European universities dismal at reporting results of clinical trials - 2019

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From European universities dismal at reporting results of clinical trials

Many of Europe's major research universities are ignoring rules that require them to make public the results of clinical trials. A report published on 30 April found that the results of only 162 of 940 clinical trials (17%) that were due to be published by 1 April had been posted on the European Union's trials register. The 30 universities surveyed are those that sponsor the most clinical trials in the EU. Fourteen of these institutions had failed to publish a single results summary. If three high-performing UK universities are excluded from the figures, the results of just 7% of the trials were made public on time. Campaigners say the resulting lack of transparency harms patients by undermining the efforts of doctors and health authorities to provide the best treatments, slows medical progress and wastes public funds.

"Major universities in continental Europe are clearly not investing the effort required to meet their ethical, scientific and regulatory obligations," says report author Till Bruckner, of the UK-based transparency campaign group TranspariMED. A 2004 EU law that came into effect in 2014 requires study sponsors to publish summaries of a trial's results on the European Union Clinical Trials Register (EUCTR) site within 12 months of the trial's completion. Updated laws on clinical trials that are not expected to become legally binding until 2020 specify that there should be penalties for institutions that don't comply with the rules.
 
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