Pfizer, the US-based multinational pharmaceutical corporation, during clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine, violated scientific norms, including falsifying data, unblinded patients, and covering up negative side effects, the British scientific journal The BMJ stated on Wednesday.
“A regional director who was employed at the research organization Ventavia Research Group has told The BMJ that the company falsified data, unblinded patients, employed inadequately trained vaccinators, and was slow to follow up on adverse events reported in Pfizer’s pivotal phase III trial,” according to the publication.
The BMJ carried out this investigation after Brook Jackson, the regional director of the Ventavia Research Group, which helped Pfizer conduct the clinical trials, contacted the editorial office of the publication. Jackson said she was fired in September 2020 after repeatedly reporting massive clinical trial violations to the company’s head office.
The fired employee gave The BMJ dozens of internal company documents, photos, video and audio recordings, which convinced the editors that her statements were true. While verifying the information, the British publication received more evidence confirming that the vaccine trials did not meet the standards declared by Pfizer.
In particular, the jab was not always stored in proper conditions, almost all the company’s medical staff had access to data on the identity of patients, which contradicts the norms of blind testing. Furthermore, Jackson and her colleagues often detected errors in the data collected and also failed to quickly respond to complaints from patients about serious side effects.
According to Jackson, these inconsistencies made the Pfizer executive board apprehensive about the audits by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other regulatory agencies. This resulted in the falsification of data, in addition to some of the information being covered up. As the Ventavia Research Group’s employees unveiled, the situation has remained the same after Jackson’s dismissal, and Pfizer continues to use the company’s services while conducting new vaccine trials.