Pharmaceutical Companies Refuse to Release Vaccine Data

The BMJ’s editor in chief Kamran Abbasi, along with senior editor Peter Doshi and former editor in chief Fiona Godlee, warn us of the following:

“Today, despite the global rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, the participant level data underlying the trials for these new products remain inaccessible to doctors, researchers, and the public—and are likely to remain that way for years to come.” They continue to write that “this is morally indefensible for all trials, especially those involving major public health interventions.”

“The BMJ supports vaccination policy based on sound evidence,” they write. “As the global vaccine rollout continues, it cannot be justifiable or in the best interests of patients and the public that we are left to just trust ‘in the system,’ with the distant hope that the underlying data may become available for independent scrutiny at some point in the future.”

“Pharmaceutical companies are reaping vast profits without adequate independent scrutiny of their scientific claims. The purpose of regulators is not to dance to the tune of rich global corporations and enrich them; it is to protect the health of their populations. We need complete data transparency for all studies, we need it in the public interest, and we need it now.”

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