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Strong progress on trial reporting in Europe – but some players still lag behind

Most leading pharma companies, universities and hospitals in Europe have significantly improved their clinical trial reporting in recent years, new data show.

According to April 2022 data by the University of Oxford’s EU Trials Tracker, over 81% of due drug trials now have results available on the European trial registry, up from just 50% a few years ago.

This is excellent news for patients because it means that more and more trial results are being made public rapidly, open access, and in a format that often captures additional information on the benefits and risks of medicines.

At the same time, 19% of due trials – over 3,300 clinical trials in total – are still missing results. The results of many of these trials, some of which involved hundreds of patients, may be lost forever unless they are made public soon.

Below a quick narrative overview of who is doing well, and who is not.

The good news

  • LARGE PHARMA COMPANIES are doing extremely well overall. The ten most prolific commercial trial sponsors have all reported 97% or more of their due trial results. GlaxoSmithKline, Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD), and Sanofi excel with a perfect 100% reporting score.

  • LEADING ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS are improving rapidly. Star performers among the largest ten non-commercial trial sponsors are KU Leuven in Belgium (98% of results reported), Medical University of Vienna (95% reported), and the Charite in Germany (82%). Even late starters like the Hospitals of Paris (AP-HP, 15%) and Agostino Gemelli University Polyclinic in Italy (8%) seem to be finally starting to address the problem. Note that all these institutions were at or near 0% just a few years ago – so this is major progress.

The bad news

  • Some institutions in ITALY are still making zero progress. While Italy has two large star performers – Istituto Mario Negri (100% reported) and IRCCS Ospedale San Raffaele (98% reported) – some major institutions in the country have yet to start tackling the problem. For example, both IRCCS Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria di Bologna and the Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori have so far failed to make a single trial result public. So far, the Italian medicines agency AIFA does not seem to have done anything to address the rampant research waste in the country.

  • Progress among institutions in the NETHERLANDS appears to be slow. The country’s largest player, Radboudumc, is making rapid improvements and by now has a nominal reporting rate of 45%. However, other major Dutch actors like Erasmus University, University of Amsterdam, VU University Medical Centre, University of Groningen, Utrecht University, and Leiden University have only uploaded a few results each so far. Hopefully, they will accelerate their efforts over the coming months – future TranspariMED reports will continue to track their progress.

How well is your local medical center doing?

You can easily check whether your local medical university or hospital have made all of their clinical trial results public as required by European transparency rules.

Just search for their name on the EU Trials Tracker – and if any trial results are still missing, send their press office a quick email to remind them that people care about this issue, and that their patients deserve better.


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