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According to a study published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine, several major pharmaceuticals are withholding important details about clinical drug trials, despite urging from federal regulators and medical journal editors. The New England Journal of Medicine specifically cites Merck & Co., Pfizer, and Glaxo Smith Kline PLC as obscuring basic information in reporting on trials of drugs to treat serious or life-threatening diseases. Some of the drugs involved are already on the market.

For years, some drug companies kept secret the results of studies that reflected badly on their porducts and published only positive results. Critics say this helped mask safety problems. As the pharmaceutical companies continue to garner huge profits, it’s time for the federal government to provide proper oversight of these huge profit machines.

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