Editorials

Non-drug industry funded research

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39416.559942.BE (Published 03 January 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:1
  1. Paolo Bruzzi, head, director12
  1. 1Clinical Epidemiology Unit, National Cancer Research Institute, 16132 Genova, Italy
  2. 2Department of Epidemiology and Prevention, National Cancer Research Institute

    Poor access to drugs leaves important clinical questions unanswered

    In May 2004, the European Clinical Trials Directive came into force. The directive made it mandatory for all clinical drug trials to follow the good clinical practice guidance, and it fuelled existing concerns that financial and organisational constraints were making it almost impossible to conduct independent trials not funded by the drug industry. In the accompanying paper, Berendt and colleagues show that the decrease in the number of new clinical trials registered each year in Denmark began well before 2004, and the decrease was similar for independent and industry sponsored trials.1 In 2006, two years after the enforcement of the EU directive, the number of independent trials actually increased. Similar results have been reported in Sweden, Norway, and Italy.2 The consistency of these findings, despite differences in registration and classification systems, supports their validity and generalisability.

    So can we feel reassured about the future of independent therapeutic research? Certainly, clinical research not sponsored by the industry is alive and active. Yet, if we consider the role that independent researchers should have in …

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