WHO encourages more transparency in medical research
This statement is meant to guarantee that any decisions about the effectiveness and safety of medical devices, vaccines and drugs have been tested, proved and supported with the best evidence that is available.
A history of unreported trials leading to misinformation was discovered in a recent study that analyzed reports from large clinical trials involving over 500 participants as registered online at ClinicalTrials.gov. The study found that 23 percent of the trials had never reported the results of their studies, meaning approximately 300,000 participants were not represented.
“Our intention is to promote the sharing of scientific knowledge in order to advance public health,” Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Innovation, said. “It underpins the principal goal of medical research: to serve the betterment of humanity.”
WHO leaders believe practicing more transparency will be better for the health care industry, health care professionals and patients around the world.
“Failure to publicly disclose trial results engenders misinformation, leading to skewed priorities for both R&D and public health interventions,” Kieny said. “It creates indirect costs for public and private entities, including patients themselves, who pay for suboptimal or harmful treatments. We need the collaboration of all these actors to enforce transparency in their jurisdictions in order to increase the benefits and decrease the risks for patients, clinical trial volunteers and the general public."