Rating clinical transparency

Bioethics International, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to raising the bar on ethics, trustworthiness, and patient-centricity in pharma, has ranked the top 20 largest pharmaceutical companies on clinical trial transparency, in the form of the Good Pharma Scorecard (GPS), published in BMJ Open.

This is the second publication of the GPS, which is an annual index that ranks large pharmaceutical companies and new drugs on their clinical transparency. Of a total of 11 ranked companies, Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi were the two that achieved the highest overall clinical trial transparency scores, with scores of 100 per cent, while AbbVie, Celgene, Merck and Astra Zeneca all scored at or above the industry median.

Clinical trial registration, results reporting, clinical study report synopsis sharing, and journal article publication rates for new drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2014 that were sponsored by large drug companies are evaluated by the ranking. The goal is to help advance high-quality, patient-centric and ethical healthcare innovation, medical evidence and drug development.

According to the 2017 GPS, meaningful progress has been made on several key metrics since the first Scorecard was released in 2015. The proportion of all drugs with phase 2 or 3 trials disclosed form their new drug applications (NDAs) was found to have increased from 50 per cent in the 2015 rankings to 67 per cent, and the public availability of results for trials conducted for patients in each drug increased from a median of 87 to 96 per cent.

“We created the GPS to help advance trustworthiness and ethics in the pharmaceutical sector, by setting clear ethics standards and benchmarking the performance of companies against those standards every year,” said Dr Jennifer Miller, PhD, founder of Bioethics International and lead author on the paper. “This year's Scorecard shows clear corporate leaders in clinical trial transparency and industry improvement on several metrics. We hope this improvement continues year after year, because clinical trial transparency is critical for advancing innovation, respect for trial participants, and patient health.”