"(Reuters) - Global drugmaker Pfizer Inc will broaden access to information from its scores of clinical trials to independent researchers and to patients who take part in the studies, the company said on Wednesday.
Pfizer, the largest U.S. pharmaceutical company, said it hoped the enhanced access to its data will help spur further scientific and medical research as well as encourage more patients to get involved in clinical trials.
"We are impressed to see how active patients are individually to manage and understand their disease, and in patient foundations a tremendous, great job is made to contribute to the advance of care," Pfizer research chief Mikael Dolsten told reporters at the company's New York headquarters. "We think this is the right time to support this trend."
The move comes at a time of increasing pressure on the pharmaceutical industry to be more transparent with clinical trial information - including safety data and details of failed studies - and to increase access for the scientific community.
European health regulators announced a plan to start publishing clinical trial data submitted by companies seeking new drug approvals from next year, a move opposed by some drugmakers. Britain's GlaxoSmithKline has set up an online system to provide researchers with access to anonymous patient-level data about its medicines.
Pfizer has gone a step further by allowing trial patients themselves to access its data.
"We are proud to be, I think, the first company to take this step," Dolsten said.