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Pressured by new regulations, public image issues, negative publicity and a desire to promote better use of health data, pharmaceutical companies and other clinical trial sponsors are starting initiatives to expose and share their clinical trial information. Recent announcements to share previously confidential data include those by GlaxoSmithKline and the CEO Roundtable on Cancer. In addition to positive media attention and altruistic reasons, pharmaceutical companies also see this as an opportunity to improve the research process and increase the opportunities to identify scientific breakthroughs helping both their companies as well as the larger healthcare environment. Providing access to clinical trial data with the ability to aggregate information for meta-analyses greatly increases the likelihood for identifying new medical breakthroughs as well as decreasing the time to market for effective, safe treatments. But data sharing and data transparency initiatives still face significant challenges both in their creation and execution. This paper outlines the potential value of data-sharing initiatives and the hurdles to successfully creating a data sharing environment. Learn what components are needed and how best to support or participate in this next step in the evolution of clinical research.
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