GSK increases disclosure of MD payments

GlaxoSmithKline has issued a new corporate responsibility statement that's sure to please fans of disclosure. Following up on last year's promise to increase physician payment transparency, the company said it will now disclose the money it pays "U.S. healthcare professionals and/or their institutions to conduct [clinical] trials." GSK will begin reporting those payments starting in 2010. "Thereafter, this will be extended to payments for other types of research and to healthcare professionals and institutions outside the U.S." GSK and other Big Pharma companies such as Pfizer, Eli Lilly, and Merck have been voluntarily disclosing payments in a reaction to the public uprising against the practice.

GSK's responsibility statement contained a few other notable nuggets. First, Glaxo said that it will now post all its drug research on its clinical study register--including observational studies and meta-analysis--within 18 months of completion. This comes in response to harsh criticism the company suffered following snafus with Avandia and Paxil (Seroxat). Critics say GSK and other Big Pharma companies often hide data from meta-analyses that don't cast their drug in a favorable light. "GSK will commit to the submission for publication of clinical study results as manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals wherever possible," the company promised., "For studies that are not published, GSK will commit to providing context and interpretation of the results on the Clinical Study Register.

GSK also announced that it is contributing 800 current and pending patents to an effort to spur new research work for neglected diseases. Finally, the company will increase charitable support by 13 percent this year.

- see GSK's statement