By the morning of March 23, officials at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases released a letter from its data and safety monitoring board that’s been examining the AstraZeneca trial, Andrew Joseph reports for STAT News. The letter stated that AstraZeneca had used outdated data to reach its efficacy number. The move was unprecedented; usually, monitoring boards keep their correspondence with companies private.
“We just felt we could not remain silent. Because if we did remain silent, we could be understandably accused of covering something up. And we definitely didn’t want to be in that position,” says Anthony Fauci, director of the NIAID, to STAT News. “In my mind, it’s an unforced error by the company.”