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Research funders, NGOs to implement WHO
standards on
reporting clinical trial results

GENEVA: Some of the world’s largest funders of medical research and international non-governmental organizations have agreed on new standards that will require all clinical trials they fund or support to be registered and the results disclosed publicly.
In a joint statement, the Indian Council of Medical Research, the Norwegian Research Council, the UK Medical Research Council, Médecins Sans Frontières and Epicentre (its research arm), PATH, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Institut Pasteur, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Wellcome Trust agreed to develop and implement policies within the next 12 months that require all trials they fund, co-fund, sponsor or support to be registered in a publicly-available registry. They also agreed that all results would be disclosed within specified timeframes on the registry and/or by publication in a scientific journal.Today, about 50% of clinical trials go unreported.
“Research funders are making a strong statement that there will be no more excuses on why some clinical trials remain unreported long after they have completed,” said Dr Marie-Paule Kieny, Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Innovation at WHO. The signatories to the statement also agreed to monitor compliance with registration requirements and to endorse the development of systems to monitor results reporting.
“We need timely clinical trial results to inform clinical care practices as well as make decisions about allocation of resources for future research,” said Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Director-General of the Indian Council of Medical Research. “We welcome the agreement of international standards for reporting timeframes that everyone can work towards.”
Most of these trials and their results will be accessible via WHO’s International Clinical Trials Registry Platform, a unique global database of clinical trials that compiles data from 17 registries around the world, including the United States of America’s ClinicalTrials.gov, the European Union’s Clinical Trials Register, the Chinese and Indian Clinical Trial Registries and many others.(PR)

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