The Lance Armstrong scandal seems to have resulted in a better relationship between anti-doping officials and pharmaceutical companies.
According to a New York Times report, a growing number of drug makers are joining anti-doping officials to develop tests to detect the illegal use of their drugs among athletes. Roche and GlaxoSmithKline have begun evaluating every new drug candidate for its potential to be abused by athletes and have agreed to share information about those products with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Several other smaller firms have likewise provided proprietary information about specific drugs.
David Howman, director general of WADA, said the development reflects a major shift from the days when drug companies paid little attention to how their products could be abused by athletes.
The move by Roche and GlaxoSmithKline is seen as an example of good corporate citizenship.
“Developing detection methods to show that the substance taken in a synthetic form is different than your natural substance is more challenging,” said Matthew Fedoruk, the science director for the United States Anti-Doping Agency.
Many pharmaceutical companies are already equipped with the tools needed to create a doping test for their products because the Food and Drug Administration and other regulatory bodies requires them to show how the drug passes through the body. Amgen and other drug makers have given WADA some of their proprietary compounds that would help officials test for their drugs.