NICE calls for firms to disclose all drug research

NICE has called for drug firms to publish all research data to enable it to 'carry out its job effectively', but admitted it could not force them to do so.

The call came after Hull researchers who had obtained previously unpublished data on antidepressants found that they were no more effective than placebo for all but patients with the most severe depression.

NICE's clinical and public health director Professor Peter Littlejohns said: 'In order for our guideline development groups to carry out their job effectively we need to have access to all available data. However, we cannot force organisations or companies to submit unpublished data.'

Health minister Ivan Lewis has backed the call for firms to publish all data. ‘'I would call on any company in possession of any relevant evidence to make it available to NICE,' he told the Observer.

He said firms that failed to do so would give the impression they had 'something to hide'.

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