MPs on the House of Commons Health Committee called on the UK doctors regulator, the General Medical Council, to make it explicit to doctors that withholding trial results is misconduct and actionable.
In a report released today, the MPs said “that the contemporary research landscape no longer offers any valid justification for failing to publish the results of negative drug trials.” They strongly support GMC’s efforts to make it clear “that failure by a doctor to ensure publication of the results of medical trials constitutes a serious breach of professional obligation.”
The report includes quotes from members of the AllTrials campaign, including Dr Ben Goldacre, Sir Iain Chalmers, Dr Trish Groves, Dr Fiona Godlee and Dr Virginia Barbour, who argued that the GMC should
clarify their position, and strengthen the wording of their guidance, requiring that any doctor working on a trial both past and present – on all treatments currently in use–is responsible for ensuring that the trial is registered, with its results made publicly available within a year of completion; and forbidden from entering into contracts with trial sponsors that relinquish access to data and prevent dissemination of results.
It also quotes a submission from Sense about Science, which calls on the GMC to
have a role in ensuring that doctors working on clinical trials or who worked on a clinical trial in the past on any treatment in current use ensure that the clinical trial has been registered and a summary of the findings is publicly available.
You can read the full report, including all submitted written evidence on the Health Committee’s website.