Pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim has pledged to register all clinical trials dating back to 1998 on the publicly accessible register

In a press release yesterday Boehringer announced its strategy to fulfil commitments it made in 2013. A new website will facilitate access to anonymised individual patient data for researchers who have submitted their analysis plans to an independent panel.

AllTrials co-founder Dr Ben Goldacre

These announcements show that the tide is turning. With this move, especially the pledge to register trials back to 1998, Boehringer is clearly acknowledging the need for better access to past trials. These are the trials that matter the most, as they are the ones conducted on the treatments in use today. Other companies should follow suit. The era of secrecy has harmed patients and must end.