January 23, 2022

TRANSPARENCY: British Medical Journal Demands Immediate Release of All COVID-19 Vaccine, Treatment Data.

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) has demanded the full and immediate release of all data related to COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, saying it is in the public’s interest to do so.

BMJ, a weekly peer-reviewed medical trade journal published by the trade union the British Medical Association, called for the release of the data in an editorial published on Wednesday.

“Today, despite the global rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, the anonymized participant-level data underlying the trials for these new products remain inaccessible to doctors, researchers, and the public—and are likely to remain that way for years to come,” BMJ said. “This is morally indefensible for all trials, but especially for those involving major public health interventions.”

BMJ also accused pharmaceutical companies of “reaping vast profits without adequate independent scrutiny of their scientific claims,” pointing to Pfizer, whose COVID vaccine trial was “funded by the company and designed, run, analyzed, and authored by Pfizer employees.”

New York-headquartered Pfizer still holds that trial data and has indicated that it won’t begin considering requests for such data until May 2025—24 months after the primary study completion date of May 15, 2023, which is listed on ClinicalTrials.gov.

Meanwhile, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had asked a judge to give it 75 years to produce all the data concerning the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine.

However, a judge earlier this month ordered that the FDA make public 12,000 pages of the data it used to make decisions regarding approvals for the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the month. The FDA must also release Pfizer’s vaccine data at a rate of 55,000 pages a month until all of the requested pages are public.

BMJ also noted that AstraZeneca has indicated that it may be ready to entertain requests for data from a number of its phase III trials. However, the Cambridge-headquartered company says that the timeline for such data can “vary per request and can take up to a year upon full submission of the request for analysis, decision, anonymization, and sharing of the requested data or documents.”

They’re already shielded from liability. It’s asking a lot to also be shielded from scrutiny.

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