London, Thursday, January 24, 2019: UK universities could be brought in front of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee if they fail to improve the reporting of clinical trials. The Committee has announced that it has put universities ‘on notice’ and will ask them to explain themselves in a follow-up evidence session if they have failed to get their house in order.
The AllTrials campaign has supplied the Committee with a list of the UK universities that are currently running and responsible for clinical trials. It has also supplied data highlighting how many trials have reported results according to legal obligations, and how many have failed to do so. This information was generated using the online TrialsTracker tools developed by Dr Ben Goldacre and the EBMDataLab in the University of Oxford. In six months’ time, AllTrials will advise the Committee on which universities have made progress in reporting trials and which have not.
Launched in 2013, AllTrials is a global campaign, coordinated by Sense about Science and the EBMDataLab, which calls for all past and present clinical trials to be registered and their results reported. It has launched the FDAAA Trials Tracker which monitors trial reporting on the US government’s clinical trial register, and the EU CTR Trials Tracker that shows which trial sponsors on the EU database have reported results and which have breached the EU’s rules on reporting. The campaign’s work monitoring and tracking clinical trial reporting has revealed:
- 46% of EU trials have not reported results according to the EU’s reporting rules, and companies are more likely to follow reporting obligations than universities.
- Only 44% of the world’s largest charity and government bodies that fund clinical trials require researchers to report clinical trial results
- In the US, only 62% of the trials that should have reported results under US law have been reported
Today’s announcement from the Commons Science and Technology Committee follows on from its report published in October 2018 which declared that ‘failing to publish data from clinical trials presents risk to human health’ and called on the UK Government to bring in measures to ensure all UK trials have reported results.
Síle Lane, head of international campaigns and policy at Sense about Science and AllTrials campaign co-founder: “When results from clinical trials aren’t reported, it means doctors can’t be sure they have all the information they need to make good decisions about medicines for their patients. It is also a betrayal of the thousands of people who have volunteered to take part in clinical trials when what was found out in the trial is never shared with doctors and researchers.
“We are pleased that MPs, patient groups, students, researchers and campaigners are starting to question institutes and push them to report more results. We expect this to grow as more and more people use our tools to hold institutions to account.”
Dr Ben Goldacre, head of the EBMDataLab at the University of Oxford and AllTrials campaign co-founder: “We will closely monitor clinical trial reporting across all UK universities over the next six months. We are delighted that MPs are paying close attention to this data. Our sole objective is to help universities improve their reporting performance. We urge them to get in touch if they have any questions.”
Rt Hon Norman Lamb MP, Chair of the Science and Technology Committee: “Our Committee will be returning to this issue with a follow-up evidence session, so I’m putting all universities on notice that they will be asked to come before us to explain themselves if they haven’t got their house in order by then.”
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If you have any questions, would like advise on reporting clinical trials, or would like to support our campaign please email firstname.lastname@example.org