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Price concessions for February 2018

The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) have released 3 sets of price concession price lists for February 2018. Once again, the total amount for England for the month has reduced: we’ve estimated the impact as £9.37 million for February 2018, although this is based on December 2017 data (the latest we have), and is therefore likely to reduce slightly (as February has fewer days). The total for 2017-18 so far is £308.

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Welcoming our new DataLab team member, Darren Smyth: a lawyer!

Here at the DataLab we are a truly multidisciplinary team: clinicians, academics and software engineers, working together to produce tools, as well as papers. This is glorious fun, and productive. From our time working together as a team we now have software engineers who know about clinical trials, prescribing data, and more; and we have researchers and clinicians who know a bit about building websites. This may or may not thrill you, but I will share it: our academics write code that runs live on our websites!

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Our FDAAA TrialsTracker is already helping to get new trials reported!

When we launched our FDAAA TrialsTracker we wanted to produce a tool that would improve clinical trial reporting, rather than another repetitive academic journal paper that simply documents the extent of the problem. This reflects our ethos in the DataLab: clinicians, academics and software engineers, working together to produce tools, as well as papers. Two weeks after launch we have had extensive media coverage, and a lot of great user feedback.

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Bad results from drug trials no longer have a place to hide

“If you’re a huge company trying to develop a new drug or treatment, the temptation to hide ‘bad’ results might be a strong one. Until now, you would be able to hide those results with few consequences.” In this Wired article, Abigail Beall, discusses the Alltrials campaign and the FDAAA TrialsTracker

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OpenPrescribing February 2018 Newsletter

Price Concessions - starting to reduce? The latest price concession information for January has been released by the PSNC (in fact, two sets of data in quick succession). The PSNC have also stated that they are “still in discussion with the DHSC regarding further January 2018 price concessions”. Therefore we have made some calculations based on what we know at the moment - as soon as there are changes we will update this blog.

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Unreported Trial of the Week: NCT01846221

With the launch of our FDAAA TrialsTracker, applicable trials that have failed to report their results on ClinicalTrials.gov are starting to appear. If you go here on our Tracker (the “All Trials” view, and toggle the “due” filter) you can see all the trials that have not yet reported. Non-reporting of clinical trial results in an ongoing, global public health issue. We are going to start highlighting some of these unreported trials in blog posts to shine a light on what information is being withheld from the public as a result of non-reporting.

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Making the FDAAA TrialsTracker even better than current ClinicalTrials.gov data

When you produce online tools from data, you often get useful feedback that helps you improve the outputs. (Send us feedback any time!). Additionally, when you use data, you learn about interesting glitches in it, some of which can be entirely undocumented. Here we share one example of helpful feedback, and how we used it to improve our tool. First some background. Trial reporting is a huge problem in medicine: the results of clinical trials are routinely withheld from doctors, researchers, and patients.

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Why is this trial due to report?

Now that we’ve launched our FDAAA TrialsTracker, we plan on occasionally taking a closer look at some of the trials that go unreported. Our first blog was about a trial examining 2 drug combinations for managing pain during labor (NCT01846221). So why do we think this specific trial is due to report? While we go through how we established our criteria and set up our database in detail in our preprint paper on Biorxiv, we wanted to walk you through exactly what fields matter on ClinicalTrials.

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Tool 'names and shames' hidden drug trials

“Institutions that fail to report the results of their drug and medical trials will be named on a new website.” In this BBC article, Chris Foxx, highlights the FDAAA TrialsTracker. Quoting DataLab Director, Ben Goldacre, “I’m not interested in naming and shaming people in order to criticise them. This project is being done to nudge institutions to prioritise trial reporting.”

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The FDAAA TrialsTracker is Live!

This week, we launched our FDAAA TrialsTracker which gives you a live look at whether individual sponsors and trialists are meeting their responsibility to report the results of clinical trials on ClinicalTrials.gov. A lot of work went into the tracker and making sure we got it right. You can read all about our methods, in detail, here but the short version goes like this… Certain trials registered on ClinicalTrials.gov, the US trial registry run by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), are required to report their results.

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