Disclosure of Clinical Trial Data: Why Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act Should Be Restored

By: Janene Boyce

Clinical trial data generated during the FDA drug approval process can be very valuable. While patients and doctors desperately need this information to make informed choices about medical treatment, drug sponsors strive to keep this resource secret to ensure their ability to profit from their own research. In the wake of the controversy over antidepressant use in children, both the public and Congress have called for the disclosure of all clinical trial data. However, rather than taking an all-or-nothing approach that could harm the development of new drugs, this iBrief argues that Congress should address the issue of trial data disclosure by restoring the proper balance to Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act.

Cite: 2005 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 0003

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