Drug Database Debated

GlaxoSmithKline creates database for its clinical trials, amid calls for national registry
Under growing pressure to make public data from successful and failed experimental drug trials, GlaxoSmithKline is creating an Internet- accessible database to provide physicians and consumers with information about clinical trials it sponsors. It will include summaries of drug trials and their results, as well as links to medical publications. The database has been under development for several months, but no date for its availability has been disclosed.

The American Medical Association has issued a call for the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a registry for all U.S. clinical trials. Earlier this month, New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer sued GlaxoSmithKline, charging that the drugmaker withheld information about adverse effects of its Paxil antidepressant drug when tested on teens.

There's debate over how such a database would be managed and what data would be included. Some propose using an existing, albeit limited, clinical-trial database operated by the National Library of Medicine as the core for an expanded registry.

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