Medical Research is Reaching Greater Levels of Transparency

Move toward greater transparency has extended beyond medication products to other interventions
Move toward greater transparency has extended beyond medication products to other interventions

HealthDay News — Greater transparency is being promoted in clinical research, according to a health policy brief published online January 14 in Health Affairs.

Elizabeth Richardson, from the Brookings Center for Health Policy in Washington, DC, discusses policy initiatives that focus on improving the use of clinical research for patients, providers, and health systems.

Richardson notes that in recent years there have been renewed efforts to improve transparency and access to trial data. Benefits of making these data available include allowing future researchers to learn from past failures and facilitating third-party reanalysis of data. Organizations are supporting improved transparency, including the AllTrials campaign, the World Health Organization, and the European Medicines Agency. The US Food and Drug Administration has taken some steps to share data more broadly, while other US-based organizations have been more proactive, including the Institute of Medicine, Department of Health and Human Services, and several drug companies. The move toward greater transparency is not limited to medication trials but includes other interventions such as psychosocial and behavioral.

"In the near term, legislative efforts by the US government are under way to improve clinical trial data sharing," Richardson writes. "Over the longer term, it is unclear how the existing and emerging data-sharing initiatives will evolve, and their ultimate usefulness will depend on a range of issues that are still under discussion."

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