Government urged to act over lack of clinical trial transparency

The Science and Technology Committee has described the current lack of transparency of many clinical trials as ‘unacceptable’ and is calling on the Government to take action.

“Many of the trials taking place today are unregistered and unpublished, meaning that the information that they generate remains invisible to both the scientific community and the public,” said Committee Chair Andrew Miller MP.

He continued: “This is unacceptable, undermining public trust, slowing the pace of medical advancement and potentially putting patients at risk.

“All trials conducted on NHS treatments—and all other trials receiving public funding—should be prospectively registered and their results published in a scientific journal.  The Government must also do what it can to ensure that historic trials are registered and published, particularly where they have been publically funded.”

Mr Miller points to the recent fall in the number of trials taking place in the UK as a clear indicator that UK is a “particularly challenging” place in which to conduct a trial. He said: “Clinical trials make a significant contribution to the UK economy and can provide patients with an important means of accessing the most exciting new treatments.

“Unfortunately, the UK governance landscape means that researchers can struggle to get trials up and running in this country. Recruiting participants can also be a challenge, even though many patients welcome the opportunity to take part in a trial.

“These problems are not insurmountable and we are confident that the Government is aware of the need to resolve them. But it is now time for the Government to translate its words into effective action.”

 

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