Yet again, two US drug companies are trying to reintroduce secrecy. Merck and PTC Therapeutics have appealed an initial ruling that clinical study reports should not be considered confidential. On 11 September, Advocate General of the European Court of Justice, Gerard Hogan, found that disclosure of the documents would harm the companies’ commercial interests. The cases are now awaiting a final judgment from the European Court of Justice. It would be a serious setback for public health if the two US companies prevailed in court. The lack of access to the raw – unfiltered, uncoded and unselected – harms data in clinical trials is a major cause of the horrible situation we are in, documented by several independent studies with different methodologies, that our prescription drugs are the third leading cause of death, after heart disease and cancer. Merck has previously demonstrated a callous disregard for human lives.