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IDEA LOG: April 1, 2013 — The James Gang @ 1:35 pm      

Glaxo Buys Open Science

Glaxo Buys Open Science. Patents Sharing. Promises Full Access. In a surprise move, drug maker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has announced a secret takeover of Open Science Federation for a purchase price rumored to be almost $500,000 USD. GSK CEO, Sir Andrew Witty, said that the takeover was part of a strategic response by the company to release all its clinical trial data. With questioning, Witty admitted that he, and the company’s board of directors, were initially resistant to the suggestion they should “open the kimono”, and show their jewels. However, with many voices calling for openness, and wincing from  a $3 billion USD fine for illegally promoting antidepressants to children, the company decided to look at the idea of openness more closely.“When we realized how little money there was in Open Science ... well, that was when the light went on.” Within the company, the Open Science take-over was pitched as the perfect, cost-effective, solution to their current woes. By buying the whole kit and caboodle, GSK could refurbish its image as a good corporate citizen, prop up its sagging stock price, and most importantly find a way to meet the public demands for the sharing of its data, without sharing anything at all. “Open Science is perfect for GSK. But we’re bringing something to the table too. Our patented Sharing Information Technology System (ShITs), will completely turn things upside down in the open science community.

Illustration for Dr. David Healy‘s post about the vagaries of diving, fishing and looking for real data in the murky world medicine and pharmaceuticals.

See: April Fool in Harlow: Anecdote Fishing in Harlow

And sure, this is an “April Fool’s” thing, but it’s actually based on some truth… If you want to find out more about the GSK approach to “Open Science” and the “sharing” of research data, you can actually sign up for the GSK Clinical Study data program. Once you’ve signed off off on their legal stuff (caveat emptor), you can request access to their trial data. Currently they have about 220 trials listed… a extremely small fraction of the total trials they’ve done. Your request will be reviewed by independent panel who will decide whether or not you can actually see the data. No promises of course! But why don’t you give it a try… I’ve signed up! 😉

See: https://clinicalstudydata.gsk.com/

Posters: OpenGSK.pdf, OpenGSK.jpg or OpenGSK.png.

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