Last year saw the launch of Open Pharma, a collaboration of researchers (both industry and academia), funders, societies, publication professionals and patients. The aim of the group is to improve the communication of biomedical research by challenging the pharmaceutical industry to make its research available to all and push for full disclosure of results and trial transparency.
Shire plc, who has supported open access publishing of its sponsored research for several years, seized the initiative after the first meeting of Open Pharma, and recently announced mandatory open access publication of all its funded research manuscripts. The policy is across the board from preclinical studies to post-marketing data. It is believed that Shire is the first company to adopt such a strategy, which came into effect at the beginning of this year. Shire hopes the approach will foster collaborations, drive innovation and ultimately be of benefit to the patient.
The pharmaceutical industry has been accused of being slow to adopt open access publishing and many articles remain inaccessible to the general public. It is hoped that this announcement from Shire will incentivise more companies to implement an open access publishing model and improve data transparency.