European universities must make public the results of all their clinical trials in order to safeguard the interests of patients and taxpayers, an international coalition of health integrity groups demands today.
The groups have identified 778 clinical trials conducted by the 30 top European medical research universities that violate European transparency rules.
They warn that the true number of due trials lacking results on the public registry is likely to be far higher.
The results of many of these trials are in danger of being lost forever unless universities and regulators take action soon.
A joint report released by TranspariMED (UK), BUKO Pharma-Kampagne (Germany), Test Aankoop (Belgium) and Health Action International (Netherlands) today documents that:
A total of 778 clinical trials (83% of all due trials) run by European universities are verifiably in violation of EU transparency rules
In four countries, the top medical universities have not posted a single clinical trial result onto the EU public registry
National medicines regulators across Europe are failing to keep registry data up to date
Only three out of 30 universities assessed perform well:
Oxford University, King’s College London, and University College London.
Failure to fully report clinical trial results in a timely fashion has substantial negative consequences for patients and public health, and wastes public medical research funding.
Dr Till Bruckner, founder of TranspariMED, said:
“Failure to fully and rapidly report clinical trial results is not a victimless crime. When universities violate transparency rules, patients and taxpayers pay a steep price. Some universities have already posted over 90% of their trial results, showing that where there is a will, there is a way. Why are universities that break the rules still receiving public funds to run additional trials?”
Rachel Cooper, Director Transparency International Health Initiative, said:
“The recent improvements that some British universities have made in publishing the results of clinical trials demonstrate what is possible. But British universities still have some way to go. And the figures for European universities remain shameful. The recent improvements in the UK are no doubt related to renewed pressure from Parliamentarians, as well as civil society – but equally demonstrate that where efforts are made to improve transparency, progress can be quick. Patients must be able to trust the medical products they take reflect the fully disclosed history of all relevant research and development and that public money mitigates research waste and delivers full value for money.”
Jörg Schaaber from the German health integrity group BUKO Pharma-Kampagne said:
"Neglecting to publish clinical trial results is not a minor misdemeanor. This has direct consequences for patients, who due to evidence gaps may not receive optimal treatment. Results that remain unpublished are a waste of public health funds and of taxpayers' money."
The report contains guidance for universities and regulators on how to improve their performance.
Click below to access the full report: