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Flatiron Health, Purchased By Roche, Signs Three-Year Deal With Bristol-Myers

(Forbes) May 2, 2018 - This morning, Flatiron and Bristol-Myers Squibb are announcing a new three-year agreement to use Flatiron’s ability to develop so-called real-world evidence – the drug industry jargon for experiments that are not clinical trials, but can still provide useable data – to develop Bristol’s experimental cancer drugs.

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Thomas Marsland, MD (Posted: May 02, 2018)

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So some thoughts to share upon reading this review.....there is one comment on Flatiron and Bristol using real world data to form a "virtual" control on a small study of Opdivo in esophageal cancer. This is at least somewhat troubling, for several reasons. First, the gold standard still needs to be the randomized prospective trial. Secondly, it is bothersome that the folks who control the data are determining what and how the control arm is being selected. I am also worried about industry collecting and controlling the data and how it is used. Rules for transparency and conflict of interests need to be more clearly defined. Finally, where do the patients and physician fit into all of this? Data are collected via flatiron's EMR which is being used in practices; what control over the data accumulated do the doctors and patients have??? In today's world of mergers, as pharma controls data, insurers, drug distributors, and information companies all start to come together. Where is the transparency and who is looking out for the patients interests?

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