Johnson & Johnson to Share Drug Data for Further Research

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In collaboration with Yale University’s Open Data Access Project, also known as the YODA project, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) will begin sharing data from its clinical trials with academics in a move that researchers at YODA hope will encourage other companies to embrace transparency, Bloomberg reports.

Johnson & Johnson’s collaboration with the university’s project means that YODA can release years of data from J&J’s drug findings to outside researchers. The YODA project will serve as an independent third party “to review requests from investigators and physicians seeking access to clinical trials data,” according to Forbes.

Harlan Krumholz, the researcher behind the YODA project, says that the program could be “game-changing.” “There are great insights that are residing within these data,” he said in a telephone interview with Bloomberg. Krumholz believes analyzing the data behind a drug’s clinical trials can help researchers better understand how drugs work, as well as what their risks and benefits are.

The YODA project is part of an “open science” or “open access” movement in the industry. Since 1997, all U.S. clinical trials have to be registered, but that hasn’t stopped companies from covering up and masking embarrassing failures, and drug makers still have a lot of control over which tests they decide to disclose to the public. Hiding failures or disappointments, advocacy groups argue, makes it more difficult to ensure patient safety.

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