Intended for healthcare professionals


Making information about clinical trials publicly available

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 25 June 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b2473
  1. Rosalind L Smyth, Brough professor of paediatric medicine
  1. 1Institute of Child Health, University of Liverpool, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool L12 2AP
  1. r.l.smyth{at}

    Open access to information on the EudraCT database will improve transparency

    Recognition of the commercial and non-commercial benefits of greater transparency within clinical research has increased in the past decade. Public dissemination of the conduct and outcome of all clinical trials, including those performed as part of marketing authorisation applications, will ensure that professionals and patients have more information about how the safety and effectiveness of drugs has been evaluated. This will also prevent unnecessary duplication of research and, by encouraging greater scrutiny of clinical trials, will ensure that their ethical and scientific quality is improved. Wider dissemination of knowledge will also drive innovation and the conduct of further, more relevant, research.

    This effort was considerably enhanced in 2004, when the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) announced that an essential criterion for publication of a trial in one of their journals was that the details of the trial should be publicly available in a clinical trials register.1 2 These requirements have been an important factor in driving public registration of clinical trials and the development of registers …

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