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Clinical trial transparency: are non-commercial funders lagging behind industry sponsors?

Noncommercial funders audit_AllTrials

Last year, an audit of the transparency policies of pharmaceutical companies, led by Ben Goldacre (founder of AllTrials), reported that, despite some variability, over 90% of companies had committed to the registration of clinical trials and the reporting of results summaries. The team has now performed a similar audit of non-commercial funders, with some surprising findings.

The researchers analysed the transparency policies of the top 18 global non-commercial funders of clinical research in 2013. Of these charitable and public bodies only 50% stipulated that all clinical trials should be registered and less than half (44%) required the reporting of summary results. Both of these points are requirements of the 2013 Declaration of Helsinki.

It should be noted that the policies were audited between February and April 2017, before the publication of the Joint statement on public disclosure of results from clinical trials by the World Health Organization (WHO) in May 2017, which asked non-commercial funders to sign up to a strict code of conduct with respect to transparency. So, will things change as the WHO code comes into effect? Time will tell!

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Summary by Jo Chapman, PhD from Aspire Scientific


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