Clinical trials to test diagnostic techniques, new treatments and other medical interventions are vital for accurately finding out what is effective and what isn’t. Amazingly, there is no complete record of all the trials that have been conducted and neither have the results of many of them been reported. The AllTrials campaign, launched by Sense About Science in January 2013, aims to promote greater transparency in Paid Medical Trials.
Why are clinical trials so important?
In many fields, including treatments and tests for cancer that are responsible for doubling survival rates in the last forty years, clinical trials have aided medical progress. The information provided by clinical trials helps to inform the decisions made by doctors and others treating many diseases.
The opportunity to improve medical treatments depends on the results of clinical trials, and if these are not reported it devalues the commitment and sacrifices made by the patients who take part in them. It also has implications for those working in pharmaceutical consulting and across the medical sector. According to the NHS, clinical trials in the UK are authorised and reviewed by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
The AllTrials campaign
In an effort to promote transparency in clinical trials, the AllTrials campaign is calling for registration and results reporting of all past and present clinical trials. The campaign, by the charity Sense About Science, is supported by 633 organisations and over 87,000 individuals. The organisations that have signed up to the campaign include prestigious names such as Cancer Research UK and GlaxoSmithKline, indicating that transparency in clinical trials is important to the research community. Paid Medical Trials from Trials 4 Us are involved in many important clinical trials.
In addition to involving so many people and organisations, the campaign has also succeeded in changing European law. From 2018, the law will require all new clinical drug trials to be registered and to report their results, although access to data from the past is still needed.
Clinical cancer trials are very advanced compared to those in many other diseases, and as many as a fifth of cancer patients have participated in a trial. It is hoped that the example of registering and reporting these large scale trials can be extended to other areas.