To combat the outbreak and spread of deadly viruses like Ebola, UK Prime Minister David Cameron is urging G7 leaders to develop an international agreement to require all clinical trials to be published. The recent Ebola outbreak showed that when data on disease outbreaks is not shared quickly, the disease can get out of control. He made the comments while speaking with leaders of the US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan at the G7 meeting in Germany, where he committed the UK to lead the world on clinical trials transparency.

The Prime Minister’s plan calls for:

More transparency, greater co-operation

The UK will be the first country in the world to require clinical trials and disease control operations to be fully transparent. From now on any UK-funded research, data or operation will be made openly available and the UK will look to develop an international agreement – via the G7 – that would see the publication of results of all clinical trials of vaccines for relevant diseases. The UK’s Chief Medical Officer will now work with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to develop a new, more advanced system to share data on a disease with health agencies and doctors and nurses on the frontline.

The Rt Hon David Cameron MP, Prime Minister, UK:

“As a world we must be far better prepared with better research, more drug development and a faster and more comprehensive approach to how we fight these things when they hit. The UK will lead the way but we need a truly global response if we are to face down this threat.”

There is currently no global law on clinical trial reporting. A small number of countries have laws but those laws have loopholes and are not being enforced. The WHO has recently called on governments and organisations with a role in clinical trials to take steps to ensure results from all clinical trials are reported and publicly disclosed.