Disclosure of Clinical Trials Data Remains Unsatisfactory

Transparency requirements of a 2017 federal law call for clinical trial results to be disclosed within 12 months of completion, but a recent analysis showed that one-third of 450 studies completed in the past two years had not publicly posted their data.

The evaluation was conducted by the student-led Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM) and TranspariMED, a nonprofit research advocacy organization. The groups are concerned that without access to the data generated from clinical trials, doctors have a harder time making treatment decisions and researchers can’t plan future studies that could lead to improved treatments.

Half of the unreported trials came from just five universities, including the University of California, San Francisco, which had the highest rate of failure to report results to the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH’s) ClinicalTrials.gov database.

In a statement, UAEM North America Executive Director Merith Basey said, “As institutions with social missions, universities are morally bound to be transparent with their research outcomes especially when trials are publicly funded in the first place.” According to STAT, about half of all medical innovations come from universities funded by NIH grants.

There are, however, signs of improvement: University of Indiana, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, University of Rochester, University of Pittsburgh, and Yale have cleared more than 85 percent of their backlogged trial results since 2015.

Source: STAT, March 25, 2019.