AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) Agrees To Form A Panel To Review Data Requests


Last week, an announcement was made by AstraZeneca Plc ADR (NYSE:AZN) in which the company unveiled its policy of joining the data disclosure campaign. AstraZeneca Plc ADR (NYSE:AZN) stated that it will be undertaking a policy, under which companies  are required to unveil the data accumulated during clinical trials as per the request of researchers.

Lately pharmaceutical companies have been coming across this issue of data disclosure and as a corollary have been quite pressurized by it. The basis of this issue were several cases which asserted how public is kept ignored regarding the efficacy profiles of drugs. Academics and consumer groups have come forward with this concern about data from clinical trials being kept out of the public’s reach by drug makers.

Therefore, this undisclosed data campaign picked momentum both inside Europe and US. In the former region, European Medicines Agency (EMA) came forward with this data disclosure policy which ought to be paid heed by all pharmaceutical companies. On the other hand, in US as well, the Institute of Medicine urged all pharmaceutical companies to disclose the data from their clinical trials.

Pharmaceutical companies have responded to this data disclosure campaign by stating that such act on their part would be treacherous as far as patient privacy is concerned. They further state that a company’s trade secrets would be compromised and given away if they comply with the demands of this data disclosure campaign.

AstraZeneca Plc ADR (NYSE:AZN) has been under pressure from academics, who have been demanding that the company should set up a scientific board. The scientists present on that board should not be affiliated or employed by the company, and should undertake reviewing of data request. In this context, AstraZeneca Plc ADR (NYSE:AZN) stated that certain requests for data disclosure will be considered by the company. Although, it hasn’t given any details about the scientific board suggested by academics, yet it states that a portal will be created. This portal would enable people to make their data requests.

This step taken up by AstraZeneca Plc ADR (NYSE:AZN) has indeed been appreciated and encouraged. However, despite this fact, people still wonder how independent and unbiased would that review board be. So far four board members have been named. Two out of these members have been carrying out consultations with the company.

A cardiologist working at Yale Open Data Access project said in this regard that independence of this reviewing board is a mandatory element. This ought to be particularly transparent in what they choose to share and what they withhold. It is indeed appreciable that the company has taken an initiative to join this data disclosure campaign, but what it does now will reveal its actions.

The spokeswoman of AstraZeneca Plc ADR (NYSE:AZN) replied to these concerns by asserting that the company has made sure that board members make their decisions with total independence; so that any conflicts might not arise in the company. Moreover, the company shall not be paying the members of this board for their reviewing, so that their decisions are not influenced in any way.

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