Apr 05, 2013 - 11:58 am
Just returned from an appointment with my oncologist and found this email from Ben Goldacre and Tracey Brown waiting for me. I hope folks here will take this as seriously as I, for one, feel it warrants.
You, and 40,000 other people around the world, have signed the AllTrials petition. We are on the threshold of significant change, but we now urgently need help from all of you to make this a reality.
Your support has already persuaded hundreds of organisations to commit to the aim of getting all clinical trials registered and their results reported. These include regulators and faculties. GSK, one of the biggest drug companies in the world, has signed up and others are considering it. Some of these groups are now starting discussions about the practical ways to stop trial results being withheld.
So far we’ve created a ripple, and got some important commitments. We have empowered individuals in large organisations to speak up, and it has changed the mainstream opposition on this issue. In doing so, we have also challenged those who try to pretend that the problem doesn’t exist, or who falsely claim that it has already been fixed.
But this impetus for change could now go either way. Sir Iain Chalmers – co-founder of the Cochrane Collaboration - this week described on the MRC website how transparency has been mired in 25 years of false promises and failed initiatives. There are many who hope that AllTrials will fizzle out, and go away, as previous efforts have done. What happens next is up to all of us.
We need your help to grow internationally, and to push for a decisive and permanent change. This is what we want your help to achieve:
One million signatures on the petition. That number cannot be ignored. Ask 10 people you know to sign this week, put a link on your blog or your organisation’s website. With every 10,000 new signatures, we will send the petition to health ministers in every country and to regulators.
More international organisations signed up. It is vitally important that organisations take a stand on this issue and join the discussion about how to get all clinical trial results reported for all treatments in current use, not just those that may come along in the future. Some of you have already been very successful in persuading professional bodies, employers and other organisations to join. Can you write to medical organisations in your country
£40,000 so we can keep going. So far we have worked with almost no budget. At EvidenceLive last week we appealed for help and immediately received £6,000 of pledges, which is so welcome. We need funds to produce a website that keeps everyone updated on the campaign, to spread news and to organise events. We need the time to work with policy makers who are being aggressively briefed by organisations spending vast sums on lobbyists. Please donate whatever you can, even very small amounts make a difference: www.justgiving.com/alltrials, and let us know if there are other ways you can help raise funds.
If you have anything further to offer, please contact Síle Lane firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you also for the material you have been sending us about the effects of secrecy and transparency. Over the coming weeks we’ll be making sure that the world hears a lot more about this issue.
Twenty five years of failure is too long. Doctors need all the results, of all the trials, on all the treatments we use today. With your help, we could now achieve this, together.
Ben and Tracey