With all the hubbub, hullaballoo, a kerfluffle recently generated by unsafe, massively popular meds, a handful of our major pharmaceutical companies have begun posting their full, uncensored trial results on the web. Full transparency, the market calls it. But Merck and Pfizer, citing "competitive pressures", haven't followed suit. As Kate notes, this poses a problem as Merck's Vioxx, more than any other drug, is the one that started this rush to transparency by proving itself unsafe. And those competitive pressures Merck is citing really don't make sense. Indeed, competitive pressure would logically demand that they match their competitor's move towards transparency. At least, that's what it'd demand if doing so wouldn't cause grievous harm to the company. So all this calls into question exactly what Merck's internal trials have been showing. It's not the most reassuring move if you swallow any of Merck's products.
Further, and correct me if I'm wrong, but couldn't the FDA force this information forward? Or couldn't a congress that doesn't call Big Pharma's pocket "home" legislate that this information needs to be in the public domain? After all, if the Republicans really do want consumer-driven healthcare, consumers will need access to the data and studies that'll allow them to make wise, informed choices. If competitive pressures are keeping those results locked in a silo somewhere, one would think it would behoove legislators to pressure them out into the light and prove that patients can take an active role in their own health.
On another note, speaking of Kate's site, this really was in the top 5 funny things to ever happen to me.