This August 29, 2011 Financial Times article by Andrew Jack provides an update on big pharma, litigation, disclosures and graphics on disclosed payments to doctors.
Kudos to two Duane Morris defense lawyers for this pragmatic, new National Law Journal article about industry sponsored research. The entire article should be read. Hopefully you can be enticed to do that by this excerpt from their concluding section:
"To potentially alleviate concerns and criticisms of corporate-funded research, researchers may be required to share data and support the study’s reliability in regulatory and judicial proceedings. Such openness about funding, methodology and results can help curb common criticisms regarding lack of transparency. By increasing access to privately funded data with appropriate safeguards, corporations can improve their standing with the public as well as in courtrooms across the United States.
Corporate-sponsored research has in many instances become an indispensable aid to the advancement of knowledge in the scientific community. The stigmatization of corporate-sponsored research should not dissuade corporations and industries from continuing to invest in research, both inside and outside of the litigation context. Corporate litigants should consider taking on courts and opposing parties directly and challenging the judicial system to evaluate the merits of the studies under the standards set forth by the Supreme Court in Daubert and its progeny — regardless of the financial backing.
Kenneth M. Argentieri is the co-chairman of the products liability group at Duane Morris and is based in the firm’s Pittsburgh office. Gerald J. Schirato Jr. is a litigation associate in that office."
Sponsored research is a topic many times covered on this blog, with an emphasis on the need for disclosure and transparency – click on the "sponsored research" topic (to the right) to see the collection. Some of the posts collect scientific articles on the subject.
Transparency is indeed crucial. Transparency builds trust, and today, trust is a waning asset for much of corporate America, as well as government. Over the next few years, it will be interesting to see how many such entities will follow the Duane Morris advice to share research data and disclose all payments.