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January 24, 2019updated 25 Jan 2019 5:51am

Report finds 800 UK university trials could become research waste

A new report by TranspariMED and Universities Allies for Essential Medicines UK has found that as many as 800 clinical trials by UK universities could become research waste as they violate reporting rules.

Research showed that the universities have failed to publish results from nearly 1,671 trials onto registries, thereby hindering access to health bodies, doctors and patients.

TranspariMED noted that the trial data has to be posted soon in order to avoid irretrievable loss.

According to the report, certain universities led by King’s College London, Nottingham and Cardiff had recently posted majority of the missing findings from their trials.

It further revealed that 19 out of 27 universities did not upload even a single missing trial result in the past two months.

Statistics across universities show that 62% of due trials on the European registry now have results, while 38% are still missing.

Aberdeen, King’s College London, Oxford, Dundee and University College London were observed to have reported most of their trials on the European registry.

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However, 1,575 trials out of the 1,671 trials with still missing results are listed on the American registry, and 97% of due trials on this registry are yet to be reported.

TranspariMED added that none of the UK universities have achieved a strong reporting performance on the American registry.

The firm believes that a national clinical trial audit programme along with effective sanctions can potentially facilitate consistent and timely posting of results across all trial registries.

TranspariMED founder Till Bruckner said: “Many UK universities are still failing to tackle research waste, and the results of hundreds of clinical trials are in danger of being lost forever. Some universities have begun addressing the problem, but others are still sticking their heads into the sand.

“The government must heed Parliament’s advice and set up a national monitoring system to ensure that all trials report their results, and fine pharmaceutical companies and universities that continue to break the rules. This common-sense solution would enable the NHS to save millions and improve patient care.”

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