Should All Clinical Trials Be Published?

All clinical trials should be registered and published according to a recent survey conducted by the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine.


400 members of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine were asked in a survey do they believe that all clinical trials should be published? An overwhelming 95% suggested that trials should be registered and a further 73% of members surveyed stated that clinical trials should be published within one to two years of completion.

The Faculty of Pharmaceutical medicine is connected to the Royal College of Physicians  and is made up of doctors who hold a Diploma in Pharmaceutical Medicine. The survey results have also turned up some interesting notes on the state of clinical trial registries, this includes how to manage access to clinical trials data through an independent gatekeeper.

“I think the learnings from this survey will be most useful to all stakeholders as they continue to develop policies in these areas,” says Dr Keith Bragman, president of the FPM.

“We cannot write evidence-based guidelines unless all trials are registered and the results published within a reasonable time frame upon completion of the trial.”

The survey also showed that 10% of the members asked believe that increased publication and dissemination of clinical trial results will actually harm the pharmaceutical industry. Although 90% of the members that had been asked felt that having greater scrutiny of clinical trial data, would result in a stronger science base and also enhance medical research.

Bragman adds: “We cannot satisfactorily answer questions unless we have access to results and data, whether positive or negative. We cannot educate those who are unaware unless we are first prepared to reveal, in a timely manner, the results of clinical trials.”

This has become a very important issue for many in the medical profession. There are many problems with unpublished clinical trial data, it mainly runs a high risk that research maybe repeated unnecessarily, it can also distort results that doctors heavily rely on when prescribing drugs safely and effectively to their patients.

UK MPs published a report earlier this year, it called on the Department of Health to ensure that all clinical trials data were readily available for treatments that are prescribed in the UK. As of 2016 the EU Parliament passed new laws that all new trials are publicly registered with their results also being reported.

When these new laws were announced Dr Ben Goldacre, author of Bad Pharma and co-founder of trial transparency lobby group AllTrials, praised the positive step forward but was wary that this only relates to new trials and medicines, not older ones that millions across the world are still using.

Goldacre who has been criticised by pharma for highlighting the worst examples of its practice and scaring the public, has been calling on the industry to publish full clinical data for all marketed drugs through the AllTrials campaign.

Alex Carson

PiR Resourcing leaders in senior life science resourcing. For more news and information, you can follow us on Twitter and LinkedInFor all our latest roles in the Life Science sector please click here

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