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Curr Med Res Opin. 2018 Jul;34(7):1239-1243. doi: 10.1080/03007995.2017.1415057. Epub 2018 Jan 5.

Clinical trial transparency update: an assessment of the disclosure of results of company-sponsored trials associated with new medicines approved in Europe in 2014.

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a Livewire Editorial Communications , Gerrards Cross, Bucks , UK.
b Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry , London , UK.



The objective of this study was to assess the timely disclosure of results of company-sponsored clinical trials related to all new medicines approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) during 2014. This is the final extension of three previously reported studies of trials related to all new medicines approved in Europe in 2009, 2010 and 2011, and in 2012 and 2013. The original study found that over a three-year period over three-quarters of all trials were disclosed within 12 months and almost 90% were disclosed by the end of the study (31 January 2013). The extension studies (2012 and 2013 approvals) both showed an improvement in results disclosure within 12 months to 90%, and an overall disclosure rate of 92% and 93% respectively by the end of the studies.


The methodology used was exactly as previously reported. Various publicly available information sources were searched for both clinical trial registration and disclosure of results. All completed company-sponsored trials related to each new medicine approved for marketing by the EMA in 2014, carried out in patients and recorded on a clinical trials registry and/or included in an EMA European Public Assessment Report (EPAR), were included. Information sources were searched between 1 May and 31 July 2016.


The main outcome measure was the proportion of trials for which results had been disclosed on a registry or in the scientific literature either within 12 months of the later of either first regulatory approval or trial completion, or by 31 July 2016 (end of survey). Of the completed trials associated with 32 new medicines licensed to 22 different companies in 2014, results of 93% (505/542) had been disclosed within 12 months, and results of 96% (518/542) had been disclosed by 31 July 2016.


The disclosure rate within 12 months of 93% suggests that industry is continuing to achieve disclosure in a timely manner. The overall disclosure rate at study end of 96% indicates that the improvement in transparency amongst company-sponsored trials has been maintained in the trials associated with new medicines approved in 2014.


Clinical trials; publication bias; results disclosure; transparency; trial publication; trial registration; trial registries

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