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EU institutions have made major improvements in reporting trial results, report finds

BMJ 2021; 375 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n2446 (Published 06 October 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;375:n2446
  1. Barbara Casassus
  1. Paris

Major European research institutions have shown a “dramatic improvement” in their rates of reporting clinical trial results, and most are now actively uploading backlogs of missing results to an EU database, a progress report has found.1

Twenty one of the 26 largest medical research institutions in the EU’s 27 countries are “now clearly working to clear their backlogs,” said the report from Cochrane Austria and the advocacy groups TranspariMED and Health Action International. However, five institutions, all located in Italy and the Netherlands, showed “no clear sign of progress” on this.

New EU guidelines, stating that trial results should be uploaded to its database within 12 months of completion for adult drugs and six months for paediatric drugs, will become national law in every member state from 31 January 2022.

“I am delighted that so many prominent European institutions, each with more than 100 drug studies behind them, are clearing their backlogs,” said Till Bruckner, TranspariMED’s founder and the author of the report.

“They have started at different times and are progressing at different speeds, but altogether they show a massive trend towards greater transparency …

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