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Withdrawal of clinical trials policy by Canadian research institute is a “lost opportunity for increased transparency”

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 21 April 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d2570
  1. Ann Silversides
  1. 1Perth, Ontario

Canadian researchers and academics are puzzled by the Canadian Institute for Health Research’s decision to withdraw its policy on clinical trial registration and results just three months after posting it on its website.

The institute has declined to comment on the decision. A statement on its website says that its policy has been “superseded” by a more general guidance document on the ethics of research involving humans that was prepared for, and approved by, Canada’s three major public funding agencies.

“The CIHR [Canadian Institute for Health Research] policy certainly was leading the drive towards increasing transparency,” said An-Wen Chan, a scientist with the Women’s College Research Institute in Toronto and co-author of the Ottawa Statement on Principles and Implementation of Clinical Trial Registration and Results Reporting (BMJ 2005;330:956-8; doi:10.1136/bmj.330.7497.956).

If the institute’s policy is permanently rescinded, the result would be “a lost opportunity for a federal funding agency to make a statement that increased transparency is important for . . . ensuring that publicly funded …

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