Data sharing – making it real

26th June 2013

The evidence base for current treatments has been built largely on aggregated results published in journal articles—articles that report trials initiated and sponsored by industry in order to get marketing approval for its products. At last we’re moving towards knowledge based on independent analyses of the original data about real participants in clinical trials, with great strides taken in the past year.

This movement is really gathering pace. The AllTrials campaign continues to grow, and was joined in February by GSK, which pledged to make all its Clinical Study Reports publicly available on its register and then in May opened its platform for controlled access to patient level data. And the UK Health Research Authority (HRA) announced its plans to make clinical trial registration a condition of a favourable ethics opinion through the National Research Ethics Service (NRES) and to ensure that participants’ consent to research is “not a later barrier to data sharing and future access to tissue.”

This article written by Trish Groves, deputy editor, BMJ and editor in chief, BMJ Open. You can read the full piece on the BMJ Group Blogs page.