And industry shown to have a mixed record to date on study publication
Around half of all trials run by pharma companies, universities and other major research sponsors remain unpublished, according to a tool built to promote greater trial transparency.
The TrialsTracker monitors ClinicalTrials.gov, the world’s largest clinical trial register, for whether or not studies have been published two years after their stated end date.
Collecting data from January 2006 to November 2014, the tracker found that 45% of the 25,927 eligible trials had not had their results published.
The TrialsTracker was created by a team of academics at the University of Oxford that includes Dr Ben Goldacre, author of Bad Pharma and one of the founders of the AllTrials campaign for clinical trial transparency.
“Everyone has been talking about this problem for far too long. We hope that increasing accountability will help to drive change forward,” he said.
“The TrialsTracker helps to identify the individual universities and companies with the most overdue trials. If any institution is concerned that it is doing badly in our league tables, then there is one simple thing they can do: publish their trial results, using their trial registry number, so that this information can be accessed and read by doctors, researchers, and patients.”
Drilling down into the data provides a mixed picture for the pharma industry – at one end of the scale is Ranbaxy, which has published no results for any of the 35 trials it has run in the nine years to 2014. Meanwhile, Shire has a spotless record, publishing results for all of the 96 trials it has run.
But, while the industry can celebrate holding the top five spots for the lowest number of unpublished trials, the ranking of sponsors with the high number of missing results is led by Sanofi and Novartis, with GSK also making the top five.
Commenting on the research, director general of European pharma body EFPIA, Richard Bergström said: “On the journey towards clinical data transparency, EFPIA and its members are ready to be held to account in terms of whether they live up to expectations.”
“EFPIA and its members believe that sharing clinical trial information is in the best interests of patients, clinicians and medical research. EFPIA supports the intent of the new EU Clinical Trials Regulation 536/2014 and the European Medicines Agency’s transparency policies.”