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UK: Bone researcher: Proctor & Gamble is hiding data

United Press Inernational
March 1st, 2006

A British-based researcher Wednesday accused Procter and Gamble of hiding data regarding its osteoporosis drug Actonel.

Aubrey Blumsohn, a client of the whistleblower group Government Accountability Project and a senior medical faculty member at England's Sheffield University, said in a statement, "P&G is again trying to avoid proper scrutiny of its questionable claims and is running roughshod over research integrity in the process."

Blumsohn is leading a P&G-funded study of the top-selling bone loss drug.

The scientist claimed that in 2004 he discovered that P&G concealed and omitted Actonel data "in an apparent attempt to improve the drug's image of effectiveness."

Blumsohn said the drug maker has refused to provide him with the raw study data he needs "to interpret his research into the drug," despite the fact that he is listed as the author on medical abstracts, draft publications and statistical reports derived from his research.

"Researchers have an ethical duty to review the data that supports their findings," Blumsohn said. "If a company can pick and choose what data the researcher can see, that compromises the ethics of the researcher and the integrity of the researcher's findings."

Blumsohn took his case to Capitol Hill last week, telling lawmakers of the alleged data concealment.

He said that, after facing public pressure, P&G recently released a researchers "Bill of Rights" whereby the company agreed to release the Actonel study data to a "independent statistician."

But Blumsohn argued that that doesn't go far enough. "Proctor and Gamble is talking the talk, but not walking the walk," he said.

Researchers are supposed to be granted access to full data sets to reach informed conclusions, he said.

GAP Food and Drug Safety Director Mark Cohen, Blumsohn's lawyer, added, "Dr. Blumsohn would be pleased to work with P&G and Sheffield to ensure that this 'Bill of Rights' is more than a public relations whitewash."

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