Time for action

Today the UK Government Science and Technology Committees has published its report on clinical trials.

This is a significant document which highlights the importance of clinical trials for the health of a nation, but also for the overall economy.  There has been a substantial drop in the number of trials being undertaken in the UK; yet, when you ask the population if they want to participate in a trial: 72% say they do.

The summary of the report focuses substantially on clinical trial transparency:

‘Another key focus of our inquiry has been the issue of clinical trial transparency. We consider that information relating to trials should be shared in a way that is accessible, assessable, intelligible and usable, and we have differentiated in our recommendations between four distinct levels of trial transparency’.  

This is what it summarizes on universal trial registration:

Universal trial registration is crucial to increasing transparency and, in future, all clinical trials conducted in the UK, and all trials related to treatments used by the NHS, should be registered. We extend this recommendation to past trials, and urge the Government to support the retrospective registration of all trials conducted on treatments currently in use by the NHS.

The report also highlights the importance of summary level trial results, and the committee, ‘do not accept the argument that it is not possible to publish “negative” results in peer-reviewed scientific journals’, and ‘urge the Government to conduct a retrospective audit of all large public trial grants awarded since 2000 to ensure that they have been registered and published’.

This pretty hard hitting stuff and goes right to the core of the all trials campaign. You should read this report, as it is important stuff and If you want to show your support then please sign the alltrials campaign.

Carl Heneghan

About Carl Heneghan

Carl is Professor of EBM & Director of CEBM at the University of Oxford. He is also a GP and tweets @carlheneghan. He has an active interest in discovering the truth behind health research findings and also blogs on Trust The Evidence at www.carlheneghan.com

View more posts by Carl Heneghan

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