"Three years ago, Lilly became the first pharmaceutical company to publicly disclose the results of all (emphasis added) of our clinical trials â€“ on the Internet. Far from harming our business in some way, Iâ€™m convinced that the increased transparency helped to improve our partnerships with researchers and to boost the confidence of doctors and patients who use our products," Sid said in his speech (here it is).
Now, Lilly has been more aggressive than most of its rivals in posting trial results on its web site, which includes a rather dense discussion of its policy. But there is at least one exception to the policy that Sid didn't mention: Cialis, the erectile dysfunction med that Lilly acquired when it bought Icos earlier this year.
Visit the Cialis web site and you'll see that Lilly boasts how the drug was proven safe and effective in 22 trials. Then, visit the Lilly trial registry and you'll find just two trials listed. Where are the rest?
A Lilly spokesman writes Pharmalot that "we are in the process of writing the summaries for Phase 2-4 Lilly-sponsored interventional trials that were initiated on or after Oct 15, 2002 (this is approximately 15 or so trials). However, since the compound was not a Lilly drug when it was approved, we have made the decision not to post the core safety and efficacy trial results." And what about the remaining five trials? They won't be disclosed.
Transparency, it seems, is in the mind of the beholder. Again, Lilly does disclose a lot of info. But the ceo uses the word 'all,' while in reality, the company is selective. Lilly has the Cialis data and, presumably, has the werewithal to post the trials on the site. A failure to do so, however, may lead one to ask if something is being hidden, which undermines the whole enterprise. And so, there is transparency. And then, there are mirrors.