Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The transparency of research data is increasingly recognized as crucial to reliable, evidence-informed decision-making about health care. Recently, Canada’s Bill C-17 (“Vanessa’s Law”) gave Health Canada the ability to make information about drug safety and effectiveness more transparent. Yet, changing the real world practices of regulators and clinical researchers--much less the pharmaceutical industry--remains a huge challenge.

Professor Trudo Lemmens, Scholl Chair in Health Law and Policy, will serve as co-principal investigator in a project led by Professor Matthew Herder (Dalhousie University) that addresses this challenge of transparency. Professor Lemmens is cross-appointed to the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and the Joint Centre for Bioethics. Professor Herder is cross-appointed to Law and Medicine. Their team, which brings together legal scholars, social scientists, ethicists, clinicians and pharmacoepidemiologists from four Canadian universities, received a four-year $489,000 grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Working with stakeholders such as Health Canada, the Patented Medicines Prices Review Board, and the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health, the team will identify and help overcome barriers to transparency about pharmaceuticals and promote better health care decision-making.