Letters Open data for all current drugs

Introducing the HRA’s new system

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e8005 (Published 26 November 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e8005
  1. Janet Wisely, chief executive1
  1. 1Health Research Authority, London SE1 6LH, UK
  1. janet.wisely{at}nhs.net

The Health Research Authority (HRA) promotes and protects the interests of patients and the public in order to support confidence and participation in health research and improve the nation’s health. We recognise that failure to publish the results of research presents a serious risk to patient safety and constitutes research misconduct.1

The national research ethics service (NRES) is part of the HRA, and research ethics committee review asks whether research will be registered on a public database and how researchers intend to report and disseminate the results. Ethics committee decisions include consideration of these plans for registration and publication. Until now NRES has not been able to follow up on these intentions. The HRA now intends to monitor compliance and identify which researchers, funders, and institutions do (or do not) register or publish research according to the assurances they have provided the ethics committee. We will do this by routinely reviewing the final report and are currently exploring how best to implement these improvements and safeguards. We expect to establish a new system early in 2013.

The HRA is committed to making it easier to do good quality ethical research in the UK. We see great potential in gathering evidence of good conduct that would enable a lighter touch when considering the suitability of researchers and sponsors who have fully delivered on previously declared intentions.


Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e8005


  • Competing interests: None declared.