Academia, not pharma, worse at publishing trial findings

Almost half of all clinical trial results still go unpublished, according to a new research tool developed by scientists at the University of Oxford, although the report showed many academic institutions are worse at publishing results than big pharma.

The Trials Tracker online tool regularly downloads details of all trials registered on the US website.

All interventional trials completed between January 2006 and two years ago are included, except for phase 0/1 trials and those that have made a formal request to delay results.

It then looks for summary results on the same website or linked results on PubMed.

According to the latest findings, around 11,700 of nearly 26,000 trials (45.2%) are missing results.

The website named generics firm Ranbaxy as having the worst record for publishing its trial results, having published no results for any of its 35 eligible trials.

But many academic institutions were also near the wrong end of the list, with Nanjing Medical University listed as having missing results for 32 out of 35 trials.

The report showed that many big pharma companies are proactive in publishing trial results – Shire had published results from all of its 96 eligible trials.

Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson, Allergan, Genentech, AbbVie, Sunovion and Janssen were shown to have published nearly all of their eligible trials.

Sanofi did not fare well in the analysis, having failed to publish almost two thirds (65.5%) of results from its 435 trials. Italy’s Chiesi has failed to publish results from 29 out of 39 trials, according to findings.

Clinical trials transparency campaigner Ben Goldacre, who helped to create the tool, tweeted his congratulations to the companies that had been proactive in publishing their results.

The European Medicines Agency has begun publishing detailed trial reports from all authorised medicines.

A spokesperson for the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) trade body said: “The ABPI has long been an advocate of greater transparency in clinical trial data balanced with the need to protect patients’ personal data, companies’ intellectual property rights and confidential commercial information.”

“The UK provides less than 2% of patients to global clinical trials. Our own research shows that disclosure rates for UK and EU trials have risen year on year for the past decade and now stand at 90%. We will work with the industry to ensure this trend continues.”



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