Calls for transparency in the pharmaceutical industry have grown in recent years, focusing on issues including pricing, access to medicine and how companies report finances. While these calls for transparency have come from healthcare professionals, investors and regulatory bodies, the cause for clinical trial transparency has had a vocal leader in Ben Goldacre.
Based on trends in social media discussion over the last three months, alva has identified the following risks to the pharma sector where clinical trial transparency is concerned:
- AllTrials expansion in the US and beyond. Multiple tweets ask for AllTrials to “go global”, and recent articles in US news media signify that awareness of this issue is likely to grow
- Emotional campaigning linked to topics including veterinary care and prevention of patient harm. Members of the general public have shared posts using this emotional messaging to boost visibility among a patient audience
- Campaigns to “name and shame” universities not reporting clinical trial results as required. This poses a risk to individual pharmaceutical companies that are partnered with targeted institutions – and could augment criticism of individual firms
Though the issue of clinical trial transparency currently represents only a minor risk in relation to the general public, it is possible that increasing public awareness combined with Goldacre’s determination to “name and shame” will bring more individual companies – and their record on trial transparency – into the spotlight of public discussion.