MPs on warpath over non-publication of clinical trials

MPs have voiced concerns that nearly half the clinical trials conducted in the UK fail to publish their results.

The House of Commons science and technology committee says selective non-publication of the results of trials distorts the published evidence base and means that information on the efficacy of new drugs or other medical interventions cannot be used.

Falling short on clinical trials transparency in this way presents risks to human health and means that clinical decisions are made without access to all the available evidence, the Committee says.

The Health Research Authority appears to be reluctant to enforce its rules, the Committee says, and urges the Government to commit to introducing the clinical trials transparency requirements in the EU Clinical Trials Regulations that are expected to be applied in the EU shortly after Brexit.

Compliance with transparency rules varies. Pharmaceutical companies have good rates of reporting, the Committee says, but the picture is much more mixed for universities. Public Health England and a range of NHS Foundation Trusts are also criticised for failing to report results from clinical trials.

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