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Hold the Release

The European Medicines Agency has been moving toward making data submitted to it by drug companies seeking its approval more readily available, but two companies have sued to block the release of their clinical trial data, the Nature News Blog reports.

The EMA's move came after a number of "revelations that high-profile companies have hidden crucial data on safety and efficacy," as Nature News reported in March.

The companies, Illinois-based AbbVie and InterMune in California, took the EMA to court to stop the release of their data. An interim decision from the European General Court has blocked the EMA from releasing the documents, the Nature News Blog now says.

This, the Sense About Science advocacy group adds, may affect the release of other data and documents. "If AbbVie and InterMune win their cases, there is a real chance that EMA's revolution in data transparency will come to an abrupt end, returning us to the old status quo of data secrecy," Johns Hopkins University's Peter Doshi says in a statement from the group.