Besides the U.S. Food and Drug Administration drug companies tend to be rather secretive about releasing information on their research for medicines. For years the important medical data found in research has been kept secret. Today Johnson & Johnson is changing all that by releasing information about Xarelto a drug thinner medicine, Zytiga a pill for prostate cancer, and information about artificial hips and knees made for its orthopedics division or even consumer products.
The process will work something like this: J&J has enlisted The Yale School of Medicine’s Open Data Access Project (YODA) to review requests from doctors looking to obtain data from J&J products. At first this will only pertain products from the drug division, but eventually it will expand to include devices and consumer products. When YODA approves a request, raw, anonymized data will be provided to the requesting doctor; including not just the results from the research, but the results collected for each patient who volunteered for it with identifying information removed. Allowing researchers to re-analyze or combine that data in ways that previously would not have been available.
We really wanted a broad approach to contributing to advancing medical science through all of our products that touch patients in different ways,” says Joanne Waldstreicher, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Johnson & Johnson.
Harlan Krumholz from Yale University will oversee what data information is released to researchers. Krumholz said, ” hopefully a remarkable standard for data sharing that will ripple not only through industry but also through academia from J&J’s leadership.”
This is not the first time a medical company has promised to release important research information, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Medtronic have made similar promises, but only to released information about a single drug product under controversy.
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