20th May 2013

It’s International Clinical Trials Day and just over four months since the AllTrials campaign started. A lot has happened – 300 organisations and 52,000 people have joined; AllTrials was launched in America; patients who took part in clinical trials wrote to the European medicines regulator; and regulators, publishers and researchers have started discussions on practical issues on trial transparency.

Carl Heneghan from the Centre for Evidence-based Medicine told us that “We have seen GSK become the first pharmaceutical company to commit to publish the results of all its drug trials and provide clinical study reports. And Roche has publicly confirmed it will make clinical study reports for all 74 Tamiflu trials available. Three years this has taken and it couldn’t have happened without the support of the AllTrials campaign. It’s hard to envisage the impact publication in full will have on health, but it will be immense.”

However, those who don’t want transparency are making their arguments heard too. The head of pharmaceutical company Lilly UK said last week that patients don’t want companies like his to spend their money sharing “old data.” These “old data” are of course the results on which all treatments in current use are based! Perhaps he is hoping that AllTrials can be headed off into a siding, like all previous attempts to establish transparency.

There are 350 lobbyists from the pharmaceutical industry at the European Parliament so MEPs are hearing arguments against transparency every day. We have until 29th May – when MEPs vote on new proposals that could increase clinical trial transparency – to make sure they hear our arguments too. Many of you have written to your MEP already – thank you especially to those of you who have kindly allowed us to share your letters in case they are useful for others. If you haven’t already please write to your MEP, let us know if you do and if you get a response.

There are lots of discussions about transparency going on this International Clinical Trials Day …

… the Cochrane Collaboration has put up some short podcasts on international efforts

… there’s an interview with Ben Goldacre about AllTrials and our future plans at BioMed Central

…here’s a blog on why the open science community should sign up and support AllTrials

… but this has to be the last International Clinical Trials Day of the era when trial results are withheld. Please ask 5 people you know to add their name at www.alltrials.net today. Ask your organisation to join if they haven’t already and please write to your organisation’s European and International umbrella groups. Help us get enough resources to continue the campaign by donating at https://www.justgiving.com/alltrials

And write to your MEP today if you haven’t already.