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Government must support Health Research Authority's pledge to tackle lack of clinical trials transparency

22 February 2019

The Science and Technology Committee is today releasing the Health Research Authority's response to its Research Integrity: Clinical Trials Transparency Report, which was published in October 2018.
The Department of Health and Social Care has also released its response to the report today.

Chair's comments

Rt Hon Norman Lamb MP, Chair of the Science and Technology Committee, said:

“We commend the HRA for itswillingness to rise to the challenges we have set them, and we now need to see the Government back the HRA up with the resources it clearly needs. 

While we welcome the Government's response, it is disappointing that four months after our Report was released, we still don't have any confirmation of the additional funding needed to support the Health Research Authority (HRA) to implement our recommendations.

The Committee remains hopeful that a decision will be made on funding for audits of clinical trials reporting before we return to this issue after the summer.

In the meantime, the HRA's commitment to produce a strategy to drive improvements in trial reporting and registration is a crucial first step. The HRA have clearly listened to our recommendations, and we look forward to seeing them take shape.

The HRA response confirms that it has written to all NHS Trusts with unreported trial results to ask them to them to tackle this problem. I will also write to them in due course to highlight our intention to hold an evidence session on this topic after the summer, to match the message we've already sent to universities. If things haven't improved by then we'll want to bring them before the Committee to find out why and to hold them to account.

It's high time this problem is fixed once and for all, and we will build on this drive from the HRA.”

Further information

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