Nature published an editorial this week reminding pharmaceutical companies of the power of an informed public.

The pharmaceutical industry plays an important role in safeguarding public health. However, this should not make them complacent. Lessons can be learned from the current energy crisis and the banking crisis before it: public opinion matters.

The article states “…concern over the behaviour of pharmaceutical firms is growing.” With campaigns such as AllTrials and the recent wave of bad press following the release of the Public Accounts Committee report, anger over the lack of clinical trial transparency could spread to the wider public. And drug companies require the public to volunteer to test new treatments and buy their products:

“Drug companies must remember that they need the public and its goodwill to test their medicines in the first place. They may have to release more information than they would like, but if they do, it will safeguard the trust and support of the people on whom they ultimately rely”