Data monitoring and interim analyses in the pharmaceutical industry: ethical and logistical considerations.
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The characteristics of data monitoring and the need for the use of data monitoring committees in clinical trials sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry differ from those of trials sponsored by government. Data monitoring is a continuous process in industry trials due to the regulatory requirements and the need to more thoroughly evaluate safety of new compounds. As part of this process, interim analyses are employed to make decisions about treatment effects. In some cases, such analyses may require the use of an external data monitoring committee to assist in the data review, analysis and decision making. A number of examples of interim analyses, with and without data monitoring committees, are discussed. Issues surrounding the need for external data monitoring committees and recommendations are presented. In particular the issues of sponsor participation in the data monitoring committee and controls of the decision making process are considered.
Frank is a full time Professor of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics and Faculty Director for Biostatistics at Duke University Medical Center, Affiliate Professor of Biostatistics at Virginia Commonwealth University, and Strategic Consultant at Hunter Rockhold, Inc. His 40+-year career includes senior research positions at Lilly, Merck, and GlaxoSmithKline, where he retired as Chief Safety Officer and Senior Vice President of Global Clinical Safety and Pharmacovigilance. He has held faculty appointments at six different universities. Dr. Rockhold served for 9 years on the board of directors of the non-profit CDISC, most recently as Chairman, and is past president of the Society for Clinical Trials and a past member of the PCORI Clinical Trials Advisory Panel. He is currently Chair of the Board of the Frontier Science and Technology Research Foundation and a technical advisor to EMA.
Dr. Rockhold has diverse research interests and consulting experience in industry and academia including clinical trials design, data monitoring, benefit/risk, safety and pharmacovigilance and has been a leader in the scientific community in promoting data disclosure and transparency in clinical research. Frank is widely published in major scientific journals across a wide variety of research topics.
Frank holds a BA in Statistics from The University of Connecticut, an ScM in Biostatistics from The Johns Hopkins University, and a PhD in Biostatistics from the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University. Frank is an Elected Fellow of both the American Statistical Association and the Society for Clinical Trials, a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, an Accredited Professional Statistician, PStat®, and a Chartered Statistician, CStat.
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