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“Clinical Trial Data must be accessible and transparent” Martina Anderson

5 June, 2013 - by Martina Anderson MEP


Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has called for all data from pharmaceutical and other medical tests to be transparent and accessible to medical professionals.

Martina Anderson said:

“Clinical trials are among the most robust and durable sources of scientific information, generating knowledge to save lives.  Clinical trials are the bedrock of scientific medicine, however, the lack of transparency and availability of data from these trials can have negative implications for the health and wellbeing of many.

“As it stands, big pharmaceutical companies retain control over data from clinical trials.  They can therefore decide what clinical information they wish to make public. It allows for suppression of unfavourable findings and publishing only those clinical results complimentary to their products. ‘Big Pharma’ represents over 300 lobbyists at the European Parliament, paid to ensure that research findings which may negatively impact on profits receive the minimum amount of exposure.

“What does this mean for the medical profession and for the health and wellbeing of the general population? It means that medical professionals may not have access to the full information required to assess the most appropriate and safest treatments for patients. Not being in possession of complete data on specific drugs can impede the ability of professional medical personnel when making crucial decisions regarding patient care or deciding Health budgets.

“These concerns are supported by the fact that 90% of prescribed medicines don't work for 30-50% of people largely because of their genotype. This results in wasteful spending of finite resources and poor health care for the patient.

“The Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee of the EU recently voted on proposals to increase the transparency of clinical trials.  I supported this position and along with others achieved an improved EU directive relating to transparency.  This is a step in the right direction but we must go further. Lobbyists such as ‘Big Pharma’ cannot be allowed to hold the power to influence decision makers in Europe through release of incomplete data from clinical trials.

“It is past time that we put the health and welfare of people above the profiteering of powerful industries and their lobbyists.”

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