GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has further demonstrated its commitment to clinical trial transparency by announcing its support for the AllTrials campaign. The campaign is calling for registration of clinical trials and the disclosure of clinical trial results and clinical study reports (CSRs) to help drive further scientific understanding.
GSK already publicly discloses a significant amount of information about its clinical trials. The company registers and posts summary information about each trial it begins and shares the results of all its clinical trials—whether positive or negative—on a website accessible to all. Today this website includes almost 5,000 clinical trial result summaries and receives an average of almost 11,000 visitors each month. The company has also previously committed to seek publication of the results of all of its clinical trials that evaluate its medicines to peer-reviewed scientific journals.
Expanding on this, GSK is committing to make CSRs publicly available through its clinical trials register. CSRs are formal study reports that provide more details on the design, methods and results of clinical trials and form the basis of submissions to the FDA, EMA and other regulatory agencies. From now, GSK will publish CSRs for all of its medicines once they have been approved or discontinued from development and the results have been published. This is to allow for the data to be first reviewed by regulators and the scientific community. Patient data in the CSRs and their appendices will be removed to ensure patient confidentiality is maintained.
In addition, while there are practical challenges, the company also intends to publish CSRs for clinical outcomes trials for all approved medicines dating back to the formation of GSK. This will require retrieval and examination of each historic CSR to remove confidential patient information. Given the significant volume of studies involved, the company will put in place a dedicated team to conduct this work which it expects to complete over a number of years. Posting will take place in a step-wise manner, with priority given to CSRs for its most commonly prescribed medicines.
"We are committed to being transparent with our clinical trial data to help advance scientific understanding and inform medical judgment,” said Patrick Vallance, president, pharmaceuticals R&D, GSK. “Our commitment also acknowledges the very great contribution made by the individuals who participate in clinical research. All those involved in the conduct and publication of clinical research, whether healthcare companies like GSK, academia or research organizations, have a role to play in ensuring that the data they generate are made publicly available to help bring patient benefit."
Separately, in October 2012, and going further than the call made by the AllTrials campaign, GSK announced it would develop a system where researchers will be able request access to detailed anonymized patient level data that sit behind the results of clinical trials to enable additional scientific inquiry and analyses to help further scientific knowledge.