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Clinical trial transparency: an assessment of the disclosure of results of company-sponsored trials associated with new medicines approved recently in Europe



Clinical trial transparency: an assessment of the disclosure of results of company-sponsored trials associated with new medicines approved recently in Europe



Current Medical Research and Opinion 30(3): 395-405



Previous studies have raised concerns around the transparency and disclosure rates of clinical trial results on clinical trial registries and in the scientific literature. The objective of this study was to assess the timely disclosure in the public domain of results of company-sponsored clinical trials related to all new medicines approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) over a recent 3 year period. The study surveyed various publicly available information sources for both clinical trial registration and disclosure of results (including clinical trial registries, the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations [IFPMA] Clinical Trials Portal, EMA European Public Assessment Reports and PubMed), searched from 27 December 2012 to 31 January 2013. The study covered all 53 new medicines (except vaccines and fixed-dose combinations) approved for marketing by 34 pharmaceutical companies by the EMA in 2009, 2010 and 2011. It included all completed company-sponsored clinical trials conducted in patients and recorded on a clinical trial registry and/or included in an EPAR. OUTCOME MEASURE AND RESULTS: The main outcome measure was the proportion of trials for which results had been disclosed on a registry or in the scientific literature either within 12 months of the later of either first regulatory approval or trial completion, or by 31 January 2013 (end of survey). Of the completed clinical trials associated with all 53 new medicines approved by the EMA between 2009 and 2011, 77% had results disclosed within 12 months. By 31 January 2013, this had increased to 89%. Rates of results disclosure within 12 months were 71%, 81% and 86% for new medicines approved in 2009, 2010 and 2011 respectively. Disclosure increased to 86%, 93% and 91% respectively by 31 January 2013. Although this was a purely quantitative study which did not aim to assess the content of disclosure against any specific requirements, limitations relating to a number of difficulties in finding all relevant data from multiple sources in the public domain were captured. Results of over three-quarters of all company-sponsored clinical trials related to new medicines recently approved by the EMA were disclosed within a year of completion or regulatory approval, and almost 90% were disclosed by 31 January 2013, suggesting transparency is now better than has sometimes been reported previously.

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Accession: 052134002

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 24168052

DOI: 10.1185/03007995.2013.860371


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