Well, actually the Open Data Access Project (YODA) at the Yale School of Medicine will review requests from physicians (not clear from reports if non-physician researchers are eligible, but it would make sense that they be) for data from trials of J&J products. To start off, this will include just pharmaceuticals but the plan is to include devices and other products made by J&J. When requests are approved by YODA the physician will provide raw and anonymized data including results for each patient involved in a study.
It all sounds very positive. It seems that companies are increasingly realizing not just the great optics of being involved in open access initiatives, but also that the advantages of crowd-sourcing research may in fact be greater than what they have to lose by letting go their vice-grip on information. Not sure what this might mean in the long-run for non-company-led research.
For now, though, it sounds like a great thing, and it will be worth keeping an eye out in the coming years to see what use researchers make of this data.
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