Sorry, some of the evidence on the use of statins that has come from trials is not even available to you?
Host Mishal Husain asked this on the Today programme this morning in piece on draft guidelines on statins and an open letter from nine doctors and academics highlighting that data on the side-effects of statins remain hidden. Here’s some more of her interview with Professor Mark Baker, Director of the Centre for Clinical Practice at the National Institute for Health Care and Excellence (NICE):
Baker: All the evidence that we have available will be put in the public domain but as is often the case with commercially-sponsored trials not all the evidence is always known to be available.
Husain: Sorry, some of the evidence on the use of statins that has come from trials is not even available to you?
Baker: That is correct. And that applies to a wide range of commercially-funded trials. No organisation is working harder than NICE to have full disclosure of the content of all the evidence from trials.
Husain: But how can you possibly come to a credible judgement in this final guidance that you’re going to issue within the next month on whether statins should be prescribed more widely when even you don’t have access to all the scientific information that’s out there?
Researchers at NICE have told us that they are forced to spend some of their time chasing down data and fighting legal battles to get it when they would prefer to be focused on analysing the evidence and writing guidelines.
We need all clinical trials to be registered and results reported so that organisations like NICE and everyone who makes decisions about medicines have the full picture.