In DepthBiomedicine

Faulty drug trials tarnish Japan's clinical research

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Science  04 Jul 2014:
Vol. 345, Issue 6192, pp. 17
DOI: 10.1126/science.345.6192.17

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Recent revelations of data manipulation, exaggerated advertising of results, and violations of patient privacy in postmarketing clinical trials of drugs have made the Japanese public skeptical about the cozy ties between the pharmaceutical industry and academia. Separately, a large-scale study of Alzheimer's patients was recently found to be troubled by poor data management because of a shortage of appropriately trained professionals. These shortcomings do not bode well for the success of a planned agency, modeled on the U.S. National Institutes of Health, which will be charged with fostering public and private sector cooperation to help speed drugs from basic laboratories to the marketplace. A ministry of health advisory committee is due to report on possible fixes to the nation's clinical research regulations and practices by this fall.