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– “It is usually done in private, so this is unprecedented in my opinion,” Evans said.
– “The public airing of a conflict between a pharmaceutical company and a board overseeing a clinical trial is highly unusual.”
– “The letter is a rare window into the typically confidential interactions between a company and the Data and Safety Monitoring Board that polices the integrity of the data.”
– Adrian Hill, one f the scientists at Oxford who developed the vaccine, said in an e-mail that this was “extraordinary behavior” by a data and safety monitoring board.
So this sort of communication goes on all the time, but in this specific case – of an at-cost, not-for-profit vaccine – it somehow became public. How did that happen?
– The letter from the data and safety monitoring board was sent to the NIH and officials of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority Monday evening, officials said. Some pushed hard for it to be released as soon as possible so that it wouldn’t leak.
Ah, a threat to leak. These communications go on all the time, but this time it might have leaked. Funny, that.
– Also, said one of the officials, the White House “did not want the 79 percent story to go unchecked.”
Oh! Does the White House routinely monitor such communications? Or is it more likely that someone drew attention to this particular case?
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I’d be interested to know what went on at the AstraZeneca end. What led AstraZeneca to release the 79% figure before the DSMB’s challenge had been dealt with? Did a critical e-mail get deleted somehow? A bribed employee, or an incompletely secured computer?