of the patients who’ve been part of the trials that their time, their effort shouldn’t be ignored. I think everything should be in the public domain and I’ve always felt that way very strongly.


Chair of NICE backs call for all clinical trial data to be public The BMJ (£)