WHO joins call for greater clinical trial transparency

In a recent press release, the World Health Organization has called for increased disclosure of all medical product clinical data, whether or not the trial was successful. Through this effort, the agency hopes to improve decision making regarding the use and efficacy of vaccines, drugs and medical devices, and ensure that marketed products are "supported by the best possible evidence."

"Our intention is to promote the sharing of scientific knowledge in order to advance public health," Dr Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Innovation, was quoted as saying in the release. "It underpins the principal goal of medical research: to serve the betterment of humanity."

Dr. Kieny also pointed out that the lack of transparency can increase costs for both health care entities and patients themselves, at a time when the industry is heavily focused on cost-containment. She argues that by easing access to trial data, patients and providers alike can better ensure that they are paying for the optimal product that best suits their specific needs. 

The release also points to the lack of participation in the ClinicalTrials.gov initiative, a topic that this blog has recently explored. In an analysis of study data submitted to the database, it was found that since 2009, 23 percent of large clinical trials had no results reported.

"Failure to publicly disclose trial results engenders misinformation, leading to skewed priorities for both R&D and public health interventions," Dr. Kieny warned. 

It is important that trial sponsors are prepared to share their clinical data with the world, in order to improve patient outcomes and spur innovation. With clinical trials data management solutions from Medical Metrics Inc., sponsors can be assured that their trial data if of the highest standard of quality and reliability.