FDA Rejects Sunlight

In the wake of the latest study showing heart attack risk in an FDA-approved drug, there have been increased calls for greater transparency of clinical trial results. What does the U.S. Food and Drug Administration think about requiring companies to publicly release all of their trial results? "I would be very concerned about wholesale posting of thousands of clinical trials leading to mass confusion," said Steve Galso, who directs the FDA's Drug Evaluation and Research division. But Merrill Goozner, who directs the Integrity in Science project of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, doubts that consumers would "be any more confused than they now are from the information they get from direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising. ... Let's not forget that a provision in the FDA reform bill calling for a two-year moratorium on DTC ads on some new drugs was rejected because it limited commercial freedom of speech. In 21st century America, the right to misinform consumers is protected, but consumers' right to information is denied because they might misinform themselves."